Live & Touring

Music Metric Responds To Iron Maiden Torrent Data Controversy

image from static.semetric.comFrom the Music Metric blog: Recently you might have read articles claiming that Iron Maiden used Musicmetric to track where their music was most pirated and then plan tour dates around this data. You may have also read articles claiming that Musicmetric purposely falsified this story for its own advantage. Neither of these is true, so we would like to take a minute to tell you what actually happened.

In November Musicmetric CEO, Gregory Mead, was quoted by The Guardian in regards to Iron Maiden’s high BitTorrent activity in South America and observing that this coincides with the bands heavy touring activity there. Several weeks later, without confirmation from either Musicmetric or the band, CITEworld published a follow-up story stating that Iron Maiden had used torrent data to plan their tour. While this conclusion is interesting, it is not true. Like many of you, we discovered this story after it went viral. Since then, we have been working hard to set the record straight. We demanded a retraction and corrections to be made. Thankfully many articles have been amended as can be seen onTechCrunchCITEWorld, and Rolling Stone.

Some bloggers have chosen to pick up on this episode of rogue reporting and suggest that it in some way reflects on the accuracy of our data and to suggest that we are in some way a marketing arm for Bit Torrent Inc. Both of these suggestions are without foundation. Musicmetric’s data is highly verifiable and robust. We track activity on the open Bit Torrent network and are in no way associated with the company that is promoting the protocol, Bit Torrent Inc.

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Did Iron Maiden use torrent data to plan a tour?

We have no proof they did.

Could Iron Maiden or more likely rapidly emerging artists, less certain of where their fans are located, use torrent data to plan a tour?

We believe so and we think there is lots of value for artists who choose to do so in 2014!

Our formal response to the original CITEworld article can be read below.

Andrew Teacher, Musicmetric’s head of PR, said:

“We never stated or implied that Iron Maiden had used our analytics to plan its tours. The Guardian correctly published Musicmetric data showing the band’s Bit Torrent and social engagement after the band was named one of the UK’s fastest growing companies a London Stock Exchange report. They were far older than many newer names in the report and we wanted to see why Maiden were in there. The data provided an interesting insight, showing just how many fans they’d added through intense touring across emerging markets and highlighting via Bit Torrent data precisely where they were popular.

“This is precisely how Musicmetric’s analytics are used by artist managers and labels: to see where their artists are popular and what drives that popularity.

“However, the CiteWorld story is sadly not substantiated. It is a follow up of a Guardian piece and it misrepresents our position by stating that the success was down to use of analytics, which we simply never said nor implied.

“Musicmetric never said Iron Maiden had used its data to plan a tour – we simply said where the band was popular and stated that Bit Torrent data generally, could be useful to see precisely where an act is popular.”

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