RIM planning a music service on BlackBerry

Research in Motion is planning a music service for users of its BlackBerry device, according to media reports.

The music service will be offered as part of BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), its instant messenger service, according to the reports. The service may be launched as early as next week, said the Wall Street Journal.

A source familiar with the plan confirmed on condition of anonymity that the service was indeed being launched, but did not provide details.

Subscribers will get access to around 50 songs at a time, which they can listen to on their phones and share with other subscribers through BBM, the reports said.

RIM is not intending to compete with other music services like Apple’s iTunes or Spotify, WSJ said. Instead it is focusing on making its devices more attractive to younger users who would like to customize their phones and share music, the newspaper said.

RIM said in an e-mailed statement on Thursday that its “standard policy is to decline comment on rumors and speculation”. BBM is one of the largest mobile social networks in the world with over 45 million users, it added.

RIM is said to be in negotiations with four major recording labels for licensing deals, and may have closed some of the deals, according to the reports. The labels it is said to be negotiating with are Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, and EMI Group.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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