July 2, 2008
Bono’s (RED) to Launch Music Service
(RED), the nonprofit consumer AIDS advocacy organization cofounded by U2 frontman Bono, unveiled a digital music service June 30 that will benefit the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, The New York Times reports (nytimes, 6/30). The service, as yet unnamed, is scheduled to launch in September. Participating artists will include U2, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Elton John, Emmylou Harris and Death Cab for Cutie.
The service will give subscribers three new pieces of exclusive content each week for $5 a month. Half of the revenues will help fund disease relief in sub-Saharan Africa; the record companies and performers will get the rest.
Customers will be sent regular updates as to how the monies are directly impacting AIDS services. The Times notes that (RED) has been criticized for spending too much on the marketing of (RED) products, which include special iPods and Motorola phones, and too little on AIDS relief. The organization says that a subscription service that generates steady revenue would better sustain programs that provide antiretroviral medications.
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