One million copies of the new Band Aid single Do They Know It's Christmas? will be sent to record shops in time for its UK release on Monday.
However, users of the world's most popular online music store, Apple's iTunes, cannot download the track. Other download services have agreed to raise their usual song prices and give proceeds to the Band Aid Trust charity, which is raising money for food aid in Darfur, Sudan. But Apple was unwilling to do the same, according to Band Aid organisers. Apple was not available for comment.
Some 10,000 people have downloaded the song - most as a two-track package with the original for £1.99. On its own, it costs £1.49. The new song was a new entry at number five in this week's download chart. It would have been higher but chart rules exclude multiple tracks sold as packages. Sales of the physical CD single are expected to easily make it Christmas number one and the year's biggest-selling single. The current top-seller of 2004 so far is Eamon's I Don't Want You Back with more than 500,000.
Some shops will open early on Monday, with the artists, record company and major music shops among those to give their shares of the proceeds to the charity. HMV has joined Virgin Megastores and Woolworths to donate their funds, while the government is to refund the VAT paid on the single and recently-released Live Aid DVD.
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