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Following recent rumours that BlackBerry was set to launch a new product called BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) Music, Research In Motion (RIM) announced the arrival of a cloud-based music service.
The service launched this week with closed beta trials in Canada, the United States and the UK.
The news came in the form of a press release from RIM stating that the new service is aimed at socially connecting music fans. The service, BBM Music is an easy-to-use cloud-based service that enables social and viral music discovery by allowing users to build a continuously evolving, community-based music library that is shared amongst their BBM Music friends.
BBM Music allows users to build a library of up to 50 songs that can be streamed or stored on their BlackBerry. Users are also able to update their music collection by swapping up to 25 songs from their library with songs from their friends’ libraries.
The BBM Music app also provides 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.
“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.
Users are able to select songs from a catalogue with millions of songs from leading music companies including Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI.
“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.”
BlackBerry’s partnership with musical houses such as Universal and EMI shows that the company is serious about making this service a worthwhile competitor in the online music sphere. President of Global Digital Business for Universal Music Group, Rob Wells stated that, “A major component of online music continues to be about community, and the ability to discover new artists and music through word of mouth.”
He further explains that 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.”
Unlike BlackBerry’s messenger service, BBM Music will not be free to BlackBerry users. Those wishing to use the service will have to pay a monthly US$4.99 subscription fee once it rolls out commercially later this year.