No matter the hurdles in the road, Flipkart has managed to foray ahead, raise funds and capture the market. While the online book store is now a full-fledged e-commerce giant, the company only recently forayed into the e-books market. In November, they launched the e-book app ‘Flyte e-books’ for the Android platform. This app allows users to choose from over 1,00,000 titles. Given that India is still new to the concept of e-books and downloading books, the app offers over 4000 free titles.
Now, Flipkart has announced that it has crossed the 50,000 e-book download mark thanks to its 25,000 customers. While the figure may seem rather large given that the app was only recently launched, Sameer Nigam, VP (Digital) has this to say, “With music, we are basically a download store where a user can come and download music, which can then be listened to using any player. But in the case of e-books, we have invested heavily in our own reading platform and app, hence e-books can only be read through the Flyte app. This is because we believe the reading experience plays a very important role and we want to wow consumers with our offering”.
Flyte e-book is India’s first e-book digital ecosystem. The reader app goes beyond the plain PDF format and allows users to make notes, highlight, and share quotes from the book (140 characters) on social media platforms. Users have access to 10% of the book before making a purchase and have a 30-day replacement guarantee. However, unlike Kindle which has adopted cloud technology, Flyte e-book restricts the reading experience to the app only. Also, as per their Digital Rights Management (DRM) you don’t own the books you buy and you cannot really do anything with them – share, copy, etc.
The company plans to launch iOS and Windows 8 versions in the next two quarters.
Given the rise in the number of smartphone users and the corresponding increase in the number of app users, Flyte e-book will get more customers as Flipkart is a trusted brand in the Indian market. However, I feel there is the need for the company to revisit their DRM and to ensure that the purchased books can be accessed on the desktop or any other Internet enabled device as well. With these customer centric changes, the app is sure to build a stronger connect with the customers. Wouldn’t you agree?
Image Courtesy | pitchonnet