RIM Must Be Crazy To Think Anyone Will Sign Up For Its BBM Music Service

mike lazaridis

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RIM officially announced BBM Music today, the social streaming music service we heard rumours about last week.It’ll cost you $5 per month.

This new offering is laughable. Beyond laughable. It’s to the point where we’re convinced the only reason the major record labels agreed to let RIM have the service is because they knew it would be so unappealing to BlackBerry owners that no one would use it.


Here are the rules — we’ll call them “rules” because they feel more like restrictions than features — straight from RIM’s press release:

  • Build a personal music profile with 50 of your favourite songs. You can refresh your profile by swapping out up to 25 songs each month.
  • With each friend that is added to BBM Music, you grow your music collection since the songs from the profile of each BBM Music friend are available to you at any time.
  • Up to 50 tracks from your personal profile are shared with your BBM Music Community, and each member of your community shares up to 50 songs from their profile with you.

  • You can create multiple playlists from music in your profile as well as all of your friends’ profiles.

So, to summarize: For $5 per month, you only get 50 songs for that period. If you want more than that, you’ll have to hope your friends have BBM and are willing to shell our $5 per month so you can listen to the 50 tracks they chose. If you get sick of your 50 songs, you can only swap out 25 of them.

Theoretically, if all your friends are on BBM, you can listen to a bunch of songs. But they’re not your songs. They’re not the songs you want to listen to. They’re the songs your friends are listening to.

The reason people flock to cloud music services like Spotify, Rhapsody (which has its own BlackBerry app), and MOG is because they can listen to pretty much any song whenever they want. No limits. No rules.

And Spotify has the best deal of them all. For the same $5 per month you’d pay for BBM music, you can get all the on-demand music you want, ad-free. (Granted, you’ll have to pay $10 for mobile access, but that still lets you listen to all 15 million tracks instead of forcing you to choose just 50.)

Again, RIM tries to play catch up with what the rest of the industry is doing. And again, they throw out a joke of a service.