Thursday, August 25, 2011

RIM Takes Shot at iTunes With BBM Music

This morning, RIM announced its new BBM Music App. For $4.99 a month, users have access to 50 songs (can swap 25 of them each month). The feature that differentiates this service from others is that adding a friend gives the user access to their songs. Thus, with just 25 friends, a user would have access to 1,300 songs. This is an advantage over iTunes, which would charge an user $1,287 for 1,300 songs (assuming $0.99 per song).


BBM Music comes on the heels of RIM's push to promote BBM, including the launch of BBM 6.0 on July 28 and the BBM Hackathon in NYC August 11-12. With BBM 6.0, developers can now embed BBM into their app. This allows users to invite their BBM contacts to download the app, share users' BBM profiles and chat on BBM (while in the 3rd party app).

BBM 6.0 leverages the popularity of the service (45 million active users) to deliver an unique experience to BlackBerry users. With BBM 6.0, BBM is now more than an app. In fact, it is now a platform. Apps that are BBM-integrated include the popular FourSquare and ScoreMobile. In fact, many games on App World are now BBM-integrated.

BBM is miles ahead of iMessage and Facebook Chat

When iMessage was announced, analysts became concerned that it would threaten the advantage that RIM enjoys. The above shows that it is clear BBM is far ahead of the yet-to-be-launched iMessage and Facebook Chat app. BBM offers additional features over iMessage and Facebook chat, by allowing users to share pictures, voice notes, files and their location. With BBM 6.0, BBM is now a platform that is integrated into various 3rd party apps.

Developers love BBM Hackathon

A complaint in the past about RIM has been developer support. RIM has been changing that, with its free BBM Hackathon in NYC August 11-12, for example. 30 developers received help and support from RIM employees while they developed BBM-integrated apps. The feedback from developers has been tremendously positive, and RIM intends to host additional hackathons in other cities.

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