Angry Birds developer Rovio’s boss feels that piracy isn’t always bad for business and can actually help in building an entertainment brand.
Mikael Hed, speaking at the Midem conference in Cannes earlier today as reported by The Guardian, said the entertainment industry needs to change its perspective of looking at consumers, and the music industry can serve as an good example of what not to do.
“We could learn a lot from the music industry, and the rather terrible ways the music industry has tried to combat piracy,” he explained.
“We took something from the music industry, which was to stop treating the customers as users, and start treating them as fans. We do that today: we talk about how many fans we have.
“If we lose that fanbase, our business is done, but if we can grow that fanbase, our business will grow.”
Hed also said that taking legal action against pirates is often “futile” and all it does is help alienate thousands of potential “fans” who might have proved to be an asset for building the brand and even contribute to the overall income in future.
“Piracy may not be a bad thing: it can get us more business at the end of the day,” he said.
However, he said that an exception to the above can be made for any form of piracy that damages the company’s image or tries to rip-off paying customers, putting counterfeit merchandise as an example.