BRITISH DIGITAL MUSIC FIRM 7digital has announced a deal with phone vendor Research in Motion (RIM), making it the music store for the firm's Blackberry 10 smartphones when they are launched early next year.
Set to go live in the first quarter of 2013, the venture means that Blackberry 10 users will be able to browse, preview and buy music from over 22 million tracks from the 7digital catalogue through the Blackberry App World store.
Integrating 7digital's open music platform, the music section of the Blackberry 10 App World store will feature new releases, regional selections, a full back catalogue and more obscure independent artists.
Along with the RIM partnership announcement, 7digital also revealed on Thursday its decision to expand beyond music downloads, introducing new digital music services to the firm's application programming interface (API).
Following what it claims was "a successful year of growth", the API update will include a scan-and-match feature similar to Apple's Itunes Match, as well as a streaming functionality akin to Spotify, which won't be locked to any particular hardware or OS. 7digital said these features will be introduced to the service across Europe, North and South America and Australasia "in the coming months".
Speaking to The INQUIRER, 7digital's VP of marketing Kelaine Blades explained that it is rolling out the new service due to the expansion and development of the digital music space.
"We haven't brought into the usual debate of ‘access vs ownership' in the digital music sector, we believe consumers should be able to buy music and ‘access' it however they choose, on the device they choose," a spokesperson said.
"Our technology is designed to make accessing music as open as possible, and not restricted it to one device or platform. Adding new functionality to the API, as well as expanding our existing business in the US and Europe, will help us take full advantage of the opportunities we're seeing develop."
7digital said its Blackberry 10 deal and service expansion plans follows partnerships with other phone makers including Toshiba, Samsung and HTC, as well as a 400 percent year-on-year increase in usage of the company's open platform API.
7digital announced it would the launch of a Windows 8 application back in July, being the first music service to bring a digital store to Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system. µ