Not too long ago RIM had launched a radio application that amalgamated various streaming music services and put them under one roof. A new screencap is showing something else called BBM Music that may go a step further. Details are skimpy, but this will basically allow folks to share playlists and music tracks with friends, directly transferring music files from one device to the other over BlackBerry Messenger. Another source claims that RIM is making their own music library for BBM Music rather than teaming up with an existing player, and will be charging $4.99 per month for the service. 50 tracks will be shareable over BlackBerry Messenger, and similarly, you’ll be able to play 50 songs from those that share to you.
Even if these music transfers were laden with digital rights management, being able to directly share a full song (if only for one play) with a friend is a great way to sell music, so long as the “Buy now” link was there and ready to go. I’m curious if you’ll only be able to share with other BBM Music subscribers, or if you’ll have some limited sharing capacities to non-subscribers. One way or the other, this is a great way of using the the Social platform, and hopefully will give other music service providers for BlackBerry some feature ideas.
I’m a little skeptical that RIM would go at this alone, what with their ongoing strategy of “constructive alignment” with established partners, but they do have the infrastructure in place to compress and serve up files to their sizeable BlackBerry user base. In that respect, I’m curious if Chalk, an old acquisition of RIM’s, has been busy the last couple of years tweaking their server software to push compressed music files rather than enterprise-grade multimedia training materials.
In its current state, BBM just lets you auto-update your status with whatever music is playing, but it looks like BBM Music will make things considerably more interesting.