Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Dear John, bring back BBM Music!

Hi John, 
I know you're a very busy man working hard at continuing the turn around of our favourite Canadian company. I'm a big fan actually, I like what you're doing and how you're doing it. I see part of your plan is trying to make BBM profitable and have watched you add stickers and subscriptions for custom PINs and ad blocking. I'm proposing that you do something that people will laugh at. Bring back BBM Music. Now I know what you're thinking. Why would you do that? People didn't like it or use it enough to justify bringing it to #BlackBerry10, so why bring it back?   I wrote about how much I liked BBM Music a few years ago here.  My feelings haven't changed and I think I can fix what was wrong with it.

BBM Music was a GREAT concept, but it had a couple of fatal flaws. 

The first was the 50 song LIMIT. That word "limit" caused a lot of confusion and complaining that was actually not necessary. It was the wording that was wrong. By telling people there is a limit, you've made them feel as though they're not getting their money's worth. Had it been worded "you create a playlist of your favourite 50 songs" people would have felt that they were joining and sharing something, not paying for "only" 50 songs.  

The second and biggest problem was it required the end user to work. They had to add people manually to get more songs. But people were reluctant to add people they didn't know, so they had only a few folks to share music with. Very little music equals very little interest, and in the end the app dies. If the app would have auto populated users (without requiring me to add users one by one‎) this huge hurdle is overcome. 

I personally had access to almost 20,000 songs before the program was killed! It took a lot of work though. Most users would never go to the effort that I did. They'd move on. Quickly. 

BBM music was fantastic. I know of a few others that loved it as much as I did. We were happy to pay the monthly fee for it.

So here is my recipe for BBM Music 2015:

1. have the user create a playlist of 50 favourite songs. This is required, not optional and must be 50 songs minimum. Song changes can stay the same.  
2.‎ Have the app auto add people in your BBM contact list who also have BBM Music installed. 
3. Have the app allow you to auto add others automatically. Even if they're not on your contact list. Just randomly add users in bunches to keep the song count HIGH. This will make the end user feel they're getting their moneys worth. ‎Also allow people you don't know to be bumped off if you add someone you do know onto your contact list. 

Not too much different than what it originally was, but I think it fixes the problems the app had, and addresses the issues the blog community had with it too.

So what do you think?  Can it work?  Or should it just be left in the app graveyard?