In a recent story on The Guardian, it was revealed that Iron Maiden turned piracy into profit by tracking where their music was being pirated the most and then touring there. This sort of seems like a no brainer, but apparently this is not something done by the average artist. But it should be. Whether we like it or not, the consumer imposed business model known as “free” has greatly impacted the business of selling music. The key is being able to convert those “freeloading fans” into “paying fans” and Iron Maiden‘s approach is a great example of how to do this.
Find out where people are consuming your music via file-sharing and streaming services and then route a tour hitting all of those markets. Of course, this isn’t a practical approach for every band….but those who are in the position to tour should be utilizing this method every time.