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World's Greatest Artists Help Launch (RED)WIRE, (RED)(TM)'s New Music Service That Fights AIDS in Africa




NEW YORK, Dec. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, World AIDS Day, many of the greatest artists on the globe will world-premiere exclusive songs to mark the launch of (RED)WIRE, the innovative new music service from (RED). Throughout the day, visit to see performances from U2, Jay-Z, Coldplay, John Legend, Dixie Chicks, The Killers & Elton John, The Police & Elvis Costello, Death Cab for Cutie andSheryl Crow. Visit today and all throughout the week to sign up and learn more about the service and its commitment to fighting AIDS in Africa.

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(RED)WIRE is a digital music magazine that saves lives in Africa. Every Wednesday, (RED)WIRE members receive an issue delivered to their desktop featuring exclusive music from the world's greatest artists. Half of the $5 monthly fee goes directly to the Global Fund ( to fight AIDS in Africa. Members who join before Wednesday, December 10 will become "Founding Members" of (RED)WIRE and receive the premier issue on December 10 as well as a special bonus song from Jay-Z.

(RED)WIRE has partnered with one of the world's most powerful online networks, MSN, to reach millions of people with its launch event today. To participate in the launch, users can go to, where, throughout the day, MSN will broadcast world premiere songs and videos from some of the world's most popular artists via an interactive, video experience developed specifically for the (RED)WIRE launch. MSN will also be the premier portal destination for people to learn more about (RED)WIRE artists and hear exclusive music from (RED)WIRE. Support of (RED)WIRE by MSN builds on Microsoft's existing relationship through its Windows Vista Ultimate (PRODUCT)RED offering.

"MSN is honored to introduce (RED)WIRE to the hundreds of millions of people that visit MSN each month," said Lisa Gurry, director for MSN. "The launch event on MSN today is an amazing opportunity for people to view incredible performances from top artists, while helping save lives at the same time."

(RED)WIRE has also selected iLike,the web's leading social music discovery service, as the social-networking channel to help spread (RED)WIRE organically to music fans and their friends. (RED)WIRE content will be posted regularly on iLike for streaming and sampling, and syndicated to iLike's 30 million registered users via multiple channels including iLike's dominant music app on Facebook(R) and the popular iLike Sidebar for iTunes. iLike will also enable (RED)WIRE artists to communicate directly with fans and enable fans to spread the word and sign up their friends.

Ali Partovi, CEO of iLike, says, "We're delighted to serve as a platform for artists and fans to come together around a shared goal of saving lives. Now you can go to iLike to see video messages from your favorite (RED)WIRE artists, sample the new music and help save lives by sharing it with friends. I have no doubt that the electrifying talent and content in (RED)WIRE will galvanize our audience."

Additionally, W Hotels will be hosting live listening parties throughout their U.S. locations this evening as a kickoff for their ongoing support of (RED)WIRE. W Hotels will share (RED)WIRE with their guests, incorporate the music into the W experience and invite guests to sign up.

Those who purchase (RED)WIRE memberships at will be able to download a special custom player that allows them to experience each issue in an immersive, visual, magazine-like interface. For $5 a month, members will receive a weekly digital music offering including an exclusive song from a major artist, a song from an up-and-coming artist, and a special piece of varied content (such as a digital short film, photography or a reading from an artist or actor) as well as a window about the impact (RED) dollars have in Africa. All (RED)WIRE content is DRM-free and can be burned to a CD and played on any device.

Applying the (RED) idea to music, (RED)WIRE will help buy life-saving medicine and other services for those living with HIV in Africa. Half of each month's membership fee will be contributed directly to the Global Fund, who will in turn ensure that every cent of this money is invested in HIV and AIDS programs in Africa. Just five members will generate enough money, each month, to buy antiretroviral medicine for one person living with HIV in Africa. (RED)WIRE also creates a new revenue stream for artists and labels and a new way for consumers to discover new music.

Don MacKinnon, founder of Hear Music and former Vice President of Music & Entertainment of Starbucks Coffee Company, conceived (RED)WIRE to help create a platform for music discovery and an annuity to buy medicine for Africans living with HIV. MacKinnon, president of (RED)WIRE said, "Every week, when you receive this great music, you'll know you are helping people in Africa get the medicine they need. It's that simple."

"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 and change the lives of Africans who will die without the AIDS drugs that (RED) can help provide," said Bono, co-founder of (RED).

The (RED)WIRE player, designed by IDEO and built by PassAlong Networks, runs on all Windows and Mac computers. It is built on the Adobe(R) Flash Platform using Adobe AIR(TM), letting people experience the (RED)WIRE web application outside their browser, providing quick and easy access to the immersive (RED)WIRE digital music service on their desktop.

This is the first (RED) initiative that allows (RED) to communicate directly with the people who've chosen to buy a (RED) product or service. "(RED)WIRE is an important addition to the (RED) family of products and services. Not only because it creates an annuity to buy lifesaving medicine and other essential services for those living with HIV in Africa who will need to take this treatment for the rest of their lives, but also because it gives us our first direct relationship with (RED) consumers, creating a new platform to directly communicate the impact their (RED) purchases are having on people's lives," said Susan Smith Ellis, CEO, (RED).


