From the World of In-Flight Entertainment

Years ago, I used to prepare and host programming on Air Canada’s in-flight entertainment system. When they changed hardware, I was bumped out in favour of music from SiriusXM, but managed to sneak in on one of the video channels with reruns of my TV series, ExploreMusic. When that ended, so did my spot in your seatback screen.

Since I fly a lot , I’m still very interested in how airlines try to get their passengers’ minds off the cramped seats, bad food, jammed overhead compartments and surly service. My current favourites include Singapore Airlines, Qatar and Emirates.  PSFK Labs looks at what airlines are thinking of when it comes to the future of IFE.

As complimentary copies of in-flight magazines fail to hold the attention of passengers, airlines have had to evolve their entertainment options to keep up with the demands of today’s connected travelers. Whether capitalizing on the Bring Your Own Device trend by creating hubs of digital media easily accessible through mobile apps or developing immersive entertainment options that understand viewer preferences and context, these more personalized content experiences keep passengers happily engaged on any length flight. These services are coming together in a trend PSFK calls ‘Personalized Infotainment’. This trend is part of a larger framework describing how PSFK sees the Future of Travel. Be sure to check out the full report to see how technology is innovating the air travel experience.

As part of this trend, travelers, exposed to a variety of engaging content in their daily lives, are bringing this content to the air. Airlines, not wanting to be left behind, have joined in on the content creation/provision game. Furthermore business class guests, now accustomed to luxuries of service and ease, are becoming more discerning about the ‘experience’ of the journey. Brands in turn are looking to further augment that experience through innovative offerings or interactive features.

Continue reading. And hey, if there are any airlines that wanna talk about me getting back in the air, lemme know.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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