We had heard a few weeks ago that RIM was busy working on their own subscription-based music service that would tie in with BlackBerry Messenger. Rumour has it RIM has already signed at least one of the big music labels (Universal, Sony, Warner, and EMI), and that another two are just about ready to close a deal. The first beta will apparently be rolling out over the next couple of weeks.
Earlier rumours suggested customers would pay $4.99 per month to get access to 50 tracks that would be shareable over BlackBerry Messenger, plus another 50 you listen to from your BBM friends. Traditionally, RIM has been a big supporter of third-party music services, like Amazon and Slacker, but this marks a decidedly different direction. It’s not often RIM reaches out directly to consumers with retail services, rather opting to pump out free value-added apps, like BlackBerry Travel. Even in those cases, RIM often partnered with established developers, as they’ve already done with their Radio app for streaming music services.
With BBM Social now enabling new uses for RIM’s signature mobile instant messaging client, there’s a lot of territory to explore, and this new music service is just one direction to go in. With the plethora of different cross-platform messaging clients becoming available, it’s a necessary evolution to keep BBM as a selling point for BlackBerry, that’s for sure. What other ways could RIM or creative third-party developers leverage BBM?