Following its recent collaboration with digital music distribution service Zimbalam, BlackBerry has bolstered its content offering on the BlackBerry World storefront today by partnering with a trio of new TV networks and production companies.
Shows by PBS, Univision and Viacom have been added to the store, bringing popular shows such as Downton Abbey and programming from channels such as Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon to BlackBerry’s existing video catalog.
The additional content is exclusive to BlackBerry 10 users in the US, however, and there’s no word yet on a wider international release.
The trio join the following broadcasters, which were announced prior to the launch of BlackBerry 10 in January; ABC Studios, BBC Worldwide, CBC/Radio-Canada, CBS, DHX Media, ITV, National Geographic, NBCUniversal (UK), Nelvana, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (US), Starz Digital Media, Twentieth Century Fox Television, Univision Communications Inc, and Warner Bros.
Likewise, BlackBerry World has garnered support from almost all of the big-name film studios and indies; 20th Century Fox, Entertainment One, Lionsgate, MGM, National Film Board of Canada, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Starz Digital Media, STUDIOCANAL, The Walt Disney Studios, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros.
“Our audiences are increasingly turning to their smartphones to drop in on South Park, Jersey Shore, or SpongeBob SquarePants in Bikini Bottom anytime, anywhere they’d like,” said Tom Gorke, Senior Vice President of Content Distribution for Viacom Media Networks. “BlackBerry 10 is a great and growing platform for audiences to catch up with their favorite shows on the go, and for Viacom to extend the expansive reach of its beloved brands.”
The move is a significant one for BlackBerry, which is quickly trying to build up its content offering to compete with iTunes on iOS and Google Play on Android. Doing so will help to differentiate itself from the other mobile operating systems competing for third position, such as Microsoft’s Windows Phone and Mozilla’s upcoming Firefox OS.
It’s early days just yet, but the problem for BlackBerry will likely be persuading its users to buy this content on a regular basis, rather than getting household names to offer it in the first place.
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