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Coldplay to give next single away for free

Members of British rock band Coldplay, drummer Will Champion (L), guitarist Jonny Buckland (2nd L), lead singer Chris Martin, and bass guitarist Guy Berryman (R) pose before a news conference in Buenos Aires February 22, 2007. REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian

LONDON (Reuters) - Coldplay will give away the first single from their new album for free over the Internet, the British band said on its Web site.

A note posted on says that fans can download “Violet Hill”, from the album “Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends”, free for one week from 1115 GMT on Tuesday. The album will be launched in Britain on June 12.

Coldplay also announced two free shows -- one at London’s Brixton Academy on June 16 and another at Madison Square Garden in New York on June 23.

The giveaway is the latest attempt by musicians to win fans and media exposure through new marketing initiatives.

Last year Prince gave away his album “Planet Earth” for free with copies of a weekly newspaper, angering retailers and the record label which had a deal to distribute it.

A seven-inch vinyl version of “Violet Hill” will also be given away on the cover if the music weekly NME on May 7.

Radiohead topped the album charts in Britain and the United States after initially offering listeners the chance to pay what they wanted to download the album “In Rainbows”.

As bands seek new ways to sell their music and connect with fans, particularly over the Internet, record labels are struggling to keep pace and have lost a number of top acts from their rostas as a result of the industry shakeup.

Reporting by Mike Collett-White