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Is your inflight content really adapted to your flight operations?

One size does not fit all

When it comes to inflight content, airlines spend thousands USD per month, up to millions per year, to delight their passengers with the best possible content during hours of flight.
Whilst it’s a no brainer to have a minimum portfolio of movies -but not only- for long haul flights, it becomes a nonsense to have such offering for flights under two hours, unless you can organize a (costly) streaming feature throughout the entire journey!

Suggested methodology

For short and medium haul flights, which represent 70% of the worldwide daily flights, you need to reconsider your inflight entertainment offering.

First step: define some routes segments. For example: flights under 2h00 and flights between 2 and 4 hours.

For the second step, request the help of your marketing team. They should be able to provide you with customers profiles per segment and period of the year. However, be careful, start simple! Avoid defining to many profiles/routes sub-segments.

The result of such analysis is a simple matrix:

Rows: route segments
Columns: route subsegments (e.g domestic, domestic<>Northern Europe,…)

According to the considered season (start with two), each cell of the matrix can be filled with passengers’ general information: x% business traveler, y% family, top 3 nationalities…

For each cell, adding the number of transported pax gives you the weight of importance in your content decision process.

Don’t forget the advertising component

When it comes to content consumption, you also need to consider the forecasted advertising revenues. If you expect to get significant advertising revenues out of your inflight platform, you need to ensure an average of 4 advertising exposure per flight per passenger.

Hence, how do you expect to monetize your inflight offering with 45-minute expensive TV programs on a 1H15mn flight?
In such case, you need to ensure that each “content” will be no longer than 15 to 20 mn.

Assuming your IFE software is able to display the right set of content according to the route and passenger profile, you are now ready to source the right content…at the right price! Don’t miss our next articles dedicated to a comprehensive overview of the inflight content offering, and organizing an effective and valuable passengers’ feedback.

The future of Inflight magazines

Written press has had its own revolution about 10 years ago with the apparition of the first smartphones. Editors are in constant evolution ever since to retain their readers and advertisers but also to find a viable and sustainable economic model. This change has, of course, also affected the world of consumers magazines, including the ones from airlines available on board of airplanes: the inflight magazines.

According to Mark Tjhung (Forbes 20/07/2017, “No, the inflight mag is not dead”), this number one communication channel for airlines that we all love to flip through when traveling, Inflight magazine is far from being dead. Mark is certainly right as the pleasure of reading a paper book or magazine is still very important for a number of passengers. However, the economic and environmental impacts (overconsumption of fuel, logistics costs…) lead airlines to rethink this media.

To better understand the importance of their reflexion, you need to know that the weight of onboard magazines per airplane varies from 80 to 200 kg depending on the number of pages and the number of passengers. On short- and mid-haul flights, this additional weight represents in average an extra consumption from 10 tonnes of kerosene per aircraft per year, and about the double for long-haul. As for the environmental impact, for each tonne of kerosene consumed, we count 3 tonnes of CO2 produced… Quite a challenge!

Airlines, who used to offer a large range of daily press, have yet decided to go digital by offering through their app the same newspapers they had in paper. The success of Adaptive Channel (lien vers adaptive), a major player in the digital press onboard, is a good proof for it.

The next step has just been taken thanks to PXCom (embedded technologies) and Adaptive Channel (online press system) getting together to offer a 100% interactive reading experience on seatbacks or on the new passenger experience systems based on embedded Wi-Fi servers. This innovation, unveiled during last APEX Expo Boston, allows airlines to reassure their advertisers and benefit from complementary revenues.

Indeed, like paper press, ad sales in inflight magazines are dropping, due to the complexity of targeting and engaging the chosen audience. Thanks to XPlore by PXCom, brands will be able to create targeted and measurable campaigns with original contents in order to offer an unforgettable digital experience to the passengers!

The limits of user generated content

The limits of user generated content

The temptation to use non-professional content (commonly referred to as “User-Generated Content”) from the most well-known review sites (TripAdvisor, Booking, OpenTable…) is extremely high for our clients: airlines, rail and bus companies… And what could be easier than opening an API and filling the passenger entertainment system with the opinions of thousands of users?

The Shed at Dulwich (London) case speaks volumes about the limits of these platforms. In a couple of months, this fake restaurant created by an independent journalist succeeded in becoming one of London’s top-rated restaurants!

Certainly, these platforms are useful, essential even, for a sort of quality control on what is in store for us.

But when passengers consult content on entertainment systems on planes, buses or trains, the company’s image is at stake. Of course, the company displays the source of this content, and will even spend a lot of money to use the brand of the platform in question. However, these have no added value, nor provide a service to their customers, since this information can be accessed by anyone with a smartphone or tablet.

It is essential, therefore, that this content comes from professionals in tourism, gastronomy, or other sectors… And that it is published or produced upon the company’s request.

Once at their destination, inspired passengers are entirely free to check these platforms, to see if the on-board favourite picks match their inclinations at the time.

To take things one step further, if transport companies wish to introduce a scoring system of recommendations that takes inspiration from this content, they can. With tools such as XPlore by PXCom, they can organise their own opinion community, starting a virtuous cycle of personalising recommendations to match the tastes and habits of their passengers as closely as possible.

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