25 December 2013

How Iron Maiden Got it Right, and Metallica Got it Wrong

In the early days of P2P file sharing, it was Metallica to the first file sharing site, Napster, which was shutdown and eventually reemerged as a ……… (furiously Googling) ……… a link to Rhapsody.

Metallica earned a lot of enmity from its fans, and probably sold no more songs as a result.

Iron Maiden found a similar problem, they recently discovered a spike in file sharing in Latin America, and their response was to aggressively market there, and put on a concert tour:
Enter another U.K. company called Musicmetric, which specializes in analytics for the music industry by capturing everything from social media discussion to traffic on the BitTorrent network. It then offers this aggregated information to artists to decide how they want to react. Musicmetric noticed Iron Maiden's placement and ran its own analytics for the band.

"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’," said Gregory Mead, CEO and co-founder of the London-based firm.

In the case of Iron Maiden, still a top-drawing band in the U.S. and Europe after thirty years, it noted a surge in traffic in South America. Also, it saw that Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, and Chile were among the top 10 countries with the most Iron Maiden Twitter followers. There was also a huge amount of BitTorrent traffic in South America, particularly in Brazil.

Rather than send in the lawyers, Maiden sent itself in. The band has focused extensively on South American tours in recent years, one of which was filmed for the documentary "Flight 666." After all, fans can't download a concert or t-shirts. The result was massive sellouts. The São Paolo show alone grossed £1.58 million (US$2.58 million) alone.
New fans, new sales, a new market.

Interesting business plan, no?


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