Will initiatives like Flipkart Flyte encourage people to buy songs & reduce music piracy?

Music Corner

Source, Author. Photo published under this creative commons license.

Music piracy is very big in India today. People may not acknowledge music piracy as an issue but some day or the other they’ll have to accept that downloading songs for free and copying them from their friends mobile phones/memory cards is music piracy and get on with legitimate ways of doing things – buying songs.

Flipkart Flyte is an online music store that allows users to download DRM-Free MP3 songs from many Bollywood, regional language movies and English albums. Instead of selling Music CD’s that contains a certain number of preloaded songs (mostly from the same album) for a higher price, users can buy and download only the songs they want. The songs sell at rates from Rs. 6 to Rs. 15, with most of the bestsellers/recent songs priced at Rs. 15. It seems around 5000 songs are sold on an average, everyday.

It’s quite obvious that music piracy is not going to end tomorrow. But the question is, can initiatives like the Flipkart Flyte reduce the music piracy? If there is a legal way to download and listen to good songs (at a low price) why should users not buy songs instead of downloading them illegally?

I’ll give some reasons why people should not download songs illegally:

  • Most of the illegal sites offering downloads for free will also download adware/spyware and other virus programs to your computer. These softwares will allow your computer to be controlled by nefarious groups and they can do things like read your e-banking/email user-name/password, damage/delete files or make your computer a part of their spamming network which will consume a lot of your bandwidth. So, chances are good that you either lose money directly or indirectly.
  • If you copy songs from others who have downloaded them (illegally) from the net, all those viruses and spyware programs will also be copied to your system. Do you want to expose your system to all these unnecessary risks?
  • If you buy songs, you’ll buy only the best songs that you want to listen to. But if you download/copy them, there is a good chance that you’ll download a lot of songs that you may not listen to, at all. It’s just a wastage of memory resources and the songs that you want to listen to, may get buried along with many others and become inaccessible.
  • Downloading songs illegally will limit the revenue earned by producers/distributors of music albums and hence everyone (including the artists) get paid less. If this continues, many good artists/producers will either drop out or will be too dependent on cinema and will have to make songs targeting cinema viewers. There is less incentive to make good music or for talented musicians to release private albums.
  • It’s easy to trace downloads to individual users using IP addresses and tracking systems available with police/cyber cell. Why provide an actionable evidence to law enforcers?

It takes some exposure and experience to understand that anything with a ‘free’ price tag on it, is not really free. There are always some hidden costs. Similarly, illegally downloaded songs are not entirely free. People have to pay for them in some form, later on. Instead of paying in some unnecessary way, why not pay the creators/distributors directly? Why not buy low-cost songs legally, instead of downloading them illegally?

Destination Infinity

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23 Replies to “Will initiatives like Flipkart Flyte encourage people to buy songs & reduce music piracy?”

  1. You are right. As they say here “there is no such thing as free lunch”. There are always some hidden costs. Also, how many people in India are going to abide by the rules and do things legally? As the Tamil saying goes “sevidan kaadhil oodhiya sangu” (blowing a conch in the ear of a deaf person).

    1. It takes some time to understand that rules are there for the benefit of everyone in the society, and not a single party as people often seem to think. It will take time to understand that breaking the rules/law is going to be costly for themselves. It may take sometime to happen, but I think people will eventually abide by the law.

      Destination Infinity

    1. People are addicted to things by offering it to them for free. Since you are from Nilgiris, you should know that the British initially offered ‘free’ Tea to people around that area and once people got addicted to it, they started selling it. Same way, if people are going to get addicted to a (lot of) free-music, they will have to pay more to get them once the rules get stringently enforced. At least for collecting a bribe from people, anti-piracy rules will get enforced sooner than later (I think).

      Destination Infinity

  2. No doubt a good idea.
    Apple IPod music is fantastic. MP3 is not so good. A pirated MP3 CD will do no harm to musical geniuses of the entire world.
    For paid high quality music one must have Marantz at the least.

    1. No one I know has an apple ipod! So, I am yet to listen to the music from that device. Marantz seems interesting but expensive?

      Destination Infinity

  3. Flipkart Flyte is a wonderful initiative. Hope it helps reduce the music piracy a bit, as you said, the piracy may not end very soon!
    Wonderful pointers to avoid illegal downloading of songs!

    1. Yes, there is always more to free illegal downloads. I mean, no one would host songs for free otherwise, right?

      Destination Infinity

  4. Except buying Music CDs rarely on the album of top musician or actors, I download most of the songs from internet. I well aware downloading songs is illegal and I do care for the music producers and creators… but spending Rs100 on each album is impossible, right.

    I truly agree with you and thanks for putting an impressive thought on it, we most of the time forget to notice. Thanks for introducing the Flipkart, I will use this site for future downloads leaving a price behind. 🙂

    1. Lot of people do it and its not considered wrong in India (by the people). I used to do it before 3-4 years, but I no longer do it. I am listening to songs online these days. I am yet to buy songs from Flyte, but I am considering my first purchase soon. Maybe we can buy few songs that we like so much. That way, the purchase won’t be expensive.

      Destination Infinity

  5. I dont think piracy can be stopped.. its not possible to police that. but yeah initiatives can be made so as to decrease the level of piracy ..

    saying that I have myself sometimes downloaded songs from internet, the problem i find is that if you buy an album only one or two songs are good .. then to make a cd of ur own songs colelction you will have to buy so any albums ..

    I think it would be good if EACH song can be bought rather then a album, so people can chose the songs they want and creat their own album and buy .. that would surly help reduce piracy a lot ..

    thats what happens here I think (although I am not sure) , I can buy particular SONGs and dont have to buy the whole song ..

    1. Yes. That’s what Flipkart Flyte is all about – You can buy any individual song for Rs. 6 – Rs. 15, without having to buy a whole album for higher cost. That way, we can buy only our favorite songs and our expenses would be minimum as well.

      Destination Infinity

  6. It is a good idea but I doubt it will reduce piracy to a massive extent. People who prefer downloading them for free are not doing it for the lack of choice but due to their intent of not paying.

    1. People who download a lot of songs like that are just going to get more and more addicted. Addiction is not good, for any purpose.

      Destination Infinity

  7. I used to download movies too.

    But then, I lost all important files on the computer due to virus which also came free with the songs I downloaded. Now I pay for songs and get them from trusted nokia ovi music.

    1. I need to check the Nokia ovi service. Not aware of it. Is it only for the mobile phone, or for everyone?

      Destination Infinity

  8. This sounds like a decent initiative. Yeah now music companies are relooking at their business models since maintaining the existing business model and urging people not to take to piracy is simply not working for them any more!

  9. ooops i recently downloaded songs (no .. not through flyte) from shahrukh’s latest movie .. i am sorry to say but i do not like buying music online when i can freely download it .. (no offense in saying this)

  10. Download songs for free… Why pay when you can get for free.. and about adware/malware.. please.. you should know where to download from… paying for mp3 is the last thing i would do.. nope not even then..

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