Slacker Pushed to Verizon’s BlackBerry Tour — Hit Record or Sad Song?


slacker-blackberryIn mid-July, Verizon (s vz) pushed the Slacker music application to all BlackBerry Storm devices. The software is tied directly to Verizon’s VCast store so if you like what you hear on Slacker, Verizon is happy to sell you the track right over the air. I just received word from Slacker that Verizon is dancing to the same tune on the hot, new BlackBerry Tour (s rimm) handset as well. While you can opt out for a camera on the Tour, you can’t skip a beat without Slacker.

I’m curious how folks feel about this particular situation. For years, we’ve dealt with custom carrier builds and branded services. Sometimes we’re able to remove those apps and sometimes we’re not. In a way, the automatic installation of Slacker on the Storm and Tour, isn’t much different than having it pre-installed on a device out of the box. And it sounds to me like Verizon figures it can earn more audio track revenues with a third-party title than with their own software. But that’s the question — Slacker is a third party title that can be installed, or not, on many other handsets. It’s normally up to the handset owner if they want Slacker. Not this time, though. Consumers can always just not use the software, but what if you want to reclaim that storage space?

Is this a non-issue or a practice that bothers you?



I think that it is a non issue for those of us who have Blackberry Storms and have Slacker radio. The app is available and you can either use it or not. Your choice. The next complaint will be that Verizon is not doing enough and should be pushing more apps or different apps or whatever else comes to mind.


I guess it comes down to who owns the phone. Given I think you own the phone rather than license it then I think it is unacceptable.

It seems to me that the whole carrier branded store thing is a desperate attempt to avoid being dumb data providers – which they are.



I’m curious, is Verizon pushing the actual Slacker app, or just an icon to let the user download the app?

Mike Jenkins

I’m sorry to correct you but they are only pushing an icon to download the app, not the entire app. To confirm I just clicked the icon on my Storm and it opened the browser and took me to a page where I could download the software. I don’t think Verizon has ever pushed an entire app to any BlackBerry, all of my icons for Flickr, AIM, Facebook, VZW Tones, Song ID, etc. have all been links, not whole applications. I’d be happy to send a picture or video for proof if you desire.

Kevin C. Tofel

Mike, I don’t doubt what you’re seeing at all. Let me check with my Slacker contact for clarification. It’s far less of an issue if all that’s getting pushed is an icon that links to the install.


I think it is really an odd thing to do and not something that should be condoned. Its not like BB’s have a lot of room for apps as it is.

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