IIM+ has launched a Live TV and Live Radio delivery platform over internet protocol (IP) for airlines that eliminates traditional licensing fees by allowing passengers the ability to view or purchase premium and live content using their existing subscription video on demand (SVOD) accounts.
“IIM+ enables passengers to replicate an “at home” experience in-flight. You will be able to log into your premium SVOD account and watch the big game live on DAZN [an over-the-top sports subscription video streaming service] or the latest episode of your favorite series on HBO Max,” explained Christopher Schmidt, chief content officer at IIM+.
The service, which requires that airlines have in-flight connectivity but no additional hardware or software, makes use of IIM+’s patented signaling server technology. “Essentially, it regulates the broadcast feeds (live data chunks) and ensures that only one feed per channel is required onboard. It tells each playing device where the most efficient next data packet can be retrieved,” said Schmidt. IIM+ claims this reduces bandwidth consumption by up to 98%.
“In the current IP environment, when a passenger initially logs into a content feed it has to be retrieved from a server on the ground where the feed originates, but in our on-board distribution scenario, only a single passenger has to hit the ground, as IIM+ can distribute streaming packets inside the on-board network,” he continued.
Ong Yong Beng, CEO at IIM+, said, “A successful in-flight entertainment strategy for an airline can no longer merely offer access to movie and TV libraries that provide some marketing volume but have no attractiveness for passengers. When travel opens up, innovation will be key. Live TV and Live Radio offer airlines the opportunity to meet passenger expectations and reduce costs – a rare combination.”
In terms of potential airline clients, Schmidt believes the field is wide open: “You have full service airlines that can enhance their product by offering a new service (Live Radio over IP, which I don’t believe anybody is offering at this point in time); then you have medium-sized airlines that probably can’t afford current satellite TV service, but Live TV over IP could be a cost-effective option for them. Finally, you have small or budget carriers that aren’t interested in traditional in-flight entertainment, but a live offering could be a worthwhile service for them as it could entail advertizing revenues.”
According to Schmidt, IIM+ has conducted on-board technical proof-of-concept tests and is in discussions with a handful of potential launch customers, some of which are being conducted in conjunction with the airlines’ connectivity providers. “Initially, we are focusing on the Live Radio product as it offers an easier entry to market,” he said. IIM+ hopes to announce the first customer for the product by the end of the year.