Flyte: India’s 1st Digital Music Store; Songs Start at 12 Cents

Flipkart, the poster child of Indian eCommerce — and often referred to as an Amazon copycat — has now entered India’s digital music scene. In fact, it’s the first to open up a full-fledged digital music store. Flyte is Flipkart’s foray into digital music. Like I have previously argued, pricing is always the key for a digital store when it is grappling with rampant piracy on one side, and the free social music sites like Saavn and Facebook on the other side.

Flipkart’s Flyte seems to be getting the pricing right. The lowest price for a song is Rs. 6 or 12 US cents. That’s the price I pay for my coffee everyday. When it comes to choosing between a coffee and a song purchase, it isn’t much of a hard choice. Quit coffee. Buy a song. Latest songs like the songs of yet to be released film Agent Vinod costs Rs. 15 or 29 cents.

Flipkart Wallet is the pre-cursor

Flipkart made all the right moves leading to Flyte. Flipkart has acquired Mime360 and Chakpak.

After that, Flipkart has launched its Wallet functionality which gives an option to buy goods from the store once a certain amount is accrued in the wallet. The wallet functionality seemed rather limiting at that time. With the launch of Flyte and the micro-payments it requires, Flipkart wallet is now extremely useful.

Free song for a mobile recharge?

Pratap Das has commented on a post that a 9 rupee free song download for a mobile recharge would be a good idea.

I don’t think it’s a good idea. I think it’s a killer idea., one of the Indian startups with a hot idea, already does this. For a mobile recharge online, a McDonald’s meal will be free. To give you a statistic, close to 90% of the mobile connections in India are pre-paid. Mobile recharge online would be a natural extension of what people are already doing.

A song or two for every mobile recharge would be a win-win situation for companies like, Flipkart’s Flyte and of course the music Industry.

Why should I pay?

I wish I could answer that. It’s a personal choice. If you want DRM free music and want to respect people’s work then it’s a wise decision to pay for the songs. If you think songs should be free like air and want to rely on Torrents and pirated CD’s on the roadside, then that’s your choice too. Readers of this blog should note that, a popular song download site was ordered to be blocked by Indian ISP’s.

Given the crackdowns that are happening across the world, the free stuff pipes will soon dwindle down. I’m not saying p2p networks will wither away. That’s not going to happen. But people will be wary about what they are sharing, with all the lawsuits flying around. Buying a song for 12 cents (even in India) doesn’t seem to be such a bad alternative.