All the talk in the media from the old gatekeepers is that piracy is bad for the artists or that Spotify’s free music-tier is bad for artists.
So can someone tell me how Motley Crue is playing in Abu Dhabi?
If we lived in the world of the old gatekeepers, the record labels would be in control and Motley Crue would have sold hundreds of thousands of albums (on a consistent basis) in the UAE before it was even considered to tour there.
However, in the internet age, it is a much different world.
Motley Crue suddenly has an audience in the UAE.
Is this audience courtesy of piracy or legit sales or legit streams?
There is a strong indication that Motley Crue’s UAE audience is due to piracy.
Do you know the Middle East is a huge region when it comes to illegal P2P downloading?
The following statement found in the book “Introduction to Private Security” by John Dempsey sums it up perfectly;
In Europe, Middle East, and Australia, P2P traffic consumes anywhere between 49 percent and 89 percent of all Internet traffic in the day. At night, it can spike up to an astonishing 95 percent.
You can do some further reading on countries where P2P piracy is very high at the following link.
Even though it is from 2011, the data tells us a few things.
Eastern/Central Europe, South America, Asia, Australia and the Middle East have high rates of P2P piracy as regions.
When you break it up to countries, China, Colombia, India, Russia, Malaysia, Turkey, Taiwan, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Italy lead the way.
So let’s look at some of the recent tours bands have undertaken.
Metallica in 2011 did the “2011 Vacation Tour” that focused on Europe, South America, Asia and for the first time ever, they took in India.
In 2012, Metallica undertook the “European Black Album Tour” that focused solely on Europe.
In 2013, Metallica undertook the “Summer Tour 2013” which took in again Asia, Europe, South America along with North America.
In 2014, Metallica did the “Metallica by Request” tour which again took in Europe and South America.
Is it coincidence or shrewd planning that Metallica has taken in those markets. Hell, India is known as a nation of P2P downloaders, however it hasn’t stopped Metallica or Iron Maiden touring there.
Iron Maiden’s “The Final Frontier” tour (2010/11) took in Eastern Europe, along with Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, South Korea, Japan, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Puerto Rico.
The “Maiden England World Tour” (2013), took in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Chile and Eastern Europe again.
The “Somewhere Back In Time” tour (2008/09) took in (apart from the North American and European markets) India, Australia, Japan, Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Puerto Rico. Then on the second leg it took in Dubai (UAE), New Zealand, India (again), Mexico (again), Costa Rica (again), Venezuela, Colombia (again), Ecuador, Brazil (again), Chile (again), Peru, Argentina (again).
The Bon Jovi “Because We Can” tour from 2013 took in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Mexico, Japan, Australia, China, Malaysia, Singapore, China (again), Abu Dhabi (UAE) and Israel.
This was on top of the normal European and North American markets.
The “Bon Jovi Live” tour set to kick off in September 2015, takes in China, Malaysia, Singapore, Macau, Abu Dhabi (UAE) and Israel.
Five Finger Death Punch haven’t been around as long as Metallica, Iron Maiden or Bon Jovi, however it still hasn’t stopped them from hitting Japan, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand on their recent “Wrong Side Of Heaven” tour.
Avenged Sevenfold’s “Far and Middle East Tour” from 2012, took in Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia and UAE.
Their “Hail To The King” from 2014 took in Brazil, Australia, Mexico, Chile and Argentina on top of the normal European and North American markets.
Their “Asian Tour 2015” will cover China, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Indonesia and Hong Kong.
Again the question must be asked, is it coincidence or shrewd planning. Streaming services can tell the bands which countries or even cities are streaming their songs and at what rates. Other firms out there like Music Metrics can tell bands, which countries or even cities are illegally downloading their music.
All of this data, once in the hands of a person that knows what to do with it, is a marketers dream.
Articles always point out that “pirates” are the biggest spenders and after seeing large bands hit markets with high piracy rates and still sell out shows, I would agree with that assertion.
Piracy, Streaming and Touring go hand in hand.