9XO, the International music channel from 9X Media, has partnered with Techzone, a VAS provider, and an aggregator, developer, publisher and distributor of entertainment content, to launch an online international music store – www.9XO.56060.in.
The webstore currently offers international music, albums, videos and wallpapers of singers and bands. To buy or download the content, users need to register on the website using their email id. Users can also preview the song (20 seconds) and video (30 seconds) before making a purchase. Now we do understand that Techzone, which runs its website at 560560.com powers the 9XO store, we do not get why 9XO opted for a ridiculous subdomain URL, which is difficult to remember. Why not go for a simple one word URL address like 9XOmusicstore.com?
WAP Portal: The company has also created a WAP portal to download videos, wallpapers, ringtones and audio packs on feature phones. To download the content from the portal, users need to send an SMS to 56060 with 9XO in message.
Content: All the music, videos and wallpapers on the website are provided by Techzone. The company claims that it powers nearly 60% of all mobile digital entertainment content in India. We found the catalog to be pretty vast. However, we found that the cost of a song or album was significantly higher than its competitor, Flipkart Flyte. For example, Coldplay’s Viva La Vida is available on Flyte for Rs 9, while the same is available on the 9XO store for Rs 15. Apart from that, the portal also does not have latest songs or album.
While the 9XO store only offers international songs and albums on its webstore, Techzone, which handles the content on the 9XO webstore, offers international, Bollywood, Tollywood, Kollywood content on its own website — 560560.in.
Music Discovery: Music discovery on the portal seems to be one of the area that 9XO/Techzone could work on. The search on the website does not support auto suggest and there is no way to search songs artist-wise. In case, for example, one wanted to buy/download all the songs of Coldplay, they would have to make use of site’s search option, searching for individual song names, as there’s no page dedicated to an artist. We feel that this is counter intuitive.
Payment: The webstore accepts credit/debit card, netbanking and cash cards as modes of payment.
As we mentioned earlier, the 9XO store competes with Flipkart’s Flyte, which offers DRM free music tracks starting at Rs 6 with multi device playback support in various bitrates including 64kbps, 128kbps, 320kbps. It also competes with Hungama.com, which offers international as well as local music, videos, and Nokia Music, Nokia’s music download service.