Why Flipkart’s Flyte will not stop music piracy in India?

I am sure by now you must have read or heard about this online service called Flyte by Flipkart. It is run by Flipkart.com and allows users to purchase MP3 music files at pretty reasonable prices. Until last week for Indian music fans, there was no real online retailer who sold music legally and cheap. In other words Flipkart is trying to do something that iTunes did for the American music industry.

What is good about Flipkart’s Music Downloads?

  • Flipkart is India’s largest online retailer. So it makes sense that it sells music online. The collection at Flipkart is pretty much exclusively suited for Indian tastes. Though there is an international section available.
  • Head over to Flyte from Flipkart and browse through the songs your want to purchase. Select an album or song and purchase it.
  • Payment needs to be done online with netbanking or credit card. Once you are done, simply download the songs from your browser.
  • All songs can be downloaded and purchased individually and they are priced quite reasonably. The most popular songs I found were available for Rs. 15/- while others were around Rs. 6/-.

Now this is quite exciting if you are living in India as previously MP3 formatted music which was DRM free was not really available, unless it was pirated. So will this end music piracy in India or atleast significantly reduce it?

Why Flipkart won’t really hurt music piracy at present?

Flipkart might be selling digital music as a platform but I am not sure that the music industry in India will adopt it in a big way. That is because the music industry in India is not the same as in the US or Europe. Musicians in the US and Europe have sold their music online at affordable prices not to make a lot of music but to actually reach the widest possible market.

The major revenue earners for music artists in the US and Europe seem to be concert tours. Unfortunately in India, the most popular songs are always from films. This means they depend on selling their music as CD’s or even caller tunes on mobile phones rather than going on concerts all over for revenues. I doubt that the most popular music in India will become piracy free anytime soon.

Another factor against legal music downloads is that much of India’s population which downloads music online is very young. A majority of them do not have a credit card or netbanking account to buy music legally. But alternatively they do have a mobile phone and that might be effective way in including them in buying music online.

That said Flipkart’s Flyte is a good platform and also much needed one for music lovers in India.

Do you think Flipkart will end music piracy in India? Do drop in your comments.

Link: Flipkart Flyte

Related: Listen to Free Bollywood music online with Chrome App


Prabal March 5, 2012

Agree with you Aditya, its not so easy to stop piracy in India. Who would like to buy songs for this price when we can easily download them.

Sagar March 5, 2012

Agreed, its very difficult, people who download free music from sites like songs.pk are not even aware that it’s illegal.

Manendra March 5, 2012

Yup you are correct copy rights in india is very expensive recently we planned to start online streaming site. For south Indian songs in starting and you know how much did the Audio company’s asked us. They asked 1Lack per year if the movie is from an common hero who was not having good following.
Who can buy the copyright for 1L+ every year for one movie song…?? Hope new feature of this flipkart will reduce piracy in INDIA soon.

Sony April 6, 2012

Will you please share the procedure for get copyright for south indian songs..

Mohul March 5, 2012

Hmm.. nothing short of revolutionary step from FlipKart.. I just hopped on to their portal and searched for Rockstar’s songs.. they are available for Rs 9 per song.. clean deal, I would say.. I just like 4 songs from the album, and would happily shell out Rs 36 for those 4 songs (its another matter that I had bought the album few months ago) .. with time it will certainly take off..

Aditya Kane March 5, 2012

@Mohul: The site will probably be successful but it might not really dent piracy as such in India because music revenues in India are part of film revenues.

Brijesh March 5, 2012

Why would someone buy a thing when its available for free!! The first thing a user searches is the word Free and thats a common human behaviour. The gov. and the music industry has to be more strict against websites who upload pirated music copies… Unless and until such websites are not banned its too far to reach American standards…

Aditya Kane March 5, 2012

Music piracy was big in the US too, with no resolution in view. But the problem with Indian music is that the music industry is pretty much part of the movie industry and not a standalone industry as such.

Ashish.net March 5, 2012

Itz like selling mangos where everybody is having Testy-mango’s tree right in their home … isn’t it 🙂

Dinesh Verma March 6, 2012

No one can stop piracy around the world until we prefer to do so.

