RIM recently launched three new BlackBerry handsets and a new version of its operating
system to boot, and now it is set to launch a music streaming service in a bid
to woo more young people to its stumbling platform.
According to sources close to the matter who spoke to the Wall Street Journal, Canadian manufacturer of the BlackBerry handsets, RIM, is
planning on launching the service, call BBM Music, as soon as next week.
As the name implies, the service would “run on top of
BlackBerry Messenger (BBM)” but would not be competing directly with the more
established services out there like Spotify or Rhapsody or new services such as
the soon-to-be-launched iTunes streaming service.
According to the sources, RIM has already signed deals with
the four major labels: Universal Music Group, Sony Music, Warner Music Group,
and EMI Group. Details of how the service will work are not very clear at the
moment, but the sources claimed that the service would cost a lot less than
currently available packages.
It also appears that the music service will be fairly
limited with access to only 50 or so songs at any one time, which you will be
able to share with friends via the BBM platform. The sources said the service
is aimed primarily at young people looking to share music and customise their
By customisation, we assume the sources mean users will be
able to set the songs as their ringtones but beyond that, it’s unclear what the
tunes could be used for.
BlackBerry smartphones are primarily seen as enterprise devices
and this move could be seen as a way of making the handsets more appealing to a
younger market. The report from the WSJ says the service could launch next week
but with such a limited range of music and already popular alternatives out
there, we wonder how successful BBM Music could be – even if it does cost a lot less?
Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Source: Wall Street Journal