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Indonesian media giant Emtek acquires licences for Blackberry social messaging app BBM

BBM logoEmtekIndonesian media giant Emtek has acquired the brand, IP and technology licensing rights of social messaging app Blackberry Messenger, fondly known in the archipelago as BBM.

The deal, worth US$207.5m over six years, sees the owner of three of the country’s biggest free-to-air TV stations join forces with the 11 year-old messaging app, which remains hugely popular in Indonesia, its biggest market globally.

The agreement, which does not include Blackberry’s enterprise business, will see Emtek’s digital content arm KMK Online set up an office in the Toronto area.

BBM has an estimated 200m users globally, and around 60m of them are in Indonesia, where the messaging app is the most popular social platform with a higher of share media time than Facebook, Whatsapp or Line. BBM has become so popular in Indonesia because it offers unlimited messaging at a much lower cost than carrier SMS pricing.

The deal will give BBM users access to Emtek content, and Emtek the opportunity to build an eco-system that combines messaging, social media, content, entertainment and – arguably the biggest prize – e-commerce, a sector that is growing as quickly in Indonesia as anywhere in Southeast Asia.

The news comes just a month after Emtek acquired a stake in Iflix, the internet television company that has just entered Indonesia.

BBM was exclusive to Blackberry devices until 2013, when the struggling Canadian smartphone made the app available on rival platforms Android, iOS and Microsoft.

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