Led Zeppelin have reunited — at least, long enough to sign a deal with Spotify. The legendary rock heavies will finally make their song catalog available via the streaming service as part of an exclusive deal, the Swedish company announced today. And not only that: Listeners will be able to get their Led out on the go, as Spotify also confirmed it will offer a free mobile streaming service.
Zeppelin's entry into the streaming realm, which it had been trying to finalize at least since earlier this year, scratches another name of the short list of big-name acts who still say no to streaming. It's also a coup for Spotify as the streaming provider faces off against a growing array of competitors. Led Zep follows Metallica in inking an exclusive agreement with CEO Daniel Ek's offering.
Spotify will be adding Zeppelin's records gradually through December 15. Starting today (December 11), users can stream 1969's Led Zeppelin and Led Zeppelin II. December 12 brings 1970's Led Zeppelin III and 1971's untitled album, generally known as Led Zeppelin IV. December 13 adds 1973's Houses of the Holy and 1975's Physical Graffiti, while December 14 unlocks 1976's Presence and 1979's In Through the Out Door. The final batch consists of 1976's The Song Remains the Same, 1982's Coda, 1997's BBC Sessions, 2003's How the West Was Won, 2007's Mothership, and 2012's Celebration Day.
Also starting December 11, Spotify users can use the service for free on their phones and tablets. Previously, Spotify mobile streaming was available only with a premium subscription.
Phone users of Spotify's ad-supported service won't be able to choose songs on demand, as they can on their desktop computers. Istead, they'll be be able to shuffle randomly through their own playlists and the playlists of people they follow. They'll also be able to shuffle through artist catalogs. (Guessing this week that'll mean a whole lotta Zeppelin.)
Tablet users, however, will be able to choose songs on demand. But tablet users of the free, ad-supported service won't be able to download songs for offline listening, as they can with Spotify Premium.
Spotify's Zeppelin deal unites a rock behemoth with a company that could be well on its way to becoming one. Zep has sold more than 300 million copies of its albums globally. Spotify, with a catalog exceeding 20 million tracks, now has more than 24 million active users and more than six million paid subscribers.
Though Zep's surviving members came together for a 2007 reunion show-turned-film, they've studiously avoided a full blown tour, coming together only for the odd press conference, award ceremony, or late-night interview.
The music-streaming business has gotten a whole lot more crowded this year. Beats By Dre offshoot Beats Music is set to launch in January, with SPIN cover star Trent Reznor as its chief creative officer. Apple's iTunes Radio and Google's Google Play Music All Access both arrived this year. Google's YouTube could soon roll out its own paid subscription service.
Which reminds us: Not totally sure how this "exclusivity" thing works, but you can stream Physical Graffiti's "Kashmir" right now via YouTube below. (On Spotify, you won't have to watch the superfluous fan-made visuals.)