In August we first heard about Research in Motion's plan to create a music-listening service for BlackBerry users. Finally, this week RIM launched BBM Music, their music-listening and sharing app, and it turns out the service is just as social product manager Nick Patsiopoulous promised when he said, "It evolves the mixtape."
To evoke the sharing mentality of the mixtape, BBM Music is built around the BlackBerry Messenger network and its 45 million users. For a $5 monthly subscription, users will be able to choose 50 songs from RIM's extensive licensing agreement, which includes major catalogues from Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, EMI, and smaller independent labels.
The 50 selections are automatically shared with every BBM Music friend, and in turn, the user gets access to their friends' libraries. The incentive is then to make as many friends as possible as a way to exponentially increase the number of songs you can listen to from your own smartphone. For example, if you have 25 BBM Music friends who have each uploaded 50 songs, you immediately have access to an extended library of 1,300 tunes – just hope your friends have a similar music taste. BBM Music users can also message their BBM contacts about a specific song, using music as the conversation starter.
Furthermore, the songs are cached on an SD card, so users can listen even where there is no wireless coverage, like underground in the subway or on a flight. Each month, users will get the opportunity to swap out up to 25 of their songs to bring in new selections.
BBM Music is now available at the BlackBerry App World store in the US, Canada, and Australia with more countries to follow later this year.