The eagle-eyed bloggers at Woikr spotted something that could be the "iTunes For India". A mysterious section appeared on Flipkart's menu labeled 'Flyte Digital Store' (see the screenshot). The section would open sub-menu with links like "MP3 Downloads Home" further categorized into "Generes", "Languages" & "Featured Music". It looks like someone at Flipkart accidentally opened up the vault of secrets at Flipkart and let the world view the new digital media store for a brief period of time. The section has been removed from Flipkart's website as of now and we have a strong reason to believe that Flipkart is rolling up its sleeves to launch the digital media store very very soon.
Flyte Appeared On Flipkart Store Briefly. Image Credit: Woikr
Flipkart's intentions behind acquiring Mime360 & ChakPak are now clear. In his interview with Medianama, Flipkart's co-founder Sachin Bansal talked about company's plans to roll out digital downloads service in 2012 and 'Flyte' could just be the name we all were waiting for. In a nutshell, we can expect Flyte to offer customers to download MP3 music legally. Pluggd.in mentions that the price of the downloads will be Rs. 10. Customers will be able to download the music files (.mp3) up to 5 times including the first download.
Our Opinion: We're happy & surprised. Happy because Indians who really are against digital piracy will now have an option to legally download songs of their choice; without having to buy the CD/DVD online. We are surprised because we aren't quite sure whether the paid digital downloads model will really work in India. There are tons of websites where people can download MP3 files of latest music releases free of cost. Currently Flipkart sells music CDs & DVDs online through a dedicated section on their site. The digital media store is likely to compete directly with it. On a related note, one of the most popular free mp3 downloads site songs.pk might just get shut down for Indians.
There's another dimension to the success of digital media store as well and it is the dropping broadband prices. How? Well in India, you can get unlimited broadband connection for just a few hundred bucks which would let you stream all your favorite songs & videos from YouTube or services like Gaana.com (there are several others). We think it's going to be challenging for Flipkart to find customers for their digital media store. That said, rumors are already spreading on the Internet that Flipkart is also gearing to launch ePub service (aka paid ebooks downloads) & it could just become a part of the 'Flyte', ultimately.
Do you think India & Indians are ready for the legal download of digital content?
<em>PS: We've reached out to Flipkart for a comment on Flyte. We'll update this post as soon as we get more concrete information.</em>
Update: Just received an official response from Flipkart -
<em>Greetings from Flipkart!</em>
<em>Thank you for writing in.</em>
<em>We certainly understand your concern and sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused in this regard.</em>
<em>Please be informed that the Flyte Digital Store is a feature newly added to our website and is not open to public as of now. It will take another 3-4 weeks for this to be accessible to our customers.</em>
<em>Please check our website frequently for updates on the same.</em>