Editor’s viewpoint: Passengers bringing own content onboard – is it a trend that will takeoff?

November 21, 2013

Comfort, Multimedia

Generic 1 PEDs Editors viewpoint: Passengers bringing own content onboard   is it a trend that will takeoff?On an Air New Zealand flight from London’s Heathrow to LA, I was looking forward to the IFE groove. It’s been some time since I flew long-haul, and what has happened over the past few years is the rise of the PEDs (portable electronic devices). PED is my new favourite TLA (three-letter acronym).

But I was surprised at how few passengers were using their PEDs for entertainment, even on an 11-hour flight. Maybe towards the front of the plane there were MacAirs in abundance, but at the back there were very few customers using their devices.

During the first session at the APEX technology conference, a question from the floor asked whether there was any research available about the extent to which passengers were watching their own videos and bypassing the IFE. The question was addressed to Doug Johnson from the Consumer Electronics Association. He admitted that this specific question has not been addressed in its work.

But Lori Salazar from Thales offered her insight, based on her own observations. “I don’t see the trend for bringing content on board,” she stated.

With so much choice available generally, sometimes it is nice to have one’s choice restricted. On the Air New Zealand flight the content on offer was quite eclectic, and I did manage to find enough viewing to keep me awake for eleven hours  – three movies, two of which I hadn’t seen before, familiar episodes of Peep Show and Spaced and a documentary about David Bowie.

But I will be struggling to find anything else on the IFE, if it is the same selection, to keep me entertained on the return leg.  It’s a good job my jetlag mitigation regime coming back will revolve around sleep, even in economy.

Related article

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This article was written by Martin Cowen, newly appointed editor of APEX Editor’s Blog

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About Barbara Cockburn

Barbara never met an air show she didn’t love. She traversed the world for five years as online content editor for Flightglobal – writing, researching, tweeting and towing a ridiculously heavy video camera along the way. Prior roles included editor of Aviation Business & Air Cargo, and reporter for Business Insurance. She now works as web editor across Ink’s Trade Media & Events division, where she shares her unique brand of snarky humour on a daily basis.

View all posts by Barbara Cockburn

One Response to “Editor’s viewpoint: Passengers bringing own content onboard – is it a trend that will takeoff?”

  1. Bob Merz Says:

    Miss Cockburn-
    I think the best gauge would be to ask your close friends/family (just post on FB) whether they take their own content on their flight and how many actually have the time to download and prep it prior to flight. And very few likely actually are paying for that content, if they even do manage to download it.

    I don’t know about you, but ergonomics (looking down at an angle for prolonged period) is an issue for me, not to mention the hassle of stowing or finding a place to set it somewhere during meal service (long haul flights).

    And as far as content selection on board, depending on which airline you fly (I fly Star Alliance and SkyTeam mostly), there are several airlines like ANZ that are carrying a wide variety of choices. And even if you had content of your own loaded on PED, you can connect it up to the IFE monitor and view it more comfortably than you could on PED.


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