BBM Music

Research in Motion is launching its new social music service, BBM Music for BlackBerry. Like competing services from Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody, or MOG, BBM Music charges customers a monthly fee for the ability to stream music on demand.

But there’s a huge twist with RIM’s model. First, the service costs just $5 per month, which is about half the price of competing services.

Second — you only get to choose 50 songs initially. That’s about four of five albums worth of music. But remember how I said BBM Music was social? If you want to listen to more than 50 songs, all you have to do is add friends. Then you can listen to their music collections at no additional cost.

If you have 1 friend, that means your streaming music collection jumps to 100 songs. Add 20 friends, and it’s 1050. Of course, you might want to coordinate with your friends to make sure you don’t have the same 50 songs in each of your collections. My guess is if you actually want to listen to your friends’ music, it’s probably because you share tastes.

Each month you can swap out 25 songs from you collection for new tracks.

RIM has signed deals with music labels allowing the company to offer access to millions of songs — but you have to work a lot harder to access that music than you would if you paid $10 per month for Rdio or Spotify.

BBM Music should be available for download from the BlackBerry App World today in the US, Canada, and Australia. Users can sign up for a free trial for up to 2 months. There’s also a “free subscription” option which lets you play 30 second samples of songs instead of full tracks.

The service has been in beta since August, but today it officially launches in select regions.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...