Research In Motion in the UK is trialling a cloud-based music service that it plans to offer to the many millions of users of its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service.
RIM will charge €4.99 per month for BBM Music.
The handset vendor said "BBM Music" will allow users to select tracks from the catalogues of the industry's four major record labels to build a "community-based music library" that can be shared with their BBM Music contacts.
The service will be based upon the well-established mobile music platform developed by UK-based Omnifone, which claims that this deal with RIM will enable it to overhaul rival Spotify and become the largest music subscription service in the world by the end of 2012.
Rob Wells, president of the global digital business for Universal Music Group, told New Media Age that the service was appealing to record labels as it helped users "to discover new artists and music through word of mouth."
BBM Music, while still in trial operation in the UK, US and Canada, will cost subscribers €4.99 per month when it becomes available via a downloadable app. But the service would seem more closed than the Spotify service; BBM Music is locked to RIM's BlackBerry devices. Users will, however, be able to download 50 songs to their BlackBerry handsets, and share all of these with other subscribers to BBM Music, thereby building up each others' music libraries.
RIM isn't the first handset vendor to attempt a mobile music play; Nokia introduced an unlimited music service, Comes with Music, that failed to gain global traction, largely due to anemic operator support.
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