Research in Motion (RIM), the Canadian company that develops BlackBerry smartphones, has announced that its rebranded BlackBerry World content portal will carry music for South African consumers.
Customers in the US, UK and Canada will also have access to movies and television shows when the service launches.
The company has not published a launch date for the new content, but it may arrive alongside its new devices based on the BlackBerry 10 operating system. It’s believed the first phones will go on sale in South Africa on 1 March.
Although South African consumers will have access to music only when the service is launched, it looks likely that BlackBerry will try and add other content in due course, particularly given how important the country is for the troubled mobile device manufacturer.
Content could prove an important attribute of the BB10 experience and a valuable selling point as RIM looks to win over new smartphone users and convince those that have defected to rival brands like Apple and Samsung to rejoin the BlackBerry fold.
“Music and video content is an integral part of a rich mobile experience. People want easy and convenient access to their favorite music, movies and TV shows wherever they are,” says RIM chief marketing officer Frank Boulben in a statement.
“RIM is committed to working with content providers to bring the best, most up-to-date content to our customers with BlackBerry 10, and to make it easy for them to get what they want.”
Video content will be sourced from major studios, including 20th Century Fox, MGM, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Universal Pictures. Users in applicable markets will be able to purchase video content for download or rent and stream it.
Music content, which will be free of digital rights management copy controls, will be available for download and will include content from labels such as 4AD, Domino, Matador, Rough Trade, Sony, Universal and Warner. The music section will initially be available in 18 countries. BlackBerry has declined to confirm pricing for music content. — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media