Research in Motion launched a collaboration Thursday with major record labels to allow BlackBerry users to access and exchange music via instant messenger.
BlackBerry Messenger Music will let the world's 45 million Blackberry Messenger users compile a personal library of up to 50 songs that they can listen to and share with friends, a company statement said.
The idea is that once you add friends to your "BBM Music Community" you can share as many tracks as you want with them, building up the size of your shared music library in the process.
"We are thrilled to be extending the experience into a uniquely social and interactive music service," said RIM president and co-chief executive Mike Lazaridis.
The Canadian-based company has signed an agreement with music industry giants such as Universal, Sony, Warner and EMI to build a catalogue of millions of songs.
The service was launched within Canada, the United States and Britain on Thursday and will be available by the end of the year to all worldwide users of BlackBerry Messenger at a price of $4.99 per month.
The price includes 50 songs, 25 of which the user can switch out for new songs each month.
The BlackBerry, for a longtime known as the businessman's phone of choice, has became more popular among a younger clientele, though notably that demographic still prefers Apple's iPhone or Google's Android.
RIM has recently launched new products to make up for lost ground in the hyper-competitive smartphone and digital tablet market. Earlier this week, it announced new versions of its BlackBerry Curve smartphone.
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