The 18-track album Songs for Life will be sold for US$13.99 (AU$18), with individual tracks going for 99 US cents (AU$1.28) each. The proceeds will go to US-based charity Royal Initiative to Combat AIDS (RICA), which is aimed at combating the spread of the disease in southern Africa through education, research and treatment.
"The international launch of Songs for Life online represents an example of one of the many ways digital rights management technology and peer-to-peer technology can be leveraged, in this case to benefit an important cause," said Derek Broes, executive vice president of Worldwide Operations for Altnet, which partners with Sharman Networks to provide paid-for content on the Kazaa network. The peer-to-peer technology company is attempting to turn file-sharing into a legitimate and profitable business model.
The album is paid for using Altnet's payment system, and the tracks are digitally protected so they have to be paid for each time they are shared.
The service will be competing with online music stores which have exploded onto the Web in the last few months. Destra offers tracks for 99 AU cents and above, while Telstra launched with a two-tiered payment system, with tracks selling for AU$1.49 for Telstra customers and AU$1.89 for non-Telstra customers.