November 24, 2015 02:07 PM Greenwich Mean Time
LONDON. While in-flight Wi-Fi deployments continue to grab the headlines, the closely related market for wireless in-flight entertainment (W-IFE) rapidly gathers speed. According to Valour Consultancy’s latest research, the number of aircraft equipped with solutions that enable wireless delivery of IFE content will exceed 4,000 by the end of this year, and hit 17,000 by 2024.
W-IFE is becoming increasingly popular for a number of reasons. One is that it is a relatively simple process to add content streaming to existing in-flight connectivity (IFC) networks. However, it is on aircraft that might not otherwise have installed IFE where the real potential lies. Report author and Valour Consultancy’s Senior Consultant, Craig Foster, explains “The single-aisle market is a huge untapped opportunity. With many of these aircraft rolling off production lines without any form of IFE on board, it is a market ripe for lightweight, inexpensive and easy-to-install solutions that have the added potential benefit of being able to generate ancillary revenues.”
Currently, ancillary revenues related to W-IFE are low. But Foster believes there is plenty of reason to believe W-IFE can be turned into a profit centre. “Airlines have a known demographic with high levels of disposable income captive for several hours at a time and this alone is attractive to advertisers. When you employ analytical tools, it is possible to segment passengers, show content and ads tailored to their preferences and ensure they are offered products most relevant to them.”
The report also reveals that the emergence of portable solutions from the likes of Media inMotion, AirFi and Lufthansa Systems that do not require an STC are driving interest in W-IFE across the market. Wide-body operators are keen to deploy W-IFE too. But to complement embedded systems and not, as many predict, to replace them. “Second screening is a going to become as big a trend in the air as it is on the ground and carriers are only too aware of this,” Foster concluded.
Valour Consultancy is a provider of high quality market intelligence. Its latest report “The Future of Wireless In-Flight Entertainment” offers a comprehensive analysis of the current and future provision of this technology. For a table of contents and report scope, visit: https://www.valourconsultancy.com/what-we-do/wireless-ife.