Iron Maiden using piracy to target concert tour with great success

Dec 24, 2013
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It would appear that bands that have gotten over the madness hump that is the realization that their music is being pirated have begun taking advantage of that fact. One perfect example is Iron Maiden, a band that this week has revealed that they take the data they’ve gathered on where their music is being pirated, and instead of taking the massive time and resources involved in persecution to punish these areas, they’ve aimed their concert series directly for them.

Using the music analytics company Musicmetric, Iron Maiden found the areas where their music was being stolen most often. Instead of targeting websites, Musicmetric was able to track the physical areas on the planet where the music was being downloaded to. Using this, Iron Maiden planned their most recent concert tour.

”Having an accurate real time snapshop 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.” - Gregory Mead, CEO and co-founder of Musicmetric

Musicmetric uses social media discussion, public BitTorrent traffic records, and more to bring on a map for Iron Maiden to utilize. Iron Maiden decided to take this information - as Musicmetric says - and decide that these heavily pirate-ridden areas were the best locations for the band to play.

Users taking the time to collect the band’s whole back-catalog with illegal downloads were targeted as most likely to hit up a concert. Turns out they were very, very right.

”Maiden have been rather successful in turning free file-sharing into fee-paying fans.” - Gregory Mead, CEO and co-founder of Musicmetric

According to Cite World, the results were clear: "massive sellouts" followed. Iron Maiden also let it be known that in the 12 month cycle after they started this targeting, they added 3.1 million social media fans. Then from June 2012 to October 2013, touring in this targeted manner rang up a cool 5 million online fans, with particular success in areas they visited specifically due to this targeting.

Sound like a great success to you? We’ll be following along with Iron Maiden and Musicmetric’s action in the future as well to see how this continues to play out - have at it!


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