BBM Music, the music subscription service that uses BlackBerry Messenger, has moved out of beta and is now officially available for download for everyone in the U.S., Canada and Australia.
If you haven't heard of BBM Music, here's how it works:
Once BlackBerry users set up their BBM Music profiles, they are allowed to select 50 songs from a catalog of millions of licensed tracks. Those songs are theirs to listen to, available to be accessed at any time. The way that BBM Music users gain access to more music is through adding friends on the service. If two users are friends on BBM Music, they each have access to the other's music. Basically, each friend equals up to 50 more songs that users can access anytime. Each user can swap out 25 of their own tracks per month.
According to BlackBerry,
BBM Music is a BBM-connected social music service that allows BBM and BlackBerry smartphone users to discover, play and grow their music collections together. In other words, BBM Music helps you connect with your friends around music on a whole new level.
OK, so if I snatched up 10 friends, I could have a maximum of 550 tracks at my fingertips. If I had 20 friends, 1050. You get the picture. It definitely sounds like an interesting way to share music.
But will users pay $5 a month for the privilege?
The pros to BBM Music are obvious - it's a new, interesting way to share music that is inherently social. There is a ton of licensed content to choose from. Plus, it utilizes BBM, an app that receives rave reviews inside the BlackBerry community.
The cons are also pretty obvious, however. You only get 50 (75 after swapping) songs of your choice. Sure, you can gain access to hundreds- even thousands of other tracks. But they are songs that other people have chosen. Plus, $5 a month gets you access to a lot more content with other music subscription services like Spotify.
There is a free version of BBM Music that will be offered. But it only plays 30-second clips of each track, rendering it pretty much worthless. Nobody wants to just hear snippets of songs, no matter how fun the sharing of playlists happens to be.
BlackBerry is offering the premium service as a two month free trial, so it's worth a shot to see how you like it.
For this writer, I feel like it's a cool concept that simply doesn't offer enough for $5 a month. What do you think? Could BBM Music be a hit for RIM? Let us know in the comments.