RIM reveals BBM Music cloud service

25 Aug 2011

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BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) has taken the wraps off its much anticipated BBM Music service which it no doubt intends to tap into the massive popularity of its BlackBerry Messaging (BBM) platform.

The company describes BBM Music as an easy-to-use cloud-based service that enables social and viral music discovery by allowing users to build an evolving, community-based music library that is shared amongst their BBM Music friends.

The idea is that the size of the music library will continue to grow as new friends join the community and each user can select music from a catalogue with millions of songs from leading music companies – Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI.

“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.

“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.”

A closed beta trial of the BBM Music service is starting today in Canada, the United States and the UK.

The BBM Music service is expected to be commercially available to customers later this year for a monthly subscription of US$4.99 in Australia, Canada, Columbia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, the United Kingdom and the United States.

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

As part of RIM’s proprietary service, Omnifone’s back-end solution helps facilitate the delivery of a full music catalog to BBM Music users and comprehensive compensation reporting for copyright holders.

“A major component of online music continues to be about community, and the ability to discover new artists and music through word of mouth,” said Rob Wells, president of Global Digital Business for Universal Music Group.

“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.” 

Key features of BBM Music:

·         Music made social – BBM Music is a cloud-based, social music service that allows you to share and discover music with your friends, creating a continually evolving music library

·         Build a personal music profile with 50 of your favorite songs. You can refresh your profile by swapping out up to 25 songs each month.
o Invite your BBM friends to subscribe to BBM Music and to join your BBM Music Community.

·         With each friend that is added to BBM Music, you grow your music collection since the songs from the profile of each BBM Music friend are available to you at any time.

·         Up to 50 tracks from your personal profile are shared with your BBM Music Community, and each member of your community shares up to 50 songs from their profile with you.

·         Enjoy a truly social community-based music experience – the more friends who join your community, the more songs you can listen to.

·         Easily discover music that your BBM Music friends are listening to, and comment on your friends’ songs and playlists.

·         You can create multiple playlists from music in your profile as well as all of your friends’ profiles, and with one click you can shuffle the entire collection of music from your BBM Music Community. You can even see which friend contributed each song while it plays.

·         Within your BBM Music app, you also see 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.

·         Listen to Full Tracks – BBM Music subscribers can listen to full tracks from their friends’ profiles – not just previews.

·         Offline Listening – Music can be saved to smartphones for offline listening, allowing users to access songs even when they don’t have wireless coverage.

·         Topping the Charts – Keep track of how many friends are listening to your tracks.

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com