Report: BlackBerry pulls the plug on BBM Music
BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) will shutter its cloud-based BBM Music service in June, less than two years after the music discovery initiative rolled out to consumers.
BBM Music allows users to share songs with BBM contacts.
"BBM Music service will be discontinued as of June 2, 2013," reads an email sent by BlackBerry to users Wednesday. "For paying customers, April is the last month that you will be billed. In May, as your BBM contacts stop using the service, songs in your playlists will begin to turn grey and will no longer be available. Though BBM Music is going away, you can still listen to great music on your BlackBerry. We're giving you a 30-day pass to Rdio, which gives you unlimited, on-demand access to more than 18 million songs, including the latest hits and classic albums."
Priced at $4.99 per month, BBM Music launched in beta trials in August 2011, featuring millions of songs from partners including Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group. The service enabled BlackBerry Messenger instant messaging users to build personal music profiles featuring 50 of their favorite songs, with the flexibility to swap out as many as 25 tracks each month; as BlackBerry Messenger contacts joined the user's BBM Music Community, music from each new profile became available to other community members, meaning a BlackBerry owner with 25 BBM Music friends could expand his library to as many as 1,300 full-length songs.
BlackBerry has not yet responded to requests to explain its decision to scrap BBM Music, but the service's days have appeared numbered since earlier this year, when the device maker expanded its BlackBerry World digital storefront to offer DRM-free premium music downloads from a host of label partners. BBM Music also faced mounting competition from rival streaming services like Pandora, Spotify and iHeartRadio, which collectively account for 23 percent of average weekly music listening time among U.S. consumers between the ages of 13 and 35 according to NPD Group data issued earlier this week.
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