Blackberry confirms cloud-based, social music launch

Blackberry is trialing a cloud-based music service that lets users build music libraries within their BBM (Blackberry Messenger) groups.

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BBM Music lets users select tracks from the catalogues of the industry’s four major record labels to build a “community-based music library” that is shared with their BBM Music friends.

The service, which is still in beta-mode in the UK, US and Canada, will cost $4.99 (£3.06) per month, and will be available via a mobile app.

Users can create personal libraries of up to 50 tracks and can change 25 songs each month, which can be listened to and rated by their BBM Music friends. Users can also listen to playlists while offline by saving tracks to their smartphones.

The service, powered by cloud-based music provider Omnifone, also has a charts section, so users can see which of their playlist tracks are the most popular among friends.

The smartphone manufacturer is launching BBM Music globally and marketing the service as “music made social”, however, there are no clear plans on how it will be promoted in the UK, or if it will come with carrier billing.

Rob Wells, president of global digital business for Universal Music Group, said the service was appealing to record labels as it helped users “to discover new artists and music through word of mouth”.

Thomas Hesse, Sony Music Entertainment’s president of global digital business, says: “The combination of a premium music solution and instant messaging will enable viral music discovery and emphasize the social power of digital music.

“It also offers an effective way of serving younger consumers by integrating music into the fabric of an important hub of their digital activity.”

Blackberry’s group messaging service is used by over 45m users, according to the Canadian company.

This story first appeared on New Media Age. For more digital stories and analysis’ from NMA click here now

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