Tune Would Pave Zeppelin a $572M 'Stairway to Heaven'

A little informal addition indicates classic-rock masterpiece is a gold mine
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2008 10:18 AM CDT

(Newser) – With Led Zeppelin's first iTunes-sold album boosting the classic Stairway to Heaven back into various charts, Portfolio sounded out entertainment execs on what the tune might really be worth if the "notoriously protective" band would loosen the shackles. The final math: $572 million. A look at the breakdown:

  • Publishing royalties: You won't find "Stairway" in movies or commercials, but the song has been played on the radio an estimated 2,985,000 times. Total: $12 million.
  • Master recording: "Stairway" has appeared on four albums, and was featured on DVDs that sold 2 million copies. Total: $550 million.
  • Potential earnings: If Zep decided to license its masterpiece to advertising, it could score as much as $8 million for just one campaign. Total: $10 million or more.