(RED)'s new digital music service, (RED)WIRE, is an innovative platform for music discovery. Many of the greatest artists on the globe have gathered to contribute extraordinary music to help launch this new digital music service including Bob Dylan, R.E.M., U2, Jay-Z, Coldplay, John Legend, Dixie Chicks, Emmylou Harris, Faith Hill,Cat PowerThe Killers & Elton John, The Police & Elvis Costello, Death Cab for Cutie, Keith Urban, Sheryl Crow, and many more. For $5 a month, (RED)WIRE members will receive a weekly digital music offering from these and many other iconic artists. Applying the (RED) idea to music, (RED)WIRE will help buy life-saving medicine and other services for those living with HIV in Africa by delivering half of each member's monthly fee to the Global Fund, a dominant financer of programs to eliminate AIDS globally. (RED)WIRE not only provides a new way for customers to discover new music, but also provides an ongoing window into the impact (RED) dollars are having in Africa.

About (RED) TM and (PRODUCT) RED(TM)

(RED)'s primary objective is to engage the private sector in raising awareness and funds for the Global Fund, to help eliminate AIDS in Africa. Companies whose products take on the (PRODUCT)RED mark contribute a significant percentage of the sales or portion of the profits from that product to the Global Fund to finance AIDS programs in Africa, with an emphasis on the health of women and children. Current partners are: American Express (U.K. only), Apple, Converse, Gap, Emporio Armani, Hallmark, Dell, Windows and Starbucks. Since its launch in the spring of 2006, more than $115 million has been generated by (RED) for the Global Fund. (RED) money is at work in Swaziland, Rwanda, Ghana and Lesotho. For more information, visit

About the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Since its creation in 2002, the Global Fund has become the dominant financer of programs to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, with approved funding of US$15 billion for programs in 139 countries. The Global Fund supports programs based on agreed performance targets and disburses money in response to proven results. So far, programs supported by the Global Fund have averted more than 2.5 million deaths by providing AIDS treatment for 1.75 million people, TB treatment for 3.9 million people, and by the distribution of 59 million insecticide-treated bed nets for the prevention of malaria worldwide.

(RED)TM is the Global Fund's largest private sector contributor. For more information, please visit

About (RED)WIRE's Partners

IDEO -- A global design and innovation consultancy, IDEO designed the (RED)WIRE player that will deliver content to subscribers. Recently named by Fast Company as the #5 most innovative company in the world, IDEO aims to help businesses transform the way they develop products, services and processes. IDEO's clients include global brands such as Samsung, Bank of America, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Marriott, Eli Lilly and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

iLike -- The web's leading social music discovery service and dominant music application on Facebook(R), iLike will provide (RED)WIRE a platform for syndicating, streaming and sampling content, for enabling artists to communicate directly with fans and for fans to spread the word to their friends. With more than 30 million registered users, iLike will harness its social media assets to cultivate the viral spread of (RED)WIRE.

MSN -- The (RED)WIRE Launch Event will be broadcast on MSN, as part of Microsoft's ongoing partnership with (RED). MSN is one of the world's most popular Internet destinations. As such, MSN provides the ideal platform for people to come together in honor of World AIDS Day to celebrate the launch of (RED)WIRE and help raise money for the Global Fund in the fight against AIDS in Africa. Beginning today, people can go to to participate in the online launch event. On a weekly basis throughout the year, MSN will host an interactive destination to learn more about (RED)WIRE artists and exclusively stream select (RED)WIRE content. Overall, MSN, Windows Live and attract more than 550 million unique users worldwide per month with localized versions available globally in 42 markets and 21 languages.

PassAlong Networks -- PassAlong Networks built the (RED)WIRE desktop application on Adobe AIR technology. Founded in 2002, PassAlong Networks began its foray into digital media distribution by launching the company's own music download store. PassAlong has since developed several innovative consumer products geared toward media distribution including OnTour(R), Speakerheart(TM) and StoreBlocks(TM). The company is now leveraging its media services engine to deliver content to wireless consumer electronics devices including mobile phones, media players and devices found in the connected home.

W Hotels -- W Hotels Worldwide is proud to be the official hotel partner of (RED)WIRE. Through this exciting partnership, W Hotels will encourage music-loving jetsetters around the world to sign up, helping to raise much-needed monies for the Global Fund. W Hotels guests and loyalists will be given unique access to the world of (RED)WIRE through special offers that include free, two-week trial memberships upon check-in. Exclusive (RED)WIRE Packages will be available at all W Hotels and include multi-month (RED)WIRE memberships, (RED)-inspired cocktails and exclusive (RED)WIRE content created just for W guests. On December 1, select W Hotels across the US will host official Viewing Parties to stream the launch performances and provide hotel guests and local W loyalists the opportunity to subscribe to (RED)WIRE.

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