2013 was the first year that recorded a decrease in digital music sales. Most likely because of the growth of streaming sites like Spotify and Rdio, who are notorious for paying artists poorly.
We’re going to more of this decline. Digital Music Sales had a brief surge. But the fact is, the war on piracy was already lost. Musicians, the music industry and the consumers must be aware of this by now. Iron Maiden certainly are.
I’ve read several articles this week about how Iron Maiden are tracking down fans illegally downloading their music. But instead of taking legal action, they’re using the data to work out where to play live.
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.
Of course. This is exactly where the music industry should be doing more of.
“Having an accurate real time snapshot 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.’”
Gregory Mead, CEO, MusicMetric.
The sad reality, like it or not, is that album sales are over. With the exception of Beyonce and Radiohead (and a few others), artists just don’t make money from releases. Instead, they must maximise their live performance / merch revenue, and use the release as the giveaway. The promotional hook.
But we now have a raft of music analytics, collected from the Spotifies of the world, conversations through social media and traffic via BitTorrent. Musicians can locate where their 10,000 fans live, and play to them. The role of the music industry should be to review artists’ personal analytics, and devise a touring / merchandise strategy from.
The war on piracy was lost. But that doesn’t mean there’s no future for the music inductry.