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Led Zeppelin’s Spotify Deal Hits Tribute Bands Hard

Led Zeppelin
Danny E. Martindale, Getty Images

Led Zeppelin’s decision last week to finally allow their music to be streamed on Spotify may be a financial boom to the two parties involved, but it is likely to negatively affect the bottom line of those who were covering the band’s catalog on the popular online service.

Fast Company tells us of the plight of Led ZepAgain, a tribute band that had been the most popular way to hear Led Zeppelin’s music online, racking up millions of plays along the way. The group, which pays the necessary licensing fees to Led Zeppelin, states that Spotify brought them six-figure revenue annually and increased attendance at their shows. But they now see an end to their streaming dominance in sight.

“I feel great that Led ZepAgain got a good run at it — it could only last so long,” frontman Swan Montgomery says. “ZepAgain was doing the best we could to recreate Zeppelin as close as we could, and we were good enough for the moment, and everybody loved it. But now [fans] can get the real thing.”

However, for bands like AC/DC and the Beatles that have yet to make a deal with Spotify, tribute bands will still thrive. And there are also copycat acts who post their work under pseudonyms — like “Michael Bubble” — in the hopes that listeners will misspell the name of a popular musician.

Next: Top 50 Led Zeppelin Songs

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