RIM launches BBM Music, for the love of the “BlackBerry Boys”

Blackberry-maker Research in Motion (RIM) has given some more love to the fruit-flavored phone owners in the form of BBM Music, just days after launching the BB Curve 9350/9360/9370 — the last of the 5 devices they launched recently. BBM Music is an addition to the highly popular BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service offered by RIM to its device holders. A Spotify-esque service, BBM Music allows users to get and keep up to 50 songs in their personal library upon payment of $5 per month. What’s the big deal, you might ask. Well, as with their BBM (messenger), RIM have added the social element to the BBM Music as well. You can add BBM Music friends to your circle and access their 50 songs as well (so RIM wants you to add strangers, eh). Not enough? You are also allowed to swap up to 25 songs per month for new ones to refresh your music library with the latest tunes, with your current library being stored locally on your handset.

The service was built by British music services company Omnifone, which has licensed 10m tracks across all music genres from classical to contemporary rock and pop, with new music generally available on the day of release.

The music, licensed from Universal Music Group, Sony, Warner Music Group and EMI, is essentially rented – it can be downloaded onto phones and listened to when the handset is offline, but cannot be transferred to other devices.

BBM Music

The new service begins today in closed beta for residents of the US, Canada and the UK, but more countries will be added down the road.

Show Press Release

RIM Announces BBM Music – A New Social Music Sharing and Discovery Service

New Cloud-Based Music Service Makes Music a Social Experience

Waterloo, ON – Research In Motion (RIM) today announced BBM Music, a new BBM (BlackBerry® Messenger) service for socially connected music fans.

BBM Music is an easy-to-use cloud-based service that enables social and viral music discovery by allowing 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 catalog with millions of songs from leading music companies – Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI.

“More than 45 million 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,” said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at Research In Motion. “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.”

Key features of BBM Music include:
– Music made social – BBM Music is a cloud-based, social music service that allows you to share and discover music with your friends, creating a continually evolving music library:
– Build a personal music profile with 50 of your favorite songs. You can refresh your profile by swapping out up to 25 songs each month.
– Invite your BBM friends to subscribe to BBM Music and to join your BBM Music Community.
– With each friend that is added to BBM Music, you grow your music collection since the songs from the profile of each BBM Music friend are available to you at any time.
– Up to 50 tracks from your personal profile are shared with your BBM Music Community, and each member of your community shares up to 50 songs from their profile with you.
– Enjoy a truly social community-based music experience – the more friends who join your community, the more songs you can listen to.
– Easily discover music that your BBM Music friends are listening to, and comment on your friends‟ songs and playlists.
– You can create multiple playlists from music in your profile as well as all of your friends‟ profiles, and with one click you can shuffle the entire collection of music from your BBM Music Community. You can even see which friend contributed each song while it plays.
– Within your BBM Music app, you also see a visual timeline that shows the recent updates of all users within your community. It gives you a chronological view of community updates, including who added new friends, which songs were added or removed, which playlists were created and what comments were made by your BBM Music friends.
– Listen to Full Tracks – BBM Music subscribers can listen to full tracks from their friends‟ profiles – not just previews.
– Offline Listening – Music can be saved to smartphones for offline listening, allowing users to access songs even when they don‟t have wireless coverage.
– Topping the Charts – Keep track of how many friends are listening to your tracks.

“A major component of online music continues to be about community, and the ability to discover new artists and music through word of mouth,” stated Rob Wells, President of Global Digital Business for Universal Music Group. “BBM Music dynamically and elegantly integrates the excitement of this social music discovery process with a high quality music service, enabling tens of millions of BlackBerry users to experience new music and to share those experiences with their friends virtually anywhere and at anytime.”

“We are pleased to be partnering with Research In Motion on their BBM Music service. RIM and its large base of BlackBerry Messenger users represent an exciting platform for expanding the reach of commercial digital music around the world,” stated Thomas Hesse, President, Global Digital Business, U.S. Sales and Corporate Strategy, Sony Music Entertainment. “The combination of a premium music solution and instant messaging will enable viral music discovery and emphasize the social power of digital music. It also offers an effective way of serving younger consumers by integrating music into the fabric of an important hub of their digital activity.”

“A dynamic social music experience is a powerful way for our artists to connect with fans and also for fans to discover music by interacting with each other,” said Michael Nash, Executive Vice President, Digital Strategy & Business Development, Warner Music Group. “Addressing more than 45 million BlackBerry Messenger users with a service tailor-made for its mobile community, BBM Music has the opportunity to reach a broad and engaged audience.”

“We are very excited to work with Research In Motion to bring our artists‟ music to BBM‟s huge and very loyal user base,” said Mark Piibe, Executive Vice President of Global Business Development at EMI Music. “BBM Music‟s unique social discovery experience offers fans a great new way to discover music, share their favorite tracks with their friends and build a stronger connection with the artists they love.”

“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.

A closed (limited) beta trial of the BBM Music service is starting today in Canada, the United States and the UK. The BBM Music service is expected to be commercially available to customers later this year for a monthly subscription of $4.99 USD* in Australia, Canada, Columbia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, the United Kingdom and the United States.

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