×

Southwest Takes to Skies with Inflight Entertainment

Airline partners with Apple's iTunes to sell movies, TV shows, music

Southwest Airlines may not have video screens built into the backs of its airplane seats, but that doesn’t mean the carrier can’t offer its passengers inflight entertainment — and turn it into a new revenue stream.

The airline has launched InAirtainment as a website that sells music, TV shows and movies through Apple’s iTunes Store.

Southwest said it receives a small percentage of the sales generated by each download. Apple’s iTunes Affiliates program typically pays a 5% commission for revenue generated by links to the iTunes store from websites and emails.

Southwest’s site launched by offering a playlist of 20 free songs from artists “about to fly” in their music careers.

“We want our customers to be able to find all their travel needs at Southwest.com and a big part of traveling is loading up on songs, movies, and all the television you’ve missed during the week,” Southwest spokesperson Whitney Eichinger told Variety. “Our new InAirtainment page allows customers an easy in to iTunes and we offer special deals to customers booking through our site like the 20 free songs we are offering with the announcement.”

As more carriers install Wi-Fi on their planes, enabling passengers with computers to access the Internet during flights, the move has increased the amount of content Hollywood can distribute beyond typical airline entertainment pacts.

Southwest’s Wi-Fi service is provided by Row 44, which provides access to InAirtainment during flights.

Other companies like Delta, American and Virgin America use rival service Gogo, whose parent company Aircell said earlier this month that it plans to eventually expand into the content biz and offer a library of movies and games. No launch date has yet been revealed.

Other companies have made similar moves on the ground.

Last Fall, Starbucks launched its digital network that enables customers in stores to access free movies, music downloads and other content via the chain’s Wi-Fi service, available at more than 10,000 outlets. Content partners include SnagFilms, Nick Jr. Boost, Yahoo, Zagat, Rodale’s Men’s and Women’s Health, Runner’s World, Bicycling, Prevention and Organic Gardening magazines, the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal.

More Music

  • Obit Obituary Placeholder

    Nick Tosches, Author of Dean Martin and Jerry Lee Lewis Biographies, Dies at 69

    Some time around the turn of the century, author Nick Tosches prankishly hacked his own online biography so that it gave his death date as the year 2021 — picked, he said, because “it was the anniversary of Dante’s death (in 1321); it made so much sense.” He wasn’t too many years off with that [...]

  • Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike

    Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike Take No. 1 Spot on Top 100 DJs Poll

    The duo of Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike top DJ Mag’s 2019 Top 100 DJs poll, returning to the list since taking the No. 1 spot in 2015 and dethroning Martin Garrix after three years of dominance. The results of the Top 100 DJs were arrived at from 1.3 million votes cast in 179 countries. [...]

  • Bruce Springsteen arrives for the New

    Bruce Springsteen Returns to NJ Hometown for Surprise 'Western Stars' Introduction

    Bruce Springsteen returned to his hometown of Freehold, New Jersey to offer a surprise introduction to the first public multiplex viewing of his concert/documentary film, “Western Stars.” Dressed simply in a brown jacket, Springsteen took a moment to say a few words at the AMC Freehold 14 movie theater on Saturday night. “We knew we [...]

  • Marc Byers

    Execs from Motown, Live Nation, Recording Academy Set to Speak at Culture Creators' Inaugural C2 Summit

    Culture Creators, the organization which recognizes minorities in film, television, music and fashion, is holding its first-ever C2 Summit on Oct. 21 in Washington D.C. Its mission: to engage, mentor, and provide recruitment opportunities to students of color attending historically black colleges and universities. Students were selected from an application process and will participate in [...]

  • Rami Dawod SESAC

    SESAC Toasts Rami Dawod as Pop Songwriter of the Year

    Camila Cabello’s “Never Be The Same” and “Electricity” by Mark Ronson and Silk City featuring Dua Lipa are just a few of the co-writing credits celebrated during an October 16 dinner at Nobu Malibu hosted by SESAC in honor of Rami Dawod. Named Pop Songwriter of the Year by the performance rights organization, Dawod is [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content