On Saturday, May 19, 2018, the Commonwealth’s newest royal couple —American actress Meghan Markle and Prince Harry — were married at Windsor Castle. Approximately 29 million viewers in the U.S., 18 million in the U.K., and many more around the world sat rapt in front of their screens, watching the fairy-tale event unfold before their eyes.
Flights featuring the BBC World News live feed experienced unprecedented viewership— as high as 75 percent on some routes — all from the comfort of the cabin. With the use of leading communications technology, Panasonic Avionics helped make that happen.
Live Television in the Spotlight
“Live television has become one of our main inflight content features,” says Marco Avila, On-Board Strategy & Technology Director for Aeromexico.“Passengers aboard our Dreamliner fleet use this service on a daily basis, especially on those long-haul flights in which most of the passengers consume a mix of movies, series, and live television.”
Aeromexico is among a growing list of carriers that consider live television just as vital as traditional audio video on demand. How did this relatively new technology catch up to inflight mainstays so quickly?
According to Dominic Green, Director of Media Services at Panasonic Avionics, “Live television creates an experience of excitement and togetherness.” Traditional AVOD film and TV offerings, Green points out, may not make it onboard until months after their original release date. In comparison, live television enables passengers to watch news and sport events as they unfold — and it’s extremely popular.
Panasonic’s live sports content partner, Sport24, experienced a 100 percent increase in inflight viewership across all flights and operators during the month of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. On some flights viewing rates were as high as 80 percent.
“When passengers find out that they actually have the possibility to watch that content while they’re flying, they feel very happy about it.”Marco Avila
On-Board Strategy & Technology Director for Aeromexico
Exceeding Passengers’ Expectations
Access to these events also boosts customer satisfaction, which Avila has seen firsthand. “In Mexico, it’s a given that if you have to fly at the time of a World Cup match, you are probably going to miss that transmission. So, when passengers find out that they actually have the possibility to watch that content while they’re flying, they feel very happy about it,” he says.
Analysis of social-media trends supports this. Passengers are increasingly asking about live coverage, voicing frustration when it’s not available, and expressing gratitude when they do. Posts containing the latter, some airlines observe, are creating lasting impressions and driving new and repeat bookings.
“When passengers have the option to watch what’s happening at the time they are flying, they no longer feel the sensation of being disconnected from the world. This greatly enriches our strategy of providing a customized and connected experience throughout the entire journey,” says Avila.
In a competitive marketplace, live television can be a differentiator for your airline. Tune in to discover how you can create passenger experiences that surpass passenger expectations.