Flipkart’s digital downloads store, Flyte is now live, offering music in MP3 format. The store is offering DRM free music tracks starting at Rs 6 with multi device playback support in various bitrates including 64kbps, 128kbps, 320kbps. Music purchased can be downloaded four times, including the initial purchase. Some of the new tracks, though, are priced at Rs 15 each, which could put consumers off.
The music is spread across various genres including devotional and spiritual, Hindustani, Carnatic, Pop, Rock, Film/OST, Indipop and others; languages; and top charts. Similar to what was reported after the first leak, the digital downloads are treated like a separate cart altogether, which are likely to allow the company to offer loyalty points to customers in the future, because digital downloads bring the company better margins.
What’s interesting is that the company has also got a download manager, allowing customers to manage their downloads.
Labels on board include T-Series, Saregama, Universal, Sony Music International, Sony Music India, Divine Arts Ishq Records, Hi Tech Music Ltd, Times Music, Sony Music, Big Eye Music, Air Music, Emm Entertainment, T-Series, Tips Industries Ltd, Universal Music India Pvt Ltd, Saregama. Not all regional labels are on board, though: for Tamil, we primarily spotted Symphony, Sruthilaya, Kosmik Global, while for Telugu, we noticed only Aditya Music. It appears that only Saregama is providing Punjabi music.
At the time of writing this post, the site offers tracks across various genres and languages, however, we feel that the international catalogue misses out on a lot of popular tracks and artists, since record labels such as EMI are missing. The site offers a 30 second preview of the track, and it can be added to cart, bought using a preloaded online wallet or just be added to the user’s wishlist. There’s a rating system integrated with the catalogue, where users can rate music and write a review.
After a successful purchase, tracks appear in the user’s library with the information about the number of times they’ve been downloaded, in addition to drop-down menus to select the bitrate of the song and between a direct download and a downloader based download. Multiple tracks can be downloaded at once using the Music Downloader, more relevant for unstable connections. Our overall experience was satisfactory. We just hope that Flipkart offers a much more richer catalogue in the upcoming months.Flipkart is also working on mobile/tablet apps for the service.
Last October, Flipkart had acquired the Mumbai-based digital content platform company Mime360 which manages music streaming for labels like Saregama, Universal Music and Inreco and delivers music content to publishers like Gaana.com (Indiatimes), Myusic and iMusti, announcing its intentions to launch digital distribution music, e-books and games.
Company’s co-founder and COO Binny Bansal later spoke with Medianama about their digital distribution plans stating that they would initially be rolling a digital music store followed by e-books, games and video and hopefully completing their digital distribution rollout by end of 2012. True to what Bansal had said then, the company appears to be starting with single track downloads, similar to iTunes. “If you make it really easy to buy music at the right price points, we believe that people will be willing to pay,” Bansal had said.