Bono and the Product (RED) team plan a music subscription service to raise funds for the fight against AIDS in Africa.
To be launched this autumn the new scheme is being led by Hear Music founder, Don MacKinnon, founder of Hear Music and former VP music and entertainment at Starbucks.
Under the scheme, music fans and (RED) supporters will be able to sign-up for the $5 per month service, in return they will receive classic music from world class acts, new sounds from up and coming artists, information about (RED) and a surprise piece of digital content each month.
U2, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Elton John, Emmylou Harris and Death Cab for Cutie have all signed-up to take part in this initiative, a report claims.
“(RED) is such a powerful model,” said MacKinnon. “The world’s best brands created (RED) products that have generated over $110 million. What we are doing now is applying the (RED) model to music. Every week you will receive great music from amazing artists and people living with AIDS in Africa will receive lifesaving antiretroviral medicine.”
All the songs are permanent downloads in unprotected MP3 format. The content is delivered via a small application that the user downloads to their computer’s desktop, built by Passalong Networks.
Half of each month’s membership fee will be contributed directly to the Global Fund. Just five subscribers will generate enough money annually to provide a person living with HIV with antiretroviral treatment for one year.
“Don MacKinnon just might be the penicillin the ailing music business needs. He is an innovator by nature and 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 help purchase,” said Bono.