Piracy is a hot topic in the music industry, with major labels trying to eliminate the problem by taking infringers to court. At the same time Iron Maiden has taken a different approach to piracy – instead of suing their fans, the band is using file-sharing data to plan their tour locations.
Lots of researches have shown that file-sharers usually spend more on legitimate purchases, especially tickets to live performances and merchandise. The matter is that “pirates” are more engaged than people who don’t share, and they complement their legal purchases with illegal downloads. Apparently, the file-sharers are the artists’ best customers, and it is clear that instead of suing them, it may be more rewarding to give them concerts. This is what Iron Maiden has been doing – they use the services of music analytics company Musicmetric to see where their albums are most pirated. When musicians understand what drives engagement, they are able to maximize the value of the fan base. Instead of launching lawsuits against illegal file-sharers, Iron Maiden used the information as input for its tours. For example, the band is most popular among Brazilian pirates and in Chile. Their recent tour had a heavy focus on South America, because the band also has lots of Twitter followers there. When the band played in Paraguay for the first time, the gigs were sold out throughout the region. According to the music analytics company, the file-sharing information helped the band turn pirates into paying customers simply by heading over there and playing for them. Everyone understands that it’s impossible to download the true experience of a live performance, so the pirates will turn up. If artists engage with fans, there’s always a chance to turn a percentage into paying customers. This can be seen through different bands using the BitTorrent network in a legitimate and official way to share content. It is also pleasant to see that instead of hunting down file-sharers for lawsuits, the information can be used by musicians to plan their tours. It is also a more positive way to treat your fans – play for them instead of trying to bankrupt them in court.
Thanks to TorrentFreak for providing the source of the article.