The New (Red) Music Service: Now with More Elvis

iPod Red  The (RED) organization, a nonprofit that raises money to fight the AIDS epidemic in Africa, has just announced the creation of a music service that will feature new songs by U2, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Elton John, Emmylou Harris and Death Cab for Cutie. In addition to that exclusive content, subscribers to the (RED) music service will have access to almost all of the content from the forthcoming Sundance Channel series, “Spectacle: Elvis Costello With …“.

The still-unnamed service, which is scheduled to start in September, will deliver customers three new pieces of exclusive content a week for a monthly fee of $5. Half of that money will go through (RED) to the Global Fund, and the other half will go to the artists who contribute songs and to their record companies. As with (RED)’s branded products, like a special iPod and Motorola phone, companies will sacrifice part but not all of their profits, and consumers will know that some of the money they spend goes to the AIDS-in-Africa cause.

Each week (RED)’s service will deliver two songs in MP3 format, one from a superstar act like U2, whose frontman, Bono, was a co-founder of (RED), and one from a less established artist. The third piece of content will be a “crackerjack surprise,” a song, video or short story.

(RED) will get some of its songs from “Spectacle: Elvis Costello With …,” a music-theme talk show that will make its debut on the Sundance Channel this fall. The organization will be able to use almost all the music performed by Mr. Costello and his guests, although it will not necessarily take all of it. “If you’re going to create something,” Mr. Costello said, “it’s good to know that there’s more to it than profit.” []

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