updated 04:45 pm EDT, Thu August 18, 2011
RIM may have music service tied into BBM
RIM is in the process of developing its own BlackBerry-themed music service with a unique tie-in, tipsters unearthed on Thursday. The company is believed to have at least one deal among the top four music labels and negotiating the rest. Its service would stand out through a connection through BlackBerry Messenger, though CNET couldn't get information as to how it would work; it would most likely take advantage of BBM sharing to spread tracks.
The deal is far enough along that a test run could start up within a few weeks, the sources said. When RIM planned to launch, and the exact nature of how the service would work, wasn't certain.
RIM already preloads devices with music access. The BlackBerry PlayBook, for example, ships with a specially optimized version of 7digital's store. By depending on a third-party store, though, it has had to agree to someone else's prices and business strategy. BlackBerry phones don't have a major cloud music storage service and only some options for streaming, giving an automatic advantage to Android as well as iOS devices.
BBM is one of RIM's key advantages but is itself on a limited timeline. Apple is about to produce a similar service through iMessage in iOS 5 and will not only match most features outside of security but go beyond by having native, on-device messaging on a tablet where the PlayBook currently needs to have a BlackBerry phone nearby for it to work.