APEX Insight: Following Lufthansa Systems’ news earlier this week that its BoardConnect wireless IFE platform will soon enable browser-based playback of DRM-protected movies on iOS devices, AirFi has announced that it will enable passengers to stream DRM-protected late window / standard definition content without downloading an app.
AirFi has received approval from Warner Bros. (WB) for its browser-based digital rights management (DRM) technology, which will allow passengers to stream DRM-protected late window / standard definition content without downloading an application in advance.
The news was announced during AirFi’s inaugural Innovation Day at the company’s bespoke new headquarters in Holland, just a few days before Lufthansa Systems issued a release saying its BoardConnect wireless IFE platform will soon enable browser-based playback of DRM-protected movies on iOS devices.
AirFi described receiving approval from one of the major Hollywood studios for its non-app DRM content as a “watershed moment.” The development follows the introduction of non-DRM content to AirFi’s wireless IFE solution early last year in partnership with West Entertainment, its preferred content service provider.
Martin Cunnison, AirFi’s chief commercial officer, stated, “We serve a great many leisure traveler-focused airlines around the world, so as you can imagine there is huge excitement to offer passengers blockbuster movies and hit TV series from the WB stable, such as DC Comics, LEGO, Lara Croft, Harry Potter and The Big Bang Theory.”
“We have seen conversion for browser-based IFE like AirFi is a lot higher than an app-based IFE.” – Tracy Barr, Thomas Cook Group Airlines
Also announced at AirFi’s Innovation Day was Thomas Cook Group Airlines’ plan to implement the AirFi system across 34 of its leased short-haul aircraft for the 2018 summer season. This marks more than a three-fold increase of the group’s implementation of AirFi’s wireless IFE, which was installed across 10 of its short-haul leased aircraft during summer last year.
“Passenger feedback shows they want IFE on the short-haul leased aircraft we use during the summer and we have seen conversion for browser-based IFE like AirFi is a lot higher than an app-based IFE,” said Tracy Barr, head of Product at Thomas Cook Group Airlines. “This summer we will have an enhanced content selection, integrated sales of AirFi premium access codes through the crew’s onboard sales devices, enhanced complimentary destination content and we will be introducing new ways to drive revenues through content-related advertising.
Content from WB will complement existing non-DRM content from independent Hollywood studios and major TV distributors like Turner, CBS, ITV, Discovery and the BBC.