Research In Motion – where does one start with the things this company has done wrong? The Canadian company has been in and out of the news for the past year or so. Most of the time, RIM comes under a lot of heat for poor products, bad services, and tablets that just aren’t selling. Could there be light at the end of this bleak tunnel? BlackBerry has finally introduced BBM Music to eager fans everywhere.
I’m not a BlackBerry fan, but I have to admit that BBM Music is a great idea for the company. It’s also easy to see why many BlackBerry owners are excited about this new service. Basically, BBM Music will allow BBM users to swap songs with friends, see what song people are listening to, and discover new tunes. This service will come with a monthly fee of $4.99 per month, though this is a small fee to pay in the grand scheme of things.
Why $4.99 Isn’t a High Price
iTunes users know that buying songs through Apple can be pricey. Each iTunes song costs around $1.99. BlackBerry is offering users a Premium BBM membership for $4.99 per month. For this price, users will be able to download 50 songs on a monthly basis and swap songs with other BBM users for free. So, for example, if your friend has an awesome playlist that you want to explore (you can view other people’s playlists too), all you have to do is transfer these songs to your playlist.
If you were to purchase 50 songs per month from iTunes, you would be spending nearly $100 per month to do so. BBM Music also allows you to comment on other people’s songs, discuss tunes, and show your friends what you are listening to. In short, this is an inexpensive and unique way to discover and share music with the people around you. As mentioned above, BBM Music is sure to attract lots of people who might not have looked twice at BlackBerry before. Now, if only RIM could come up with a phone or two that met modern expectations, RIM might have a fight chance for survival.
Comparing Music Services
There’s just one thing that RIM hasn’t considered. Other music services offer unlimited downloads for a monthly membership fee. One such service that comes to mind is Spotify. For $9.99 per month, you can download an unlimited number of songs through Spotify. Let’s compare the two services. With BBM Music Premium, you will have to pay $4.99 per month to download 50 songs. For $9.99 per month with Spotify Premium, you can download an unlimited number of songs.
BBM Music does offer access to your friend’s music lists and allows for music commentary. These things alone may entice some people to choose BBM Music over Spotify. Those who can do without the BBM network, may not see any point in sending money RIM’s way when a service like Spotify will do. Spotify makes more sense unless, of course, you reside in Canada where Spotify is not available.
Judging from all the Canadians I know who still use BlackBerry devices, I’m betting that RIM is banking on Canadian Premium BBM Music accounts to fund this venture – not to mention the slew of other BlackBerry users from other countries who can’t access Spotify either.