At a time when Research in Motion needs to sex itself up, the Canadian smartphone maker is in talks with the four largest record companies about launching a new music service to run on top of BlackBerry Messenger, the company's instant-messenger service, multiple sources with knowledge of the negotiations told CNET.
RIM has signed a deal with at least one of the top-four record companies and is close to signing at least two others, the sources said, adding that a test version of the service could be rolled out within the next few weeks.
The BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service is an instant-messaging service that enables owners of BlackBerry phones to chat instantly via the Internet with one another. Details about how RIM's new music service would work with BBM are few and a RIM spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.
The major labels, Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, and EMI Music, are eager to see new retail services and to continue being part of mobile devices, especially smartphones. Yesterday, pre-paid carrier MetroPCS Communications announced that Android phone owners who subscribe to the company's $60-per-month rate plan can receive access to the music-subscription service Rhapsody. … Read more