What can mobile, digital entertainment, and ancillary merchandising mean for airlines?

In late 2009, I began looking for gaps in the travel market where mobile technology could deliver new opportunities, and I zeroed in on emerging markets for airline ancillary “merchandising,” and digital media technology, concluding that streaming in-flight entertainment could be a greater revenue driver than Aircell’s and Row 44’s paid WiFi approach – and deliver a better experience for travelers.

Ancillary revenue in the form of controversial baggage fees was, frankly, low-hanging fruit and warranted in many ways. But given airlines’ lack of core competency in merchandising, we seem to be hearing a “sell, sell, sell” approach and travelers characterized as a “captive market” rather than consumers that pay for and deserve a great in-flight experience. While the opportunity is good, it could be more rewarding to devise strategy from a consumer perspective.

The potential upshot? Gain advantage, deliver a positive traveler experience, and drive more WiFi engagement and merchandising revenue with customer acquisition models to finance WiFi rather than paid WiFi and paid download models.

Here is Part I of the presentation from January, 2010.

In December, 2010, I took an updated look on progress in the industry and observed that there is still much opportunity to deliver a better experience and differentiate competitively:

Here is Part II:

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4 responses

  1. […] “What can Digital Entertainment, WiFi, and Mobile Mean for Airlines?” analysis in late 2009 (see both parts here) – just as airlines launched their baggage fee barrage. What we hoped to see would be an ancillary […]

  2. […] I introduced new potential passenger experience and IFEC economic models in late 2009 that could capitalize on ex…, I’ve seen about 70 airlines and others with vested interests (Gogo, Panasonic, Amazon, etc) […]

  3. […] Looking at the airline WiFi and passenger experience front, it’s great to see some airlines introduce variants of business models along the lines of a model I introduced in late 2009, consisting of three key elements: […]

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