BlackBerry set to get BBM Music cloud-based social music service

BlackBerry users are all set to get their own cloud-based social music service. BBM Music, which uses the BlackBerry Messenger platform, starts a beta trial in North America and the UK today, and will be rolled out to global markets later this year.

It's expected to cost $4.99 a month – pricing in individual markets is yet to be set – and will allow users to build 'an evolving, community-based music library that is shared amongst their BBM Music friends.'

The idea, according to BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion, is that the size of the cloud-based online library will grow as more users sign-up and share and discover music with their friends.

The music available to share will be drawn from a catalogue of millions of tracks from Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI.

The system will allow 'full track' music sharing, with each user able to build a profile of 50 favourite songs to be shared with all their friends. Up to 25 of those tracks can be swapped out every month to keep the profiles fresh.

With each friend, a user gains access to up to 50 tracks, and users will be able to create multiple playlists from music in their profile and that of their friends, see a timeline of updates to music selection, friends and so on, and keep track of which friends have listened to their chosen music.

Music can also be downloaded to smartphones for offline listening.

The system is built on Omnifone's cloud music back-end, allowing the delivery of a comprehensive catalogue of music, and also payments to copyright holders.

Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at Research In Motion, says 'We have partnered with leading music companies to provide a "full track" music sharing and discovery experience that will provide users with quality music on demand and allow them to connect with friends on a whole new level.'

After the beta trial, BBM Music will roll out the service to customers in Australia, Canada, Columbia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, the United Kingdom and the United States.

You can sign up to be notified when the service will be available where you live at the BBM Music website.

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Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.