Flipkart, the largest e-commerce site in the country, has decided to shutter its Flyte digital music download service. The loss of one of the biggest players in this space is a big blow to the nascent digital music market. However, the Flyte store will continue to stock e-books.

The service is currently active and will remain so till June 17, but the company’s Digital Media and Payments head, Mekin Maheshwari told NextBigWhat that Flipkart will take another punt at the digital music market after a pause. “We have realized that the music downloads business in India will not reach scale unless several problem areas such as music piracy and easy micro-payments etc are solved in great depth. Which is why, we feel that at present, it makes sense to take a step back from Flyte MP3s and revisit the digital music market opportunity at a later stage,” he told the website.

Flipkart sells music

Flyte crash!

In an email, Flipkart urged users to use up the remaining funds in their Flyte wallet before June 17. Users who are not able to do so by that deadline will be refunded the balance in their wallets. June 17 is also the day when no more new songs can be purchased. Songs purchased from the store can be downloaded till August 18, after which users won’t be able to get their tunes.

Flyte, which started with an inventory of a million tracks from 150,000 unique albums, now boasts nearly 5 million tracks. Their DRM-free MP3 files were being sold for as low as Rs 6 a song and Rs 25 for an album. In February, the company had announced that it had 1 lakh users on Flyte and they had downloaded a total of 2.5 million songs. In April, the company had restricted users of its Wallet service to Flyte alone.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,