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BlackBerry pulls the plug on BBM Music service after less than two years

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BBM Music
BBM Music

It seems like just the other day, BlackBerry (then RIM) was taking the wraps off its BBM Music streaming service, but 20 months later it’s already a wrap. In an email to subscribers, the company announced that BBM Music will be discontinued as of June 2nd, pointing customers to Rdio and offering them a free 30-day trial of the replacement service, reports CrackBerry.

The idea might have been successful when BBM was a major networking platform

When BBM Music was announced, the company billed it as an easy-to-use service that enabled "viral music discovery" by letting people share up to 50 of their favorite songs with their BBM friends. The more friends you got to join the $4.99 monthly service, the more songs you got to listen to. The idea might have been successful when BBM was a major networking platform, but by the time the music service launched in August of 2011, BlackBerry sales were already declining, and its signature messaging service was losing whatever cachet it had among young music listeners. BBM Music was doomed from the start.

As the struggling company tries to rescue itself with new phones and a new operating system, it makes sense to drop services that aren’t making money, and it's unlikely that many inside the company still view BBM Music as a growth opportunity. A lot has changed since 2011, with entrenched players like Rdio, Spotify, and Pandora dominating the streaming space, and new entrants like Amazon, Beats, and perennial favorite, Apple, looming on the horizon. In its letter to subscribers, BlackBerry explains that, beginning in May, songs will begin to turn grey and unusable as your friends stop using BBM Music. "After the service is discontinued," it continues, "we recommend that you delete the app from your BlackBerry smartphone."