Oh, RIM. Why couldn't you have done this sooner? Why the Johnny-come-lately attitude?
As the Blackberry continues to lose market share to iOS devices and Android--and as Windows Phone 7 is starting to look like a player--RIM has launched a Hail Mary music play: BBM Music.
"See?" the company says, "We're more than just a business company that offers enterprise solutions! We can play in the consumer space, too." Adorable.
RIM calls BBM Music “an easy-to-use cloud-based service that enables social and viral music discovery by allowing users to build an evolving, community-based music library that is shared amongst their BBM Music friends.”
The company says that BBM M's library will get bigger as more people join the community. Sony, Warner, EMI and Universal have all signed on.
Here's more from the press release:
• Music made social – BBM Music is a cloud-based, social music service that allows you to share and discover music with your friends, creating a continually evolving music library:
- Build a personal music profile with 50 of your favourite songs. You can refresh your profile by swapping out up to 25 songs each month.
- Invite your BBM friends to subscribe to BBM Music and to join your BBM Music Community.
- With each friend that is added to BBM Music, you grow your music collection since the songs from the profile of each BBM Music friend are available to you at any time.
- Up to 50 tracks from your personal profile are shared with your BBM Music Community, and each member of your community shares up to 50 songs from their profile with you.
- Enjoy a truly social community-based music experience – the more friends who join your community, the more songs you can listen to.
- Easily discover music that your BBM Music friends are listening to, and comment on your friends' songs and playlists.
- You can create multiple playlists from music in your profile as well as all of your friends' profiles, and with one click you can shuffle the entire collection of music from your BBM Music community. You can even see which friend contributed each song while it plays.
- Within your BBM Music app, you also see a visual timeline that shows the recent updates of all users within your community. It gives you a chronological view of community updates, including who added new friends, which songs were added or removed, which playlists were created and what comments were made by your BBM Music friends.
• Listen to Full Tracks - BBM Music subscribers can listen to full tracks from their friends' profiles – not just previews.
• Offline Listening - Music can be saved to smartphones for offline listening, allowing users to access songs even when they don't have wireless coverage.
• Topping the Charts – Keep track of how many friends are listening to your tracks.
A closed beta trial has begun in Canada, the US and the UK. A full roll-out is expected this fall around the world. The cost? Five bucks a month.
Best of luck.