Skift Take

Southwest is certainly on an upward trajectory and the good times keep on rolling for the airline. The fruits of its labor with the recent rebranding and seeing record profits are now reaching passengers by giving them a brand to use that they already know and love. Let's see what other airlines may follow.

There haven’t been many dull moments for Southwest Airlines this fall, given its rebranding, beginning service to Dallas Love Field, and seeing record profits for last quarter.

And today Southwest passengers will see another example of the airline’s recent success come to fruition: starting Beats Music service on all flights.

In a first for an airline and the in-flight entertainment (IFE) industry, Southwest and Global Eagle Entertainment (GEE), the airline’s entertainment partner, will offer Apple’s Beats Music to keep up with the current needs of passengers, the airline said in a statement.

“The partnership between Beats Music, GEE and Southwest is the ideal match of brands, consumer-focused content and innovation within the in-flight entertainment and connectivity market,” said Dave Davis, GEE’s CEO.

Passengers will have access to more than 150 playlists of Beats’ curated music through their personal electronic devices on the airline’s 500 Wi-Fi enabled aircraft, and there’s no additional charge for using the service. Beats also offers continuous, personalized playlists, customized by passengers’ responses to four questions about location, activity, surroundings, and musical preference.

“GEE worked with Beats Music to develop the industry’s first solution to securely stream music in-flight using encrypted HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) that meets the needs of Beats Music and was approved by the music industry,” said Davis. “We are extremely excited to launch this service today with Southwest and Beats Music and look forward to continuing to pave the way for the future of digital media solutions to the airline industry.”

The service was introduced today during a live demonstration on board a Southwest Beats Music-decaled Boeing 737 aircraft. TV personality Terrence J was on hand to help showcase the service.

The official Beats Music aircraft departed today from Dallas Love Field to Chicago’s Midway Airport on flight 723 with Cobra Starship onboard. Passengers on the flight got a Southwest Airlines VIP backstage pass with an opportunity to meet and receive autographs from the band. Southwest Airlines also celebrated with passengers on flight 1527 from Portland to Denver with Elephant Revival.

The service is compatible with major mobile devices and operating systems, including iOS and Android, as well as most web browsers.

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Tags: apple, entertainment, in-flight, southwest airlines

Photo credit: Southwest began offering Apple's Beats Music on board its 500 Wi-Fi enabled aircraft today. Matteo Paciotti / Flickr

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