RIM, maker of BlackBerry smartphones and the forthcoming PlayBook tablet, has today announced a partnership with 7digital, a digital media and music store. The new store will offer over 13 million MP3 tracks from Warner Music Group, Universal, EMI and Sony and it will come pre-installed on the PlayBook as an application.
7digital, a London-based digital media delivery company, offers music, videos and audiobooks to international customers on its online download store at 7digital.com. On the PlayBook, it will offer its music priced in a user's local currency. Initially, 7digital's music store will only be available to users in the U.S. and Canada, but will roll out to other international users over the course of 2011.
(Note: Update below & new screenshot)
The music will be provided in MP3 format at 320 kbps quality, the company says.
7digital's service isn't being used behind-the-scenes to power RIM's own music store creation, but is a partnership where 7digital's own music store will come pre-installed on PlayBook devices. There will be an icon branded "7digital" that ships on the PlayBook tablet, we're told.
Another interesting tidbit from today's news: in addition to being able to search for tracks, albums and artists and listening to song previews, PlayBook users will also be offered music recommendations. 7digital's recommendation technology will power this feature designed to go head-to-head with iTunes' Genius recommendations.
What About Video?
This is an important partnership for RIM, as it brings a complete music catalog to its tablet computer - 13 million tracks, which is the same number of songs on iTunes, according to Apple's website. However, this is a partnership for a tablet computer, where listening to music comes secondary to watching video and reading books, we would imagine. Today's news only focuses on the music, though, and not 7digital's other content, like audiobooks and video. We've asked for additional details on when (or if) this non-music content would also be provided to PlayBook users and will update when we hear back.
Update: 7digital will only say that there are no books or video offerings announced in this current relationship. No word on whether that will change in the future.
Also, in case you're wondering what the 7digital store looks like on the PlayBook, here's a screenshot: