AC/DC plugs in at Verizon


AC/DC is finally selling its music digitally. But not on iTunes.

Verizon Wireless has snagged the exclusive rights to sell AC/DC's entire catalog through March, becoming the first and only digital music store to offer the band's content.

However, the deal is limited to full-album downloads, one of the reasons AC/DC's music has not appeared in digital form to date. Since full-album downloads are too large and too expensive to sell for mobile phones, Verizon is only selling them from the PC version of its V Cast Music service for $12 an album.

The only exception is the group's biggest hit, "You Shook Me All Night Long," which will be the only single available as an over-the-air download.

Verizon also has gained the rights to sell ringtones and ringback tones of 18 new tracks not available from other operators. The company also plans to broadcast AC/DC's Live at Donnington concert and other performances via the V Cast TV service. Unlike on-demand mobile video services, the V Cast TV service allows users to tune into scheduled programming much like regular TV.

According to Ed Ruth, associate director of music of programming and sponsorships, Verizon hopes to add performances by other artists to the V Cast TV channel over time.

"This is an indicator of things to come," Ruth said.

Antony Bruno is a contributor to Billboard.