While there’s no doubt that illegal downloading and file-sharing has been a disaster for the music industry, Iron Maiden figured out a way to work piracy to their advantage.
By using various online methods of tracking Internet traffic (especially torrents and unauthorized file-sharing), they saw that the volume was especially big in Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Chile and Mexico. Another band might have found a way come down hard on the pirates. But not Iron Maiden. They planned a tour. From CiteWorld:
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.And in a positive cycle, Maiden’s online fanbase grew. According to Musicmetric, in the 12 months ending May 31, 2012, the band attracted more than 3.1 million social media fans. After its Maiden England world tour, which ran from June 2012 to October 2013, Maiden’s fan base grew by five million online fans, with a significant increase in popularity in South America.
In other words, Maiden turned piracy of their music into a money-making venture. Keep reading.