Omnifone-powered service lets people stream 50 songs, and then more from their BBM friends.
After weeks of rumours, Research In Motion has formally unveiled its new BBM Music service, which has licences with all four major labels and a $4.99 monthly subscription cost.
BBM Music is kicking off a closed beta test in the UK, US and Canada, with a full global launch planned for later this year. Users will get to choose up to 50 songs for their profile, swapping out up to 25 each month to ensure they can keep it up to date.
However, for every BBM contact who subscribes, their 50 songs will also be available to listen to, meaning the more friends are using it, the more tracks a user has access to. Songs can be cached on the BlackBerry handset for offline listening, but BBM Music will also provide 'Buy' links to the Amazon MP3 store to buy and download songs.
BBM Music includes an activity stream for users to see what friends have been listening to and who they're sharing with, and playlist creation features are thrown in too. The service is being powered by Omnifone, making RIM its latest big-name client, following the launch of Sony's Music Unlimited earlier this year.
"More than 45 million customers already love the social communication benefits delivered through BBM and we are thrilled to be extending the experience into a uniquely social and interactive music service," says president and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis.