BlackBerry introduced movies, TV shows and music into its BlackBerry World store just in time for the launch of its BB10 software, plus the Z10, and Q10 smartphones at the end of January. Content from ABC, BBC Worldwide, NBC, Starz, Sony, 20th Century Fox, and Warners could be found inside, but that hasn’t stopped BlackBerry from adding shows from three more production companies today.
Univision, PBS and Viacom have now joined the BlackBerry World family, bringing with them a host of new shows. Instead of giving us a great long list of what we’ll be able to enjoy, BlackBerry’s press release chooses to quote a senior exec from Viacom, who says, “Our audiences are increasingly turning to their smartphones to drop in on South Park, Jersey Shore and SpongeBob SquarePants, anywhere they’d like.” An eclectic mix of content, we’re sure you’ll agree.
Despite an unwillingness to share specific new titles with us, channels such as MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and the bilingual network UVideos will all be represented, as will Downton Abbey through PBS’s Masterpiece Classics. A quick check of the prices shows episodes of Downton Abbey and South Park cost $1.99 each. So far, access to all these new channels is restricted to BlackBerry 10 users located in the U.S., and there’s no indication this will change anytime soon.
The Univision/PBS/Viacom deal comes just a few days after BlackBerry announced it had partnered with the digital indie music distributor Zimbalam, where unsigned musical acts are given the chance to sell their music inside BlackBerry World. Zimbalam charges a small distribution fee and promises artists 90 percent of the royalties in return. In addition to the music and video content, the store is home to at least 100,000 applications.
AT&T has started selling the BlackBerry Z10 in the U.S. this week, while T-Mobile and Verizon will follow before the end of the month.