For making apps the new source for big entertainment franchises. The fowl-flinging Angry Birds game franchise, now with more than 1 billion downloads and counting, has helped Finnish startup Rovio build a $200 million empire with synergistic revenue streams. Its menagerie of merchandise--plush toys, clothing, candy, and so forth--helps to keep its apps at the top of the charts, and the apps, in turn, sell the goods. Up next are a cartoon series, a 3-D-animated movie, and playgrounds around the globe.
Read More »