Healthy competition is always a good thing, especially in the world of streaming where it can be far too easy for one or two companies to come out dominating the market for one reason or another. What isn't so sensible is launching a streaming service for the sake of it, which seems to be happening to Led Zeppelin. If trademark filings are to be believed the band will be launching one some time before the end of the year. All I have to ask is why?
LedZepNews is reporting on the filing, which details a service for playing "providing non-downloadable prerecorded music on-line via a global computer network" called 'The Led Zeppelin Experience'. Apparently the idea is to focus on pre-recorded audio from the band's live shows, rather than studio alums, but it's not entirely clear what the service is designed to offer. Surely a Led Zeppelin streaming service would need to include the band's entire catalogue to draw people in, even if much of it is already available on other platforms.
And still I'm wondering why. There's a very good chance that such a service will be premium, and will force users to pay if they want to access the catalogue. While Jimmy Page has confirmed there are plans to release new Led Zeppelin material over the next ten years, there's only so much you could get out of such a specific service. Asking for a monthly subscription, especially when you'll be able to listen to most of it elsewhere, is asking a lot. Unless, of course, the band is opting to follow the Stargate Command approach, with a single one-off payment for a lifetime 'All Access' pass.
That would make a lot more sense, but it's still a weird situation. Everyone wants a piece of the streaming revenue pie, rather than handing off chunks to other services. It's starting to happen more and more, and LedZepNews points out that similar filings were filed earlier this year related to Prince - a musician infamous for his aversion to having his music on streaming platforms. Again a little weird, even though he did have a literal vault of unreleased material when he died.
2018 does mark Led Zeppelin's 50th anniversary, and since there's only three months of the year left it probably won't be long before we get some solid details on whatever The Led Zeppelin Experience will involve. Assuming, of course, that it actually goes ahead and the trademark filing was just a precautionary measure to stop someone else swooping in somehow. [LedZepNews via The Verge]