Word that the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden had used
data analytics on piracy data to inform its touring plans has turned out
to be false,
but microtargeting could be an effective took for bands to maximize show
Yesterday, Rolling Stone published an article
that said the legendary rock act had leveraged BitTorrent data from an
analytics firm called Musicmetric to identify where piracy was rampant. The
story went on that the band then booked shows at those locations in Latin and
South America, assuming there was high fan interest.
It’s a good story and sounds plausible. However, the rock
magazine has since "Run
to the Hills" because its source was a reblogged article based upon an
original report from The Guardian. Musicmetric is disavowing the re-reblogged report as of
Regardless of the article’s veracity, it makes sense for
bands to use data analytics, because it’s difficult for artists to profit off
of their work (while distributors do).
For instance, Pink Floyd reunited for an op-ed trashing
Pandora’s revenue model as a pay cut for artists. Radiohead has soured
on alternatives to piracy including the pay-what-you-want scheme that it once
advocated as a solution. Most of its fans freeloaded and downloaded its albums
without paying. Spotify, a music subscription app, innovated distribution but commoditized
music, singer Thom York said.
That leaves touring, and there are many technologies that
can query data based on conditions such as ‘downloads’ and ‘location’ to
produce useful reports or heat maps to plan tours more intelligently than ever
Disclosure: I worked
in sales and marketing at data analytics middleware company ScaleOut Software several
years ago, but have no financial interest in it anymore.
(image credit: duke.edu)
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com