Earlier today, India's formidable competitor to Amazon—Flipkart—launched their music marketplace. Traditionally, in India, paying for digital copies of music isn't exactly a common practice; we have our own sources. However, this doesn't mean we don't pay for music. Buying music online hasn't been a very appealing experience, one of the biggest problems has been the limited catalogue and pricing. Flipkart seems to be changing this.
Flipkart's music store, like Amazon's, offers DRM-free and downloadable MP3 files. I gave the marketplace a try and the process seems very simple with multiple payment options. Flipkart is offering Hindi cinema songs, regional songs in a variety of languages, and Western music, at a variety of price points. I decided to buy a track from a really old Hindi movie:
I used the Add to Cart option for a single track and placed my order:
The thing that surprised me was the wider variety of payment options offered by Flipkart. In many ways this alone will be one of the reasons why I see Flipkart's service will survive and succeed.
My purchase was delayed thanks to my bank that needed me to go through some extra steps but once that was done, I bought my song in a few clicks:
Having social is crucial, the option to share my purchase on Facebook and Twitter will help Flipkart get the word out. Once you've bought the song, you can access the song in your Digital Cart on Flipkart. Here's where things things get interesting.
As marked, the song I purchased is 128 Kbps, I missed reading this information anywhere before buying the song. The second is the restriction on the number of times I can download the song, it's 4. I have no problems since this is a simple MP3 file that can be moved among devices but it is something to be noted. Once I bought the song I wondered if I will have to search for the metadata. Surprisingly, the MP3 track had metadata and the album art:
As ecommerce grows in India, music and video piracy might fall. While the song I bought was INR 6, the newer ones are INR 15, a price that I believe many won't mind paying. Anupam Saxena at MediaNama offers some more insight, according to his list, Flipkart has some of the biggest labels—T-Series, Sony, Universal, Tips, Saregama—on board.