Led Zeppelin Goes Digital

Posted on October 17, 2007

Led ZeppelinLed Zeppelin is finally going to be selling its albums online. Warner Music Group confirmed in a statement that Led Zeppelin would be going digital through mobile phones. CNN's Media Biz called Led Zeppelin one of the few remaining holdouts and says there will also be iTunes, Napster and Rhapsody availability in addition to the mobile outlets in Warner Music's statement.
Led Zeppelin, one of the few remaining holdouts in the digital music age, said Monday that it is finally releasing its catalog digitally. The only official announcement from the group's record label, Atlantic Records, which is owned by Warner Music Group (WMG), discussed how songs would be available through the V CAST music service of Verizon Wireless, the mobile phone service owned by Verizon (VZ) and Vodafone (VD).

But a spokesman for Warner Music Group confirmed to me Monday that other reports about Led Zeppelin's music becoming available on other major music stores on Nov. 13 were true. That means people will be able to download "Stairway to Heaven," "Kashmir" and other Zeppelin hits from Apple's (AAPL) iTunes, Napster (NAPS) and RealNetworks' (RNWK) Rhapsody for their MP3 players beginning next month.

This is big news for all the online music stores since Led Zeppelin, according to figures from the Recording Industry Association of America, is the fourth-biggest selling artist in U.S. history. Only The Beatles, Elvis Presley and Garth Brooks have sold more albums.

It's also good news for Warner Music Group since it opens up yet another way for the company to cash in on Zeppelin's back catalog. The big record labels may increasingly find that their livelihood will depend on nostalgia.
Best Week Ever notes that the day Led Zeppelin's music is available on iTunes is the same day their double-Greatest Hits album comes out. Gizmodo writes that the Led Zeppelin digital music will be available at all online music stores. Sounds good but this is 2007 -- it's about time Zeppelin.