Did Iron Maiden turn piracy into paying customers? No.

Jeez Louise you'd think at this point people would smell a rat quicker but apparently not.

Back on December 20th, CITEworld posted this glowing article about how heavy metal legends Iron Maiden were learning how to profit from piracy. The article implied that UK-based analytics company Musicmetric were tracking analytics from Iron Maiden downloads on torrent sites to see where they were most popular.

In the case of Iron Maiden, still a top-drawing band in the U.S. and Europe after thirty years, MusicMetric ran an analysis and noted a surge in traffic in South America. Also, MusicMetric 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....

...While the band did not use Musicmetric's analysis directly, Mead notes, "Maiden have been rather successful in turning free file-sharing into fee-paying fans." Other bands could take a lesson from the heavy metal band's success.

The article concludes that "bands now have a new tool to try and make up for the loss of music sales. Emphasis is now on touring and t-shirts as CD sales dwindle." By engaging with fans, you could turn some of them on to opening their wallets.

There are a couple of things wrong with the above statements. The first is that, as noted at the end of the second page of the article, Iron Maiden is not using this analytics service. Multiple news sources quickly updated their articles. reflecting the fact that the claims were untrue. Mostly because I suspect Music Metric (the analytics company) didn't want to get in trouble by suggesting they had Iron Maiden as a client. I'm guessing as with most things on the internet, they used merely an example of how their services work, and it quickly turned into a Verifiable Truth™. Hell they could have used The Captain and Tennille instead of Eddie The Head, but there you go.

Then there is this notion of somehow magically recouping all of the money once gained through music sales, a fact that also keeps getting conveniently overlooked. Bands used to make money selling their music, and going on tour. Their t-shirt merchandise was a supplement, and a supplement only. Now they have lost music sales, so they must tour and sell t-shirt merchandise, and sell even more t-shirts if they want to make a living, according to the insistence of people who don't pay for music. But neither tour profits nor merch profits account for the loss in music sales, no matter how you spin it. This is simple math.

I just love this article though--like most of the Tech World, the answer is for a musician to spend money they don't have on what? The services of a tech company!

How innovative!

AnonymousCoward's picture
Dabitch's picture

Two things;

1: wouldn't it be just as easy to gather statistics on where the music is sold to you know, if people bought the music?

2: Musicmetric charge for their service, right? Who do you think will be able to pay for that? Not the musicians whose product is currently not being sold....

Sod it, a third thing - what is it with these fake PR stunts recently? First they claim A and then they turn around and correct the articles. It's like when Goldieblox hollered that they were being sued by the Beastie boys - when no such thing had taken place. This tactic is a little disturbing.