Senin, 30 Juni 2008

After tackling cell phones, iPods, laptops, and desktops, the (RED) organization on Monday announced plans to launch an online music service that will feature original songs from participating artists.

The offering will launch in September for $5 per month. Each week subscribers will receive an exclusive (RED) song from an established musician, a new song from an emerging artist, a "crackerjack surprise" of non-music content, and stories of how (RED) dollars are being spent in Africa.

(RED) is a charity organization started by U2 lead singer Bono and Bobby Shriver that teams up with various companies and donates a portion of the proceeds to help women and children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Half of the proceeds will be donated to (RED) efforts. Five subscriptions is enough money to provide antiretroviral treatment to someone living with HIV for an entire year, according to (RED).

Downloads will be available in a DRM-free format and delivered to a users desktop via a downloadable application, according to (RED). The app was designed by IDEO and built by PassAlong Networks.

Artists like U2, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Elton John, Emmylou Harris, and Death Cab for Cutie have already committed to provide music for the project, (RED) confirmed.

This music offering was the brainchild of Don MacKinnon, founder of HEAR Music, former vice president of music and entertainment of Starbucks, and current president of (RED) content.

"Every week you will receive great music from amazing artists and people living with AIDS in Africa will receive lifesaving antiretroviral medicine," MacKinnon said in a statement.

"I have no doubt that some of the music software we are working on at (RED) will help change the way music is received, as well as changing the lives of Africans who will die without the AIDS drug that (RED) can provide," Bono said in a statement.

This online music store is the first interactive offering from (RED), and the organization is looking to leverage the subscriber base from this project to create a sustainable flow of money to African AIDS programs.

"This new direct link to customers is very important to (RED). Not only because it creates an annuity to buy lifesaving medicine for those living with AIDS in Africa, but also because it gives us a direct relationship with (RED) consumers, creating a new platform to communicate the impact (RED) purchases are having on peoples lives," said Susan Smith Ellis, chief executive of (RED).

Those interested in the project can pre-register at

Earlier this year, Dell and Microsoft teamed up to provide customized versions of Dell products as part of a pledge to help (RED).


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