going into private beta, BBM Music, a mobile music streaming service for Blackberry users, is now available in the device's native app store.Two months after
The new service lands in a somewhat crowded space, but focuses on social sharing among Blackberry users specifically, something that may set it apart from other music services in the minds of RIM customers.
BBM Music works over Blackberry's proprietary messaging platform and can be used to share songs and playlists amongst other BBM Music subscribers. Its $5 subscription gives users access to 50 songs at any given time. Half of those tracks can be swapped out each month and more music can be unlocked via one's social connections. With each new BBM Music friend one makes, as many as 50 more songs can be unlocked. Thus, the more socially connected you are on the service, the more music you'll have access to.
Is This Service Necessary?
The service has an interesting model, to say the least. Its success appears to depend on virility, yet it's only available to Blackberry users and costs money to sign up. Those are two sizable barriers to something going viral if we ever saw them. Cross-platform music streaming services Spotify and MOG have been slow to launch apps for Blackberry, but Rdio is available on the platform. That service offers unlimited streaming of millions of songs and has social features of its own, but costs twice as much as RIM's new offering.
In theory, making a bunch of friends on BBM Music can unlock a ton of new songs. But even if you had 20 friends on the service, and each of them had 50 tracks in their library, that's 1,050 songs for you (including your own). Compared to the 12 million songs available on Rdio.
Does BBM Music have enough to draw users in? At first blush, it doesn't seem like it. That said, Blackberry users have more limited music streaming options than those on iOS and Android devices. A limited offering at a smaller price tag may turn out to be a sweet spot for some.