UPDATED: Iron Maiden makes millions by touring countries where their music is most pirated

Update: Iron Maiden did not decide to tour latinamerica based on Internet analytics about the countries where their music was most pirated. The author of the story cited here made an "error." However, there was research showing that the countries where Maiden was making millions from live shows were also the countries where their music was pirated most.

Iron Maiden hired a BitTorrent analytics company called Musicmetric to determine where piracy of their music was highest, then scheduled tours of those countries. They made millions touring Central and South America. Iron Maiden LLP has outperformed the UK music sector as a whole and was named one of the "1000 Companies That Inspire Britain" by the London Stock Exchange.

"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.

How Iron Maiden found its worst music pirates -- then went and played for them [Andy Patrizio/Cite World]

(Image: Estadio Saprissa Iron Maiden, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from adels's photostream)