Plans to introduce a Product (RED)-supporting music download service are advanced, but the Bono-backed group’s keeping plans close to its chest even as the anticipated autumn launch looms.
A representative of the group told Distorted Loop, “We have nothing new to announce since the last press release we sent to you – but hopefully soon!”
The last press release summarised most all the information available, confirming the subscription-based plan is designed to create a new revenue stream for artists and labels and to buy life-saving medicine for those living with AIDS in Africa.
Don MacKinnon, founder of HEAR Music and former Vice President of Music & Entertainment of Starbucks Coffee Company, designed and developed this concept.
“(RED) is such a powerful model,” said Don MacKinnon, President of (RED) Content. “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.”
For five dollars a month, members will receive weekly issues containing a selection of four elements: an exclusive (RED) song; a track from an emerging artist, an interesting piece of non-music content and stories about how cash raised through (RED) is saving lives.
All the songs are permanent downloads in unprotected MP3 format. Half of each month’s membership fee will be contributed directly to the Global Fund – it’s worth pondering over the fact that 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.
Since the group confirmed this news, a report elsewhere confirmed that Jaworski of PassAlong Networks has joined in on the project, and suggests bands including Radiohead may already be queuing up to get involved.