BBM Music could be key weapon in RIM's fightback
Said to be close to launching rival to Spotify, stealing a march on social media rivals via integration with BBM
Published: 22 August, 2011
RIM may be on its downward curve in the smartphone industry, but it is not going down without a fight. As well as creating a whole new operating system to update its offering, it has made a string of acquisitions to enhance its mobile web services, and is now planning ints own music service.
According to CNet, the planned mobile service will integrate deeply with RIM's BBM instant messaging service, the cornerstone of its appeal beyond its core enterprise base. BBM has driven significant uptake among youthful user bases, especially in parts of Europe, and is popular with carriers because it harnesses the network efficiency of RIM's corporate email technologies for the social media explosion.
However, this strategy is facing its own challenges, epitomized by Facebook's launch last week of its own Messenger offering, which is tightly integrated with the firm's social web apps, and targets BBM head-on. This makes it essential for RIM to create a more fully rounded consumer platform, and it is starting with the music service, which will harness BBM for content sharing and recommendations. The reports indicate that subscribers will have access to around 50 songs at a time, and that RIM has signed a deal with "at least one" of the big four record labels, and is close to two others.
Pricing of the service, which could be called BBM Music, has not been revealed, though it will probably need to undercut subscription streaming services such as Spotify - recently launched in the US - and Rhapsody. Both charge around $10 a month.