Money Matters - Simplified

RIM planning to launch BlackBerry music service

BBM Music will be loaded on all new devices. The service will be available to BlackBerry Messenger’s 45 million users worldwide.

In a move to diversify BlackBerry and make it more consumer oriented, Research in Motion (RIM) is in talks to set up a social music platform that will provide limited digital tunes to mobile devices.

A new feature/application that will bring music and social media together using BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), the popular and instant messaging service, is expected to hit the markets in the coming weeks.

According to “sources familiar with the matter” RIM is negotiating with major record labels such as EMI Group, Sony Music, Warner Music Group and Universal to launch its own music service called BBM Music.

Though RIM has not confirmed a date yet, rumors indicate the upcoming BlackBerry music service may be launched in the United States by Labor Day, Sept. 5.

Though there is no official news on how much RIM will charge for the service, sources in the music industry claim it will be cheaper than Spotify, Rhapsody and other cloud music services which allow their users unlimited access to music for a monthly charge of $10.

BBM music service
BBM Music will be loaded on all new devices. The service will be available to BlackBerry Messenger’s 45 million users worldwide.

BBM music service will basically allow subscribers to share playlists and music tracks with friends, directly transferring music files from one device to the other over BBM.

Though there is no official news on how much RIM will charge for the service, sources in the music industry claim it will be cheaper than Spotify, Rhapsody and other cloud music services which allow their users unlimited access to music for a monthly charge of $10.

It is likely to be a paid subscription and is expected to cost less than $10 per month.

BBM users will be able to download about 50 tracks at once and also seamlessly share with other BBM users. In addition, they will be able to use 50 songs from others on BBM.

Attempt to stay competitive
The new music service for BlackBerry devices is an attempt by RIM to stay competitive in the mobile business.

Ever since Apple’s iPhone and smartphones using Google’s Android operating system hit the market, RIM’s North American market shares plunged to 12 percent in the second quarter from 19 percent a year earlier.