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RIM to launch BlackBerry music

RIM is reported to be planning a mobile music service for BlackBerry users, with the suggestion that a test version could be rolled out within the next couple of weeks.

According to CNET, the service will integrate with RIM’s popular BBM instant messaging service, enabling customers to share content with their friends. The Wall Street Journal said that subscribers will have access to around 50 songs at a time. RIM has apparently signed a deal with ‚at least one‚ of the big four record labels, and is close to signing with at least two others.

Pricing of the service, which could be called BBM Music, is unclear, although it is believed to be a cheaper option than subscription music services such as Spotify and Rhapsody, which charge around US$10 per month. It was also suggested that the intention is not to compete with more established music services, but to provide younger BlackBerry users with a way to customise their devices and share content with peers.

CNET said that the music service has been integrated with BBM because this is ‚one of BlackBerry’s last critical assets,‚ and has become a valuable tool in driving BlackBerry customer retention. RIM recently announced the ability for developers to integrate with BBM, to enable users to exchange messages from within an app.

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