Iron Maiden Track Illegal Downloads To Plan Gig Locations

UPDATE: Information in this story cited from Citeworld has been proven incorrect. The original post has now been updated with this statement:

“The original version of this article incorrectly stated that Iron Maiden used MusicMetric’s analysis to plan its South American tours. MusicMetric did not work directly with Iron Maiden. The analysis described in this article was carried out without the band’s participation or knowledge, and we have no confirmation that the band ever saw or used it.”

As reported by TechCrunch, a Musicmetric spokesman says, “[The] CiteWorld story is sadly not substantiated… We never stated or implied that Iron Maiden had used our analytics to plan its tours.”

Our original story is below.

Move over, Metallica. Metal luminaries Iron Maiden are tracking down fans illegally downloading their music, but instead of taking legal action, they’re using the data to work out where to play live.

Using information collected by music analytics company Musicmetric, the legendary British outfit planned where to stage their gigs, following a study that showed the fans that pirate music are often the same ones who pay for gigs and merchandise. The 2012 survey by The American Assembly shows that an illegal downloader is 30% more likely to also pay for music than one who doesn’t acquire files for free.

Gregory Mead, CEO of Musicmetric, told Cite World the data is invaluable to bands – it just depends on how they choose to use it:

“Having an accurate real time snapshot of key data streams is all about helping inform people’s decision making. If you know what drives engagement, you can maximize the value of your fan base. Artists could say, ‘We’re getting pirated here, let’s do something about it,’ or ‘We’re popular here, let’s play a show.’”

Maiden have used their pirating data to cater to a massive South American fan base, after finding that Brazilians and Chileans have collectively downloaded the band 70,932 times. Not surprisingly, these figures match up with those of their web traffic and Twitter, which largely come from South America.

It’s a far cry from the usual tactic of record labels taking legal action against individual downloaders, with Metallica famously taking file-sharing site Napster to court in 2000 to stop fans from getting their hands on tunes without paying. But Mead says the Maiden tactic is far more profitable:

“Maiden have been rather successful in turning free file-sharing into fee-paying fans. If you engage with fans, there is a chance to turn a percentage into paying customers. You can see that through various bands using the BitTorrent network in a legal way to share content.”

(via RT)

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