Bijoy March 12, 2012

We need to be ETHICAL first. Even in US piracy is a problem but the people there prefer doing it Legally.
And one more thing is the in US the royalties are paid to the Creative People too but in India it goes directly to the producers(Except AR Rahman follows global standards). We are waiting for the ammendment in the copyright Act. Think and Act.

Aditya Kane March 12, 2012

@Bijoy: I guess when Napster took off, no one in the US was really downloading music legally. Everyone prefers the legal way, as long as it is made easy to do so.

Mohammed Riza April 15, 2012

Flipkart is not the first to come out with such an offering.

Hungama.com and saregama.com already allow paid download of legal DRM free MP3 content.

Similarly, Bigflix.com provides full length movies on demand. (no download, streaming only)

All said and done, these services will not stop piracy altogether in India. But at least they do offer inexpensive and easy alternate means of digital media consumption for the ethics-minded section of the population.

Mohan July 9, 2012

This is indeed a step in the right direction because the main weapon legal downloads has against piracy sites is the quality of music and convenience of shopping. Flyte does have a good selection of songs in 320 Kbps quality at very reasonable prices and the shopping experience is nice too. I believe legal online music downloads will take off in the upcoming years mainly because of the proliferation of mobile devices. Smartphones and tablets are the wave of the future and they don’t have CD drives. Even upcoming Ultrabook laptops don’t have CD drives. So buying CDs is going to be less and less attractive with time. Moreover, it will be easier and cheaper for audio companies to release music online instead of mass producing CDs and distributing them. Online downloads and streaming will be further helped by increasing mobile broadband speeds. As with most tech-related things, India is lagging behind the West in digital downloads, but it will eventually catch up.

Flipkart should allow mp3 downloads from abroad too. There’s a huge expatriate audience out there waiting to be tapped.

vikal October 27, 2012

flipkart has now on top in e-retail with their remarkable strategy and hard work. Now with Flipkart Flyte they have taken a new step to stop piracy of songs and movies but i think it will take time to succeed because at present in film industry songs n promo come before release of the movie n they also target to reach their music to as much large population as possible n with internet people download songs easily with the help of some sites available on the other hand flipkart is asking for card or e-banking process which may be the factor to not attract their flyte category.
if free songs n movies are available through free downloading on internet so why people purchase songs or movies.

som October 30, 2012

I would rather buy music from flipkart for sure than download pirated songs. I am sure there are many like myself, the music industry would be the biggest gainer

Chethan November 18, 2012

I used to pirate music. Back then I didn’t have a credit card or anything of the sort. But I’ve come to realize this isn’t something I should be doing.

I don’t know anyone who buys their music. But now that we actually have Flipkart’s service, I really hope things get better. I’m definitely going to talk to my friends about this.

Flipkart’s prices are dirt cheap. Honestly. I mean, an entire album for 100 bucks? That makes each song about Rs. 10. At this point, piracy would be like stealing tomatoes. I think piracy will definitely reduce. Especially once people become more aware or Flipkart’s services.

Also, there are some great bands emerging around here now. New bands don’t have a fan following who’ll visit their concerts in large numbers. We really should support them by buying their albums.

Vivek G K February 19, 2013

I really hope Indians will start to buy music online rather than pirating. Movies and music worldwide is starting to be full of ads. If you watch any movies, TV shows, music etc nowadays, you can see blatant product placement. Soon it will become so bad that artistic integrity is compromised in favour of sponsorship, because they are the only people who will pay for the music.

Now that the prices have become reasonable, there really is no excuse to download music illegally unless it is not available on legitimate sites.

Balasundaram February 23, 2013

After Flipkart was introduced by my friend I bought all my MP3 songs from them. Even the ones which I downloaded earlier from elsewhere, I paid to Flipkart and re-downloaded. Otherwise tell me how you honor the musicians those entertain you. Even If the 50% commentators here walk their talk it should be great.
Let’s be ethical guys….

Karthik February 26, 2013

One more reason why this is not a piracy killer is because one still has to go to the computer to purchase music. As simple as that.

abhishek July 15, 2013

You were bang on point . Finally flipkart has closed their mp3 store !