Product RED: get music, fight AIDS

This fall you’ll be able to download new music and donate to the Global Fund … at the same time.

Product RED is planning to launch a digital music service.  For monthly fee of $5, each month users will get 2 songs (mp3 format), one from a well-known musician and the other from an up-and-coming artist, and one surprise item.  According to reports, this would all be “exclusive content.”  Half the money earned will go to the Global Fund; half will go to the musicians and their record companies.

According to this article from the Kaiser Network, “U2, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Elton John, Emmylou Harris and Death Cab for Cutie” are among the artists already signed up to participate.

Product RED (co-founded by Bono, a famous musician himself) is an initiative that teams up with popular brands and products like Gap and iPod to donate money to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.  When consumers buy designated RED products, the company donates a percentage of the purchase price to the Global Fund.

According to the Kaiser Network article:

Some critics of RED have said it does not direct enough of the profits from its products to HIV/AIDS relief in comparison to the amount of money companies spend promoting their RED products. The organization’s approach is to find businesses that can finance HIV/AIDS treatment in a sustainable way, and a subscription music service that generates steady revenue would fit that approach, according to the Times (Levine, New York Times, 6/30).

To find out more about Product RED, check out its website and blog.

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~ by h.e.g. on July 3, 2008.

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