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BBM Music service unveiled by RIM

blackberry musicThere’s been a bit of chatter about it in recent days, and now Research In Motion (RIM) has confirmed details of what it’s calling its “music sharing and discovery service.”

Called BBM Music (BlackBerry Messenger Music), the cloud-based music service will cost users $4.99 a month and enable subscribers to share songs through the BlackBerry instant messaging service.

Details of BBM Music were released today in a statement issued by the Ontario-based company. Users can choose from millions of songs from leading record companies such as Universal, Sony Music, Warner and EMI.

The statement explains that should you sign up, you’ll be able to build a personal music profile with 50 of your top tracks. When your BBM friends sign up, they can join your BBM Music Community. Up to 50 tracks from your personal profile are then shared with members of your community. The more friends in your community, the bigger your music collection becomes, as their favorites are available for you to listen to at any time.

Users can easily discover music that their BBM Music friends are listening to and can also comment on their friends’ songs and playlists.

“Enjoy a truly social community-based music experience,” the statement implores.

Mike Lazaridis, president and co-CEO at Research In Motion, said of the new service: “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.”

He added: “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 closed beta trial of the BBM Music service begins Thursday in Canada, the US and the UK.

RIM is planning for the new service to be commercially available to BlackBerry users later this year for a monthly subscription of US$4.99, in the following countries: Australia, Canada, Columbia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, the UK and the US.

The Canadian company is looking for new ways to widen the appeal of its smartphones, which up until recently were mainly the domain of business people. Thursday’s news comes on the same day that rumors surfaced about future BlackBerry smartphones being able to run Android apps.

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