BlackBerry music service launched
Cape Town - Research In Motion (RIM) has announced a cloud-based music service for its BlackBerry smartphones.
The service, dubbed BBM Music, allows users to share music with friends on the social network when the device is connected to a wireless network.
Users on BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) can choose from a song catalogue and share the library with 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," RIM said.
This venture represents RIM's entry into the online music space where companies such as Apple, Google and several online vendors that stream music, such as Grooveshark, have offered services.
The BBM Music subscription service allows users to build a profile of only 50 songs, but users can swop 25 tracks each month.
"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," said Mike Lazaridis, president of RIM.
The service was developed by Omnifone for RIM and the app allows subscribers to listen to their friends' full tracks and these can be saved to smartphones for offline listening when there is no wireless network present.
Social media is playing a larger role in the consumption of digital media and companies are looking for ways to expand their footprint in the social media space.
"A major component of online music continues to be about community, and the ability to discover new artists and music through word of mouth," said Rob Wells, president of Global Digital Business for Universal Music Group.
Given that the service runs on wireless networks; despite the dominance on BlackBerry smartphones in SA, free wireless networks are rare and this may be problematic for users of the service when it launches in this country.
"The widespread adoption of mobile devices provides the perfect foundation for consuming and sharing music. Brands that want to deliver a unique interactive experience must create services that are mobile, social, and contextual," said Maribel Lopez Principal at Lopez Research and Constellation Research Group.
The service will be launched in Australia, Canada, Columbia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, the UK, the US and will cost $4.99 per month.
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