Canadian smartphone maker Research in Motion (RIM) has finally launched the BlackBerry Messenger Music app in the United States, Canada and Australia. The company made the official announcement in a blog post, saying that the service’s launch in other countries will follow shortly.
RIM has unveiled the on-the-go music service last August to directly compete with other services such as We7 and Spotify. The service runs via the BlackBerry Messenger service and will charge users a $4.99 monthly subscription fee.
The system works by picking 50 songs (around 4 to 5 albums) for the user’s music library. If the user knows someone who users the service, their selected songs become part of his library as well. These songs can be cached for listening offline. Users can swap out half of these songs for others, and friends can do the same.
“With BBM Music, you can grow and keep your music selection fresh by swapping songs every month and by inviting friends to gain access to your music,” wrote RIM in its blog. “When you invite friends to BBM Music, you get access to their musical playlist (which means you get access to more songs); you can build new playlists that include your songs and their songs, you can comment on your friends’ music and you can start a chat with any of your BBM friends from within the BBM Music app in real time.”
The company has managed to get four major record labels, including Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, EMI Music and Warner Music Group.