Focus: Communications - Site Visit -

War Child Music is the digital music retail branch of the child humanitarian agency War Child.

The site has just celebrated its first birthday with the download release of Help: A Day in the Life, in which bands including Radiohead and the Kaiser Chiefs helped record an online download album in record time.

To add to the celebrations, the site has just been nominated in the Best Digital Music Store category at this year's BT Digital Music Awards, which take place later this month. Other nominees include online giants such as iTunes and Napster.

Main pages

The homepage is beautifully bleak, featuring nothing but War Child's powerful message, a plea to visitors to 'Act Now!' and links to the site's principal areas - 'Buy Downloads' and 'Take Action'.

Inside is a music download site with a difference. Alongside tracklists and latest news, users can peruse 'True Stories' of War Child's work with Afghanistan's child prisoners and music therapy in Mostar, to name but a couple. It's a persuasive way to convince music fans that this is the site they should be using.

Special features

The downloads are a given, but users can subscribe to the site for £3.50 a month to receive four exclusive downloads. Users can also register to receive a regular newsletter or get involved in any number of music or War Child-related forums on the message board.

War Child Music says:

"In the build-up to Help, the site received more than a million hits in one afternoon. We think this is a perfect opportunity to deliver our simple message directly to hundreds of thousands of young people, safe in the knowledge that if the only action these music fans take is downloading music, they are still raising vital funds for the charity."

Site visit is by Tony Hodson

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