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Flyte, Flipkart’s MP3 store, turns one

A year on, the online retailer believes their focus on music selection has been validated
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First Published: Wed, Feb 20 2013. 08 03 PM IST

Flipkart’s digital media service Flyte launched as an MP3 store just under one year ago, and to celebrate, the Bangalore based e-commerce company is giving away a lot of content for free.
It is offering 100 albums each day that users can download for free. Users can copy the songs they download to multiple devices as well; all you need is a free Flipkart account.
Free music ranges from relatively contemporary tracks from Hindi movies such as Barfi! to one-time international pop hits such as Ricky Martin and All Saints, whom many young people may not recognize today.
In an email to Mint, Sameer Nigam, Flipkart’s vice president, digital, and the man in charge of Flyte, disclosed some details about how the digital music service has fared.
“It has been a fabulous learning experience. We have spent the first year trying to build the market for legal music purchase in India and have recently entered the nascent e-books market. We have always believed that people will be willing to pay for their music if the service and the selection are compelling enough—and that is what we have constantly worked towards,” he said.
In the last 12 months, Flyte has built a catalogue of over five million songs from more than 12,000 music labels around the world. Nigam said Flyte has seen 2.5 million paid downloads in the last 12 months; while he didn’t share the revenue figures, a visit to the site shows an average value of around Rs.9 per song, suggesting that the company has earned Rs.22.5 million from Flyte.
He added: “We have been introducing new features and our selection has been growing at a rapid pace. Our heavy focus on selection has been validated. Through this year, among the largest learnings has been the very wide variety of music that consumers have bought from us. The barriers we foresee in terms of taking legal music downloads to the next level lie primarily in the areas of discovery on the site and the need to simplify the payment processes.”
While Hindi movie songs were highly popular, English pop music topped the downloads, and perhaps predictably, Gangnam Style by Psy was the most downloaded song. Lenka’s song Everything at Once was the second most downloaded song, followed by One More Night by Maroon 5. The top Hindi songs were from films, starting with Pani Da Rang from Vicky Donor, followed by Tumhi Ho Bandhu from Cocktail and Pareshaan from Ishaqzaade.
While Flyte has been selling MP3s for a year now, it only started selling e-books from November-end. Flyte launched with 65,000 e-books, of which around 4,000 were free, and this has nearly doubled to 125,000 books, with around 10,000 free titles, said Nigam. He said more than 50,000 books have been downloaded from Flyte, though he didn’t give a break-up of free and paid books. What Young India Wants by Chetan Bhagat was the most downloaded book, followed by The Oath of the Vayuputras and The Immortals of Meluha, both by Amish Tripathi.
Since it’s only been active for a little under three months now, it’s difficult to say if this service is a success. Nigam said, “We have ambitious plans for Flyte—and we intend to get to 1.5-2 million customers over the next one year. We think the investments we are making in our offering, coupled with increasing Internet penetration, will help influence customers to shift to legal content faster.”
The free songs are available till 28 February, at www.flipkart.com/flyte/birthday
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First Published: Wed, Feb 20 2013. 08 03 PM IST
More Topics: Flipkart | Flyte | MP3 | e-books | Lounge Exclusive |