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Rumor: RIM, record labels in talks for BlackBerry music service

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Research In Motion is rumored to be in negotiations with major record labels to launch its own BlackBerry music service that would integrate with the popular BlackBerry Messenger service.

The planned service, reported by Cnet and Bloomberg, would allow BlackBerry users to listen to and share music with friends they communicate with through BlackBerry Messenger.

BlackBerry Messenger is RIM's BlackBerry-to-BlackBerry private text messaging service, which requires users to trade PINs in order to communicate and was said to be a networking tool of choice for those who organized the London riots last week.

Cnet, citing unnamed sources, said the proposed music service would run off of BlackBerry Messenger's network but do so in a unique music-sharing app that could be announced soon if the negotiations pan out. The reported talks are between RIM and major labels such as EMI Group, Sony Music, Warner Music Group and Universal.

The rumored plan is quite the ambitious one. If true, it could give RIM a service to compete with Apple's iTunes and Google Music. RIM has been losing market share to Apple's iPhone and phones running Google's Android OS for more than a year and has been going through layoffs and executive shuffles in a bid to turn around its business.

RIM also has five new smartphones hitting major carriers this month, all running the new BlackBerry OS 7 operating system. But QNX, the mobile OS running on the PlayBook tablet, is set to hit even newer not-yet-announced BlackBerrys either toward the end of this year or early next year.

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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Twitter.com/nateog

Photo: The BlackBerry Bold 9930, left, Torch 9850 and Torch 9810. Credit: Eric Risberg / Associated Press

 
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