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Iron Maiden Turns Music Piracy into Touring Gold

Iron Maiden
Karl Walter/Getty Images

Illegal downloading has been the subject of almost constant debate since the late ’90s, with artists and labels undertaking many different measures to try and stamp it out.

Iron Maiden, however, has chosen a different tactic.

Recognizing there’s really no way to stop people from using readily available technology, the band has instead opted to employ the services of Musicmetric in order to figure out where their songs are being stolen most regularly.

Then, the adjust their tour schedule to visit those places.

As Torrentfreak points out: There’s a school of thought that says pirates are actually the record industry’s best customers because they’re the ones who are most engaged with the music. Where there’s engagement, there’s an opportunity to make more money, so Iron Maiden have started scheduling concerts in the countries where the data points to the highest amount of illegal activity.

As Musicmetric’s Gregory Mead, CEO and co-founder, says: “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.’ 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.”

According to Torrentfreak, the approach has already paid off for Maiden in a number of spots. Noting prevalent piracy in Brazil and Chile, the band decided to focus on South America during its latest tour, which included its first-ever visit to Paraguay. The result was a string of sold-out shows.

Next: Top 10 Iron Maiden Songs

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