BlackBerry's BBM Shop hit 1 billion user views in January

So you don't care for BBM Stickers? Well, you just might be in the minority if so. BlackBerry has now announced the BBM Shop has hit 1 billion user views in January and 72% of customers with access to the BBM Shop interact with virtual goods each month.

According to Matthew Talbot, Senior Vice President Emerging Solutions at BlackBerry, virtual goods have generated more than 3 billion total impressions, racking up more than a billion every month with the first billion only taking 5.5 months and the second billion only taking 3 months and finally, the third billion only taking less than a month.

Over the last six weeks alone, users' interactions with virtual goods have shot up over 200%, proving virtual goods is a pretty good business all around.

BBM: Open for Business

As part of the monetization plan for BBM, we're looking to grow the user base and drive average revenue per user, better-known in our industry as ARPU. We're growing the user base with our cross-platform strategy, offering BBM for Android, iOS, and Windows, Phone customers. We're doing the second by offering value to customers in the form of virtual goods and services like BBM Money and international airtime gifting.

We're also offering new opportunities for brands that want to reach their customers through BBM. Asian online marketplace Qoo10 was the first to launch a sponsored sticker pack, giving the pack away to fans free of charge, so they boost brand equity every time they use one of the stickers. The new BBM Shop also has a new ad banner space available. Contact one of our ad sales network partners for more information.

Worldwide, people are increasingly dependent on their mobiles, with the average mobile consumer checking his or her device 150 times a day! Mobile has overtaken the desktop internet, print, TV, and other media as the most important channel. Messaging is quickly becoming the preferred way to engage with the mobile internet, the gateway for many things we do online: shopping, making payments, paying bills, etc. These services and virtual goods are all about making BBM your go-to platform for everything you do with your mobile.

The World Inside BBM

The newest Shop update brings many new entertainment and utility options to you inside BBM: useful apps, games, streaming music, and airtime top-up.

Apps include: weather app BeWeather Pro, Instagram client iGrann, games like Candy Crush Soda Saga, keyboard apps (like Zimpl) to save you Android users from your keyboards, and lots of options for music streaming depending on where you are in the world, including:

  • Nobex, an award-winning application for streaming live radio content from over 20,000 radio stations from around the world.
  • Akazoo is a subscription streaming music service available in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Poland, and Greece, and coming soon to Singapore, Vietnam, Brazil, and South Africa.
  • 7digital is a digital music platform and global leader in downloadable music, and will soon be available in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, Scandinavia, and the EU.
  • Langit Musik by MelOn is an Indonesian streaming and download service for Telkomsel users.
  • Via Media (of Zimbabwe) provides mobile services and content to South Africa and Nigeria.
  • Hungama is the largest aggregator, developer, publisher, and distributor of Bollywood and South Asian entertainment, music, and movies in the world. This content will soon be easily accessible for BBM users in India and Sri Lanka through the BBM Shop.

We've also added iTunes integration for those on iOS, so you can buy songs you like through iTunes with just a few clicks.

Don't forget to set Show What I'm Listening To and Show What Others are Listening To to "on" in your BBM Settings, so you and your contacts can help each other discover new music. This is just one of the ways social commerce is changing the music business.

Similar to what we've done with TransferTo and BBM Money, we're now offering airtime transfer in the BBM Shop. Just enter your phone number, the recipient's phone number, and make a payment with a credit card.

BBM is going to keep getting better, as we work to make it your app of choice for connecting with friends, family, and colleagues … and increasingly for everything else you do on your mobile. Stay tuned for more this year.

Needless to say, those are some interesting stats coming from BlackBerry but in related news, one company that supplies the BBM Shop with virtual goods, Swyft Media, was recently acquired by the folks at Monotype for up to $27M. (Fun fact: Monotype also owns the font used on BlackBerry 10. Slate Pro created by award-winning designer Rod McDonald) They also provided some interesting stats in terms of virtual goods.

According to their case study for BBM, 'Swyft Media & BBM launched content from the hit movie franchise "Toy Story" across BBM. Within hours the pack was the top selling pack for 100+ million monthly active users all over the world. Buzz from the launch generated coverage for Disney and BBM in major mobile publications in under 24 hours reaching over 600k excited unique visitors.'