RIM Unveils BBM Music

Research In Motion (RIM) has unveiled BBM Music, a subscription-based BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) service for socially-connected music fans.

It’s a cloud-based service that enables social and viral music discovery. It enables users to build an evolving, community-based music library that is shared amongst their BBM Music friends. The size of the music library continues to grow as new friends join the community and each user can select music from a catalogue with millions of songs from leading music companies – Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI.

Users can build a personal music profile with 50 of their favourite songs, and refresh their profile by swapping out up to 25 songs each month. They can invite their BBM friends to subscribe to BBM Music and to join the BBM Music community.

Up to 50 tracks from each user’s personal profile are shared with their BBM Music Community, and each member of the user’s community shares up to 50 songs from their profile with the user. This enables users to discover music that their BBM Music friends are and comment on friends’ songs and playlists. User can listen to full tracks from their friends’ profiles. The service also enables users to create multiple playlists from music in their own profile as well as their friends’ profiles. Finally, music can be saved to the phone for offline listening, allowing users to access songs even when they don’t have wireless coverage. 

Cloud music service provider Omnifone is providing RIM with the back-end solution for the service, including content management, music hosting and reporting functions based on Omnifone’s award winning technology. Omnifones solution helps facilitate the delivery of a full music catalogue to BBM Music users, and also includes comprehensive compensation reporting for copyright holders.

A closed beta trial of the BBM Music service begins today in the UK, US and Canada. The service is expected to be commercially available to customers later this year for a monthly subscription of $4.99 in Australia, Canada, Columbia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, the UK and the US. RIM notes, however, that pricing may vary by country, and will be announced upon availability in each country. It cautions also that data charges may apply if music is downloaded over cellular networks in conjunction with limited data plans.

“More than 45m customers already love the social communication benefits delivered through BBM, and we are thrilled to be extending the experience into a uniquely social and interactive music service,” says Mike Lazaridis, RIM’s president and co-CEO. “We have partnered with leading music companies to provide a full track music sharing and discovery experience that will provide users with quality music on demand, and allow them to connect with friends on a whole new level.”