After a little over a year, flipkart is shutting down its flyte digital music store in India. We first reported about flipkart’s launch of flyte digital music store in February 2012 and since then, flyte grew up to a catalogue of 15 million songs making it the largest store for digital music in India. According to flipkart, the reason for closing down flyte digital music service is the prevalent music piracy in India and lack of easy micro payments.
Here is what we think flipkart might have done to prevent this:
There was absolutely no marketing done for flyte. Everything people knew about the service was due to word of mouth or banners on flipkart.com. Things like banners on trailers of films on music channels (iTunes has been doing that since years now) make a lot of difference and help in spreading awareness about the service. There were ads for flipkart.com, however, we never saw ads for flyte either on TV or in print media.
Apart from their anniversary offer, flyte never had any promotions. I am talking about things like:
I know that its difficult to maintain margins when you have songs priced at INR 6 due to Apple’s 30% cut in the in app purchase policy, however, flyte could have at least let iOS users purchase music using a nice mobile site like amazon. The sad part was that they have a mobile site for physical products, but no mobile site for digital products.
iTunes has been doing this for some time now. Instead of charging a user’s card when he has purchased just one or two songs, wait for a few days for the user to purchase some more songs and then charge the card for a bigger amount. That way, it is easy to overcome the issue of micro payments. It also helps reduce the number of calls made to the payment gateway. And if the user doesn’t purchase more songs in the next few days, just charge for that song. It will still lower the number of transactions on the card.
In any case, I am sure that the decision was taken considering many other things which we might not know about. We wish the flyte team good luck and hope that they will come up with a better and more profitable digital music store in the future.
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