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How Iron Maiden beat piracy in South America

Posted by on December 24, 2013

ironmaidenenvivoIt’s always encouraging to see a metal band get covered by non-metal media, for whatever reason. Lately, the internet has been abuzz about an article on an IT website called Citeworld. Doesn’t necessarily sound like two things that fit together, but stay with us. The London Stock Exchange ran their “1000 Companies To Inspire Britain” report, and Iron Maiden was among them. Fellow UK music company musicmetrics, seeing Maiden place, did some analytics for Maiden, among them, where the most Twitter followers come from and amount of bittorrent rates showing piracy. Their analysis found that South America was particularly high in piracy.

Instead of going after the piraters and Maiden fans through legal channels, they instead focused on booking shows in South America, coming to where they noticed an uptick in fans. You’ll notice that the band’s last two live albums, En Vivo! and Flight 666, include footage from South America, and the former was filmed entirely in Chile. Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Columbia, and Chile were among the top 10 countries with the most Iron Maiden Twitter followers. So by concentrating on areas where metrics found there fans were, be it legally or illegally, the band was able to identify new areas for them to actually make money. The San Paulo show there in 2012 grossed $2.58 million alone. The band gained an amazing 5 million fans through their 16 month Maiden England tour, which wrapped this past October, with many of them coming from South America. 

“With their constant touring, [the] report suggests Maiden have been rather successful in turning free file-sharing into fee-paying fans,” musicmetric CEO and cofounder Greg Mead told The Guardian. “This is clear proof that taking a global approach to live touring can pay off, and that having the data to track where your fan bases lie will become ever more vital.” And sure, Maiden is one of the biggest touring bands ever, but by using metrics and online media, this could have implications for everyone from them on down to any band that’s on Facebook and Twitter, which should be every band.

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