Research In Motion (RIM) is reportedly holding negotiations with major record labels to launch a BlackBerry music service that would get incorporated in the BlackBerry Messenger service.
RIM reportedly has signed a deal with at least one of the top four record companies and is close to signing at least two others, and the music service could arrive within the next few weeks. The new service will allow BlackBerry users to listen and also share around 50 songs at a time with friends through BlackBerry Messenger (BBM).
A report in The Wall Street Journal said that RIM is not likely to challenge other music services such as Spotify or Apple’s iTunes, but is keen to make the new BlackBerry Bold 9900 more attractive for teenagers who want to customize their phones.
RIM has been losing its market share to Apple's iPhone and phones running on Android OS for more than a year, and has been going through layoffs and executive shuffles in a bid to turn around its business.
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.
RIM is linking its music service to BBM because it remains one of BlackBerry's most significant assets. The messenger service also acts as a social network keeping people stick to their BlackBerrys.
BBM is also one of the largest mobile social networks in the world with over 45 million users, according to CNET.