RIM officially announces BBM Music, a socially driven, cloud-based music library for BlackBerry users

Research In Motion today announced BBM Music, a new BlackBerry Messenger service for socially connected music fans.

BBM Music is an easy-to-use cloud-based service that enables social and viral music discovery by allowing users to build an evolving, community-based music library that is shared amongst their BBM Music friends, RIM says. The size of the music library continues to grow as new friends join the community and each user can select music from a catalog with millions of songs from leading music companies like Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI.

From RIM’s website:

  • Create your 50-song music profile: Build your BBM Music profile with 50 of your favorite songs. Choose from a huge catalog of licensed music and refresh your profile by swapping out up to 25 songs per month.
  • More friends. More music: Invite BBM friends to become BBM Music friends. Listen to songs in your friends’ 50-song profiles and make them your own.
  • Share or build playlists, albums or individual songs:Combine songs from your own and your friends’ profiles to build playlists. Send songs or playlists to friends or they can see what you’re listening to and choose to listen anytime.

A closed beta trial of the BBM Music service is starting today in Canada, the United States and the UK. The BBM Music service is expected to be commercially available to customers later this year for a monthly subscription of $4.99 in Canada and several other countries.

What the execs are saying:

“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,” said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at Research In Motion. “We have partnered with leading music companies to provide a ‘full track’ music sharing and discovery experience that will provide users with quality music on demand and allow them to connect with friends on a whole new level.”

“A major component of online music continues to be about community, and the ability to discover new artists and music through word of mouth,” stated Rob Wells, President of Global Digital Business for Universal Music Group. “BBM Music dynamically and elegantly integrates the excitement of this social music discovery process with a high quality music service, enabling tens of millions of BlackBerry users to experience new music and to share those experiences with their friends virtually anywhere and at anytime.”

“We are pleased to be partnering with Research In Motion on their BBM Music service. RIM and its large base of BlackBerry Messenger users represent an exciting platform for expanding the reach of commercial digital music around the world,” stated Thomas Hesse, President, Global Digital Business, U.S. Sales and Corporate Strategy, Sony Music Entertainment. “The combination of a premium music solution and instant messaging will enable viral music discovery and emphasize the social power of digital music. It also offers an effective way of serving younger consumers by integrating music into the fabric of an important hub of their digital activity.”

“A dynamic social music experience is a powerful way for our artists to connect with fans and also for fans to discover music by interacting with each other,” said Michael Nash, Executive Vice President, Digital Strategy & Business Development, Warner Music Group. “Addressing more than 45 million BlackBerry Messenger users with a service tailor-made for its mobile community, BBM Music has the opportunity to reach a broad and engaged audience.”

“We are very excited to work with Research In Motion to bring our artists’ music to BBM’s huge and very loyal user base,” said Mark Piibe, Executive Vice President of Global Business Development at EMI Music. “BBM Music’s unique social discovery experience offers fans a great new way to discover music, share their favorite tracks with their friends and build a stronger connection with the artists they love.”

“The widespread adoption of mobile devices provides the perfect foundation for consuming and sharing music. Brands that want to deliver a unique interactive experience must create services that are mobile, social, and contextual,” said Maribel Lopez Principal at Lopez Research and Constellation Research Group.