BlackBerry aims for music industry domination

In a Q&A session with Research in Motion’s director of consumer alliances Alex McCallum, RCR finds out why it’s really Blackberry that makes mobile music tick. Or should we say Tick Tock?

- Why do you think the BlackBerry is such a commonly used tool in the Music Industry?

There are a couple of reasons – the first is the communication that BlackBerry offers. It’s well-thought out, it’s intuitive and it not only gives users the information they need when they need it, but allows them to share it in the way they want, whether email, BlackBerry Messenger, SMS, MMS, through apps or through social networks.

The music integration has evolved into such a powerful part of the experience and I think the music industry has an appreciation for how we’ve built those features in. There’s also a passion about mobile and a passion about BlackBerry and in the music industry, passion is embraced and encouraged – it makes for a great fit.  A lot of devices are “me” devices and a BlackBerry is the quintessential “we” device that allows you to communicate with the people you need to. In a creative environment such as the music industry, this is a must have.

- Has RIM done any specific outreach to record labels or others in this market?

We work with all industries to not only highlight the power of our solution but to learn how we can work to meet their needs as we grow- music is a global industry.

- A growing number of musicians have apps on the iPhone, should they be creating apps for the BlackBerry as well?

We have some great apps in the music space from artists and enthusiasts and from content providers. Some of the most popular apps are based in music. We’ve seen third party success for Slacker, Pandora, DipDive, the U2 app  and so many more.
(For more, check out the music category of BlackBerry App World: http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/category/8 – ED)

- Privacy is a big concern for many celebrities including musicians, what steps does your company take to ensure security on the BlackBerry?

The BlackBerry solution is one of the most secure wireless solutions in the world. [For Unplugged readers interested to read some background on this, we suggest Blackberry's Consumer Security Overview and BlackBerry Enterprise Server security features - ED]

One of the draws of BlackBerry is BBM. Will RIM ever charge for BBM?

BlackBerry Messenger is definitely one of most-loved features of RIM. The business plan for that is out of my scope though.

- Where would you like to see the BlackBerry three years from now?

Right where it should be – in every hand. I think the way people are embracing BlackBerry smartphones and finding new ways to personalize them – whether through apps or themes or ringtones or accessories – and to do more with them in every area of life. It’s intriguing to think how people will have integrated BlackBerry into their life over the next few years.

- Your Twitter and Facebook Apps are both very popular in “BlackBerry App World.” Do you see RIM plan on developing Apps for other social networks?

RIM is dedicated to our partner community and the wealth of experience and creative that this community brings to our application ecosystem. In the past we have developed apps in areas that were lacking development partners in but  we have worked hard to attract a vast resource of developers for us to work with and they continue to bring exceptional apps to the market and to change the way people use and interact with their device.

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