iTunes India Entry: Premium Content competition heating up!
iTunes 11 is launched and along with the goodies that a new software launch brings something new has come up for 56 countries. iTunes Store is now available for 56 more countries. This brings up the total countries to over 150. And finally, India is getting the Apple iTunes love as well (about time). Apple store in India is now localized and content can be seen on it ranging from Movies to music. TV shows are still not present but they might be in the pipeline.
iTunes Store is THE product that disrupted the music industry in US. The revenue it generates is enough to tell that they know the business and are the best bet against piracy currently. It is a pleasant site to see that Apple feels itself confident enough to come out in the open and take the whole world now.
The Apple products have been present in these countries for a long time now and since the coming of iPhone and iPad the growth of the company has been phenomenal. Here, I am not talking about the growth of the company financially or in US but the growth in reach. It has expanded and Apple is now known everywhere. iPhone really brought Apple in everybody’s eyes and not just music lovers like the iPod.
Coming of a storm!
Flipkart is selling music through its Flyte architecture and sometime back I wrote an article mentioning that it was apt time for them to launch movies and TV shows. I do not know whether the message reached them or not but it sure reached Apple.
They have launched their music catalogue which is not thin by any measure (specially the Indian content). The pricing too is adjusted to Indian taste and not the $0.99 standard that Apple has in US. A song here is priced around the Rs. 10 mark which is slightly costlier than Flipkart but nevertheless in the same range. For the Apple product users, it’s a boon and I suspect that Flipkart might have just lost all their Apple using customers.
Movies too are now a part of the catalogue and are priced around Rs. 100 for rent and Rs. 400 for HD and Rs. 250 for SD movie buying.
Also, iTunes Match is launched which allows for Rs. 1200 to put all o your music on iCloud and then let’s you stream it anywhere. This music need not be bought from Apple and can be some music ripped off CDs.This is also an ominous sound for services like Saavn.com and Gaana.com. Of course, there is the price factor but the ease of use to hear one’s favorite song anywhere might be enough to offset that.
This is a direct competition for Flipkart and because of the launch of Movies by Apple, Flipkart won’t even have the first mover’s advantage in that area. Of course the TV content is still out in the open and as knowing the obsession of Indian elders in Indian Saas-Bahus and Indian youngsters in Foreign Saas-Bahus (or comedy or drama or thriller) it can be safely assumed that it is no small bet.
Apart from Flipkart, Youtube has come up with some interesting offerings, but they still remain a Free platform which offers good content. Paid Premium content is a different ball-game.
Other competitors of Apple like Google Music or Microsoft’s Xbox music streaming service are not present in India so do not currently merit being talked about even.