Aviation NewsWire. April 14th 2016
A new generation of portable, wireless in-flight entertainment system media streaming has taken off, and it’s creating competitive advantage and a superior experience for aircraft owners and operators
How do you attract the most lucrative passengers when competition in the aviation industry is sky high?
Online marketplaces have made more flights more readily accessible and affordable, particularly for jet charters and operators with small fleets. As a result, everyone is scrambling to launch differentiators to stay competitive. At one time, airlines thought on-board streaming of entertainment content to in-built displays would boost their attractiveness, but those systems have proven to be so expensive and difficult to maintain, even major airlines like US Airways are jettisoning them in order to take out a little more revenue from flights with razor-thin margins.
What are they doing instead? Precious little. They might take a lesson from Ferdinand Porsche: “I couldn’t find the sports car of my dreams, so I built it myself.”
Today’s in-flight entertainment systems must serve content to the most desirable destination of the modern traveler: their personal electronic devices. Enter the AdonisOne.
Connecting to the Customer
Demand for in-flight entertainment – or making first-run movies, music and other media available directly to passengers’ personal electronic devices – is fast rising. A survey by SITA, a global company specializing in air transport communications, found that 94% of passengers brought at least one device on board with them; and 70% use those smartphones, laptops and tablets to listen to music, play games, or watch movies. Francois Rodriguez, chief marketing officer for SITA, says, “Passengers expect to stay connected to their devices all the time.”
That’s what the AdonisOne IFE enables. Yet the airline industry has been slowly dismantling the infrastructure of in-flight entertainment in their aircraft. No wonder: it costs upwards of $10,000 per seat-back screen, according to Fast Company, when passengers naturally preferred their own devices anyways. And that’s only for airlines that make such an amenity available at all. Just half of airlines reviewed in a 2015 survey by Airport Parking and Hotels (APH) even offer passengers the option of in-flight streaming.
An Exclusive Experience
Paradigm Tech, the company behind the AdonisOne in-flight entertainment system, solved this quandary by following Porsche’s approach.
Paradigm Tech co-founder Matt Franzak says, “I was facing a huge push for WiFi and internet connectivity in my planes, but it was cost-prohibitive. In some cases, the cost outweighed the price of the plane. But we had to put some sort of entertainment on the flight.”
The question became particularly pressing when it came time to upgrade or sell planes. “You’re not going to spend a third of the cost of the plane to outfit it with a modern in-flight entertainment system,” says Franzak. He turned to Robert Valentine, who developed and designed the AdonisOne from the ground up.
The AdonisOne is a self-contained (no Internet required), portable in-flight entertainment system with no installation cost (or time) and no internet data usage – a key point in an era of four-figure monthly data plans.
The entire device literally fits into a small briefcase, works wirelessly, and requires no specialized apps to function. Any device that can connect to a WiFi signal can safely receive content from the AdonisOne. Handmade with cherry-picked, state-of-the-art components, this completely mobile in-flight entertainment streaming system is built for premium performance.
“Even big name carriers can’t offer the same experience,” says Franzak. “They invested heavily in a model of in-flight entertainment that has aged poorly, based on physical media that displays to bulkheads or seatbacks on dimly visible screens.”
A Golden Opportunity
Streaming to personal devices serves more than just first-rate content: it also bolsters route profitability. Technology news site Engadget notes that revenue from streaming services could impact a route’s overall profitability: “The pros … outweigh the cons [especially] for airlines that barely break even on any given flight.”
No installation costs. No downtime. No Internet surcharges. No maintenance fees. No excess fuel costs to compensate for extra weight. “It enables operators to get more mileage out of less expensive data plans and Internet hardware,” says Valentine. The AdonisOne even incorporates a GPS-based moving map system with no extra fees or data consumption.
Yet not only does the portable approach to in-flight streaming enable enough cost-savings to pay for itself in a matter of just months, it’s a golden goose in a briefcase-sized package.
That’s because the device can tap into advertising income. Aircraft operators can run their own ads or work out agreements with advertisers to extend the profitability of every flight. In fact, it might even be possible to arrange for an advertiser to pay for and place the device; it can be worth it to the advertiser to reach an affluent captive 1% audience, while the aircraft operator reaps the revenue.
“Any one aspect of a device like this is attractive to airline operators,” says Valentine, “but when they realize everything that’s built into this one portable device, it blows their mind.” A media streamer with a map system that’s 100’s of thousands of dollars less yet provides a premium experience no major airline is offering? “The whole thing is unheard of.”