RIM trials music-sharing service

RIM’s launched a music service with a difference that runs on top of Blackberry Messenger (BBM).

The $4.99 per month cloud-based service gives users up to 50 songs, which can be saved for offline listening, and allows them to swap out up to 25 per month.

That’s not many songs. But what makes BBM Music a bit dfferent is that users will also be able to access the 50 songs of any of their Messenger contacts that subscribe to the service.

“A major component of online music continues to be about community, and the ability to discover new artists and music through word of mouth,” says Rob Wells, president of global digital business for Universal Music Group.

“BBM Music dynamically and elegantly integrates the excitement of this social music discovery process with a high quality music service, enabling tens of millions of BlackBerry users to experience new music and to share those experiences with their friends virtually anywhere and at anytime.”

It’s a clever way for RIM to boost the popularity of BBM Music, as it gives users an incentive to encourage their friends to join.

Users can check out what music their friends are listening to, and comment on their songs and playlists.

Multiple playlists can be created from friends’ profiles as well as the user’s own, and a visual timeline shows the recent updates of all users within their community.

The service is powered by cloud music service provider Omnifone, and has licensing agreements in place with all four major record labels.

It launches today in a closed beta in the UK, US and Canada; later this year it’ll be rolled out in Australia, Columbia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates as well.

There’s more information here.