Update: Original source CITEworld has retracted their story -- "Due to writer error, an original version of this article stated that Iron Maiden used MusicMetric's analysis to plan its South American tours. MusicMetric did not work directly with Iron Maiden. The analysis described in this article was carried out without the band's participation or knowledge, and we have no confirmation that the band ever saw or used it. CITEworld deeply regrets this error, and we apologize to our readers."

Illegally downloading music is frowned upon, but Iron Maiden have managed to turn the issue into a positive. Instead of filing lawsuits or barraging the media with a list of names who have stolen music, Iron Maiden have instead used file-sharing information to plan their tour itineraries.

It's very normal for fans to find their newest favorite acts by illegally downloading music. After all, not many young people can buy hundreds of CDs each year. In fact, according to various studies, when music lovers go searching for new music, they actually end up spending more money than those who simply buy albums in the normal matter. File-sharers tend to dump more cash for legal purchases, concert tickets and merch after downloading music illegally, and Iron Maiden understand that dynamic.

Iron Maiden have enlisted the help of Musicmetric to analyze music piracy worldwide. “If you know what drives engagement you can maximize the value of your fan base," says Gregory Mead, CEO and co-founder of Musicmetric tells Cite. "Artists could say ‘we’re getting pirated here, let’s do something about it’, or ‘we’re popular here, let’s play a show.'"

Through Musicmetric, Iron Maiden found out that Brazilian pirates download more Maiden music than any other country. Because of these numbers, Iron Maiden turned the pirates into paying customers, planning a heavy South American tour schedule in 2013. In response, Iron Maiden played to sold out venues, making a ton of cash in the process.

Check out this TorrentFreak article to learn more about how Iron Maiden turned piracy into gold.