Could Led Zeppelin be launching their own streaming platform?
The band has filed an application to trademark the name 'The Led Zeppelin Experience' for what looks like an exclusive streaming service for live performances.
A trademark application filed in the US has stirred speculation that heavy metal pioneers Led Zeppelin could be planning to launch their own streaming service.
According to the fansite LedZepNews, the band's application attempts to trademark the name 'The Led Zeppelin Experience' for a service that will offer “non-downloadable prerecorded music online via a global computer network.”
Because of the vague nature of the wordings (it sounds like it was written during the early days of the internet!), it's hard to gauge exactly what Led Zep has planned. But the timing of the affair couldn't be apter. It follows a cryptic tease from the band’s guitarist Jimmy Page last year that 2018 -- the year marks the band’s 50th anniversary -- would see the release of a “Led Zeppelin product” as well as “all manner of surprises,” hinting that there were plenty of surprises in store for the band’s fans. This could very well be one of them.
LedZepNews reports that similar filings were made in Europe and the UK earlier this year. The US trademark application specifically refers to live audio recordings rather than studio albums. The filing reportedly aims to cover areas that include "entertainment services, namely, live audio performances by musical groups, live musical performances, live visual and audio performances by a musical group, live vocal performances by musical bands, theatrical and concert production; publication of printed matter; production and distribution of television shows, motion picture films, video recordings and audio recordings.”
Earlier this March, the US Patent and Trademark Office provisionally refused Led Zep's application in full. The group’s lawyers were told the phrase had matched other trademarks Led Zeppelin already owns under the band’s name. Undeterred, they reportedly hired a US company to submit new information about the streaming service. As with its European filing, the band has filed to trademark the phrase for clothing in the US. This includes “t-shirts, jackets, pants, underwear, sweaters, shirts, ties, skirts, socks, scarves, shorts, dresses, belts; headgear, namely, hats and caps; footwear.”
Also, earlier this year, before trademarking the phrase in the UK and Europe, Led Zep reportedly personally approached Jason Bonham (son of legendary drummer John Bonham) to change the name of his band from 'The Led Zeppelin Experience' to 'Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening'.
"They have plans for the terminology, Led Zeppelin Experience. And I was like, ‘Um, okay, but I need to keep the logo, JBLZE.’ One, I have the tag on my car, and two, I have a huge backdrop that I paid for last year," the junior Bonham said in an interview earlier this February.
"For me it’s about the music. So the name of it — I just wanted to keep the logo. So I said, ‘I got it. Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening.’ I don’t know what they have planned, but I said, ‘Okay, I will clear the way so they can do what they wish.’”
The filing did not indicate what the business model for the service would be, so what exactly the band has planned remains to be seen. Surely there's no requirement for another ultra-exclusive streaming service (Tidal's got that covered) and Led Zeppelin’s discography has been available on Spotify since 2013. Even hi-fi remasters of the several of the band’s albums are available on both Apple Music as well as Spotify. So if it's going to be exclusively for footage of live shows, it might not be the best idea to opt for the subscription model.
If the intention is to release the product to mark the band's 50th anniversary, Led Zeppelin is on the clock with just three months left. An official announcement should be made soon enough.