A discussion I had after a Nokia Music Connects session was a bit of a revelation about what music labels in India were doing to hold on to power. During the session on live streaming, I'd asked the labels on stage about why the music industry can't standardize licenses and allow startups to license musics easily and (I know this sounds cliched, but) let a thousand flowers bloom. A top music industry executive - the head of a copyright society, no less, walked up to me somewhat irked after the session. The executive pointedly explained why Flipkart's online music store Flyte was shut down: "You know what they were trying to do? Sameer Nigam and Jaidev Iyer (who were leading the effort from Flipkart's side) were trying to create a black box that would control us, control our distribution. How could we let that happen? We couldn't let that happen. They had to be shut down." Reasons for why Flyte shut down are still not known, but MediaNama's sources had put it down to an unexpected and unreasonable hike in licensing fees. What today's shut-down of Dhingana's services suggests is that labels are going to continue to be mercenary about it: we had expected that with Mobile VAS revenues declining, they would have tried to help create an alternate revenue stream on the Internet - on both the web and mobile Internet/apps, but that hasn't happened yet. Instead, it appears that the growth of the YouTube ecosystem in India has helped address some of…
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