BlackBerry announced a strategic alliance with PT Elang Mahkota Teknologi Tbk (Emtek) that will enable the former to develop new applications and services for the Android, iOS and Windows Phones versions of its messaging app BBM.
Emtek is an Indonesian media content company and is considered “an ideal partner” because cross-platform BBM has seen significant popularity in Indonesia, growing to nearly 60 million monthly active users, BlackBerry explained.
Emtek’s digital content arm KMK Online will establish an office in the Toronto area to work closely with BlackBerry.
KMK Online’s media assets will be combined with Emtek’s businesses and investments to bring “significant value and services” to BBM.
BlackBerry will extend its open mobility ecosystem by making the BBM application program interface available to Emtek in order to accelerate the growth of partners and service providers.
Integrating BBM’s social, chat, commerce and content capabilities with Emtek’s portfolio of assets and ecosystem will help maximise the potential of BBM, the firm said, describing the deal as a “landmark partnership”.
Customers will have access to content like music and video streaming, games, sports and news channels; shopping and vouchers; online to offline commerce such as booking movies; as well as financial services such as money transfer.
The firm added that the alliance with Emtek will facilitate its goal of licensing BlackBerry software and IP to increase revenue and improve margins.
BlackBerry believes the deal will help it achieve operational and cost efficiencies while driving growth in the BBM business as Emtek will invest in people, infrastructure, technology development and the ecosystem.
“Emtek’s impressive background and pedigree in entertainment, content and technology makes them the perfect partner to maximize the potential of BlackBerry’s messaging platform while meeting our financial and operational goals,” said John Chen, CEO at BlackBerry.
Back in April, BlackBerry added a daily content channel to its BBM messaging app in Indonesia, in line with its aim “to make BBM your social hub”, adding that the increased consumer activity was attracting advertisers to BBM.
At the time, Matthew Talbot, SVP of emerging solutions, went as far as to say “There isn’t another messaging app in the market today that can compete with the ecosystem we’re developing in Indonesia.”