Research In Motion Set To Premier New BlackBerry Music Service
BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) is close to rolling out its own music streaming service that will work across its mobile devices, according to insiders. The new service is likely part of an attempt by RIM to improve its BlackBerry Messenger service as it competes with the mobile media platform strengths of rival Apple. The new service is expected to be announced around Labor Day in the United States.
Building on the traction that RIM has achieved with its BlackBerry Messenger offering (BBM), especially with the tween market segment, the Waterloo, Ontario-based mobile company is hoping to leverage this vibrant “social platform” into a full-fledged music service. This is just one avenue the company is pursuing to stem their declining market share, mostly due to the lackluster hardware offerings and expensive data plan. The company claims 45 million people use BBM, which allows BlackBerry users with data plans to pass text messages, pictures and other files to each other without incurring charges from their network carrier and 70% of them use it daily.
This is apparently an intermediate step as RIM ramps up promotion of their new OS 7 software before migrating all devices to QNX, which will debut on their new Playbook tablet device. The PlayBook is slated to come loaded with the music store of 7digital, half-owned by HMV. 7digital’s store includes 13 million tracks, and purchases made via a PlayBook can be moved to other devices. BlackBerry smartphones do not offer a RIM-enabled way to buy music, although audio and other files can be loaded onto the devices from a computer. BlackBerry users can also download music apps from RIM’s store, including Slacker, Rhapsody and Pandora.