The recently rumored BBM Music is a reality. Research In Motion has announced its socially connected, cloud-based music service for BlackBerry users. BBM Music debuts with millions of songs from the likes of Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, and EMI.
"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," said Mike Lazaridis, RIM president and co-CEO. BBM has more than 45 million users.
So what does BBM Music let you do? How does it compare with Pandora or Spotify or other streaming music services? Overall, it's similar to what is already on the market -- it's just leveraging an exclusive BlackBerry audience.
BBM lets you build a personal music profile with 50 of your favorite songs. You can refresh your profile by swapping out up to 25 songs every month. The cost is $4.95 a month.
But here's an interesting twist in RIM's model: You can invite your BBM friends to subscribe to the service and join your BBM Music Community. Each time you add a friend, you expand your music collection. That's because the songs from the profile of each BBM Music friend are available to you at any time. The more friends you have, the more songs you can access. Of course, that doesn't mean you will enjoy your friends' music tastes.
"The combination of a premium music solution and instant messaging will enable viral music discovery and emphasize the social power of digital music," said Thomas Hesse, president of global digital business, U.S. sales and corporate strategy at Sony Music Entertainment. "It also offers an effective way of serving younger consumers by integrating music into the fabric of an important hub of their digital activity."
Too Little, Too Late?
You can also comment on your friends' songs and playlists, create multiple playlists from music in your profile as well as all of your friends' profiles, and with one click shuffle the entire collection. Those are a few of the many social features RIM hopes will set its music service apart from the pack.
"What's interesting about this music service is that it's tied to BBM, and BBM is growing so rapidly, particularly outside the U.S.," said Avi Greengart, a principal analyst at Current Analysis. "That instantly gives it a social aspect that most other services don't have quite as directly."
That's the positive. The negative, Greengart added, is that music services are nothing new. In other words, launching a music service today and expecting it to have any sort of industry-wide impact is unlikely. Still, RIM is betting it will be a value-add for its die-hard users.
"The widespread adoption of mobile devices provides the perfect foundation for consuming and sharing music," said Maribel Lopez, principal at Lopez Research and Constellation Research Group. "Brands that want to deliver a unique interactive experience must create services that are mobile, social and contextual."
Posted: 2011-09-01 @ 6:22am PT
I don't believe many people will want to use it.