RIM launches BBM Music service

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BlackBerry smartphone users will be able to build music profiles and share playlists with BBM contacts, with Omnifone providing a back-end solution for it

Research In Motion (RIM) has launched BBM Music, a new social media service that allows users to share, discover, play and grow their music collections with their BlackBerry Messenger friends.

Users can build a personal music profile with 50 of their favourite songs, refreshing their profile by swapping out up to 25 songs each month. They can select music from a catalogue of songs from music companies Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI.

BBM friends can be invited to subscribe to BBM Music and join a user’s community, with the songs from the profile of each BBM Music friend available to them at any time.

Multiple playlists from music in a user’s profile can be created as well as all of their friends’ profiles, and can shuffle the entire collection of music from their BBM Music Community with one click. User’s can also see which friend contributed each song while it plays.

Within the app, a visual timeline can be seen to show the recent updates of all users within a community including who added new friends, which songs were added or removed, which playlists were created and what comments were made by BBM friends.

BBM Music enables consumers to listen to full tracks from their friends’ profiles and music can be saved to smartphones for offline listening, enabling users to access songs when they don’t have wireless coverage.

Cloud music service provider Omnifone is providing RIM with a back-end solution for BBM Music, providing content management, music hosting and reporting functions based on Omnifone’s technology.

RIM president and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis said: “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.”

A closed beta trial of the service is starting today in the UK, Canada and the US. It is expected to be commercially available to customers later this year for a monthly subscription of $4.99, although pricing may vary by country and will be announced upon availability in each country.

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