During the Hindenburg’s 2-and-a-half-day trip from Europe to America in 1936, entertainment revolved around a piano, lounge, dining room, smoking room, and a bar. Moving ahead several decades, the in-flight entertainment (IFE) began to include a few movies and a personal audio player at your seat. Nowadays, the meal and drink options may have been curbed – not to mention the smoking – but the availability of media entertainment options has never been better.
Of course, regardless of what options are available for entertainment, it’s not difficult to understand why they are necessary. At the absolute basest level, between 20% and 30% of people are nervous when it comes to stepping on a plane. Adding onto that the effect of the conditions that we normally experience during a flight, such as the decrease in the abilities of taste and smell, cooler air containing less humidity, and the obvious claustrophobic feelings, there’s little surprise that people are looking for something to distract them from the situation.
Beyond being just a distraction though, in-flight entertainment can often be what makes a flight bearable or not. A prime example of this can be seen in Barbara Peterson’s 2006 book, Blue Streak: Inside jetBlue, the Upstart that Rocked an Industry, where she mentions how, of jetBlue’s 2 original aircraft, the plane which had a functioning IFE system was referred to as “the happy plane” and the one without IFE, well, wasn’t quite as happy. Even before the actual trip, when it comes to weighing which carrier to fly with, social media analysis shows that 18% of discussions revolved around available IFE options.
For an industry where 55% of passengers prefer to use free on-board options as opposed to paying for Wi-Fi in-flight and the compounded annual growth rate for the global in-flight entertainment market is expected to exceed 13% for the next few years, focusing on this area could easily pay dividends.
For some companies, who have already built robust entertainment platforms, the numbers are already looking promising. A five aircraft trial of Immfly’s wireless streaming IFE platform on easyJet has produced impressive results: the company reported an 11.67% increase in ancillary revenue per seat year-on-year and also revealed that passengers who had access to the Immfly platform were 22% more satisfied than the airline’s network average. Iberia Express, implementing the Immfly platform under the name Club Express Onboard (CXO), from 2016 to 2018, saw a rise in the Perceived Level of Quality (PLQ) from 5.4 (out of 10) to 6.1 and the platform itself received an 8 or higher by nearly 13% more passengers.
Looking outside of the numbers and taking a more personalised approach, some companies, such as Emirates and Qatar Airways, have now began using their own apps to allow passengers to tailor their in-flight entertainment options before even setting foot in an aircraft.
Aside from the sheer number of media options being offered, from video games and TV shows and movies to audio books and feed reading, it’s important to consider who will be using the in-flight entertainment. Naturally, for a transcontinental flight in the US, the IFE will be primarily in English, but what about flights from Bombay to Beijing or Tel Aviv to Tokyo? With nearly 4.5 billion passengers flying on nearly 45 million flights in 2018 (an 8.5% increase from 2016) and Africa, Europe, and Asia seeing increases of 6.6%, 8.2%, and 10.6% respectively, the issue of in-flight entertainment localisation becomes increasingly important.
To assure that each passenger has the best possible travel experience, regardless of their IFE preference, it’s essential to provide content in as many as possible languages. In the case of games or videos this could require subtitling or dubbing, direct translation for reading material, or, in the case of the platform itself, easy to follow directions/instruction on how to get the most out of their entertainment experience. Essentially, with data that demonstrates the importance of IFE to overall satisfaction and the calming nature of enjoying content in a native language, it all comes down to satisfied repeat customers and a long-term business growth.
From start to finish, EVS Translations is your ideal in-flight entertainment localisation partner. In each of its global offices, EVS Translations offers dedicated professional translators, voiceover artists, subtitling experts, in-house translation engineers to professionally handle all the strings extraction, integration and post-production, and dedicated project managers to guarantee customer-tailored solutions and that all your in-flight entertainment localisation projects will be completed on time and on budget.