Angry Birds, 193,750 views and £39.12 in ad revenue

Apparently our smartphones now have more computing power than NASA had when it sent a man to the moon in 1969. Or as one wag commented recently on Twitter… they launched a man to the moon, we launch birds into pigs.

If that statement is too cryptic for you then you should stop reading now because this post is all about Angry Birds, the almost-multi-platform game that is putting the P into phenomenon and the F into the finger pointed at all the games publishers who thought its creators were rubbish.

Those creators, Rovio Mobile, are based in Helsinki and I visited them at their offices late last year, naturally cock-a-hoop that they had struck (pig’s?) gold and were going to take over the world. Nothing has changed in those intervening five months and good luck to the cocky bastards.

Naturally, one always likes to piggy-back (groan) on other people’s success so when Rovio presented me with a physical sling-shot toy of a red Angry Bird, one of the first toys produced, I made a little video with my son to see if we could crack YouTube and even make some pocket money.

Try and look at it as the digital version of taking your child fishing. We found some rudimentary props and made a silly video that fundamentally misunderstood the game. This fact was repeatedly pointed out by people trolling the site but it didn’t matter; we had 15,000 views in less than 24 hours and Google invited us to sign a revenue-share agreement with AdSense.

Excellent. I loved the idea of Google paying me for the rest of my life so I signed up, and after wringing blood from the marketing stone of said video, we have now had almost 200,000 views of the video… and less than forty quid in revenue. Google won’t even pay up until that figure reaches £60, which I will naturally split with my son (as we also have a revenue-share agreement.

So as somebody who believes that YouTube is probably the most immersive social network of all and the many questions about monetising Twitter and Facebook, this minuscule figure of £39.12 came as a surprise. How could this be?

I drilled down into the data. The graph showed spikes at weekends and the trolling comments implied the audience was juvenile and less likely to be interested in ads on a free website. Surprisingly, the demographic was not so; the majority of viewers were between the ages of 30 and 45 and based in the US.

There were a number of revisits but with CTR at less than 1% it appears that I will not be joining the Rovio employees as millionaires any time soon. In fact, it’s more likely that I will be joining NASA and flying to the moon with my smartphone. Still, it was worth a try.

Monty (643 Posts)

Monty Munford has more than 15 years' experience in mobile, digital media, web and journalism. He is the founder of Mob76, a company that helps tech companies raise money and exit. He speaks regularly at global media events with a focus on Africa, writes a weekly column for The Telegraph, is a regular contributor to The Economist, Wired, Mashable and speaks regularly on the BBC World Service.