The market for wireless in-flight entertainment (W-IFE) continues to exhibit strong growth according to a new research report from Valour Consultancy. The market intelligence firm’s latest data reveals that the number of aircraft fitted with W-IFE systems will exceed 15,000 by the end of 2026 – up from just over 6,000 at the end of 2017.
While many see potential in unconnected W-IFE as a bridging solution until such a time that full off-board connectivity becomes more attractive to cost-conscious operators, the market continues to grow mostly as an accessory to in-flight connectivity (IFC). “81% of W-IFE systems were installed alongside connectivity in 2017 and we expect this proportion to increase as IFC technology improves and the benefits of an integrated IFEC approach (greater personalisation, tailored content, operational efficiencies etc.) become more obvious” said report author, Craig Foster.
Despite reports to the contrary, the popularity of W-IFE does not spell the end for the humble seatback screen. Foster continued: “Nearly every single wide-body aircraft is delivered with embedded IFE and this is unlikely to change for some time yet. Additionally, passengers have come to expect that they will be able to watch the latest Hollywood blockbusters on longer journeys, but this early-window content still cannot be streamed to passengers’ devices”. In ten years’ time, Valour Consultancy predicts that the installed base of embedded IFE systems will rise from 6,500 in 2016 to approximately 8,600 by 2026.
The report also looks at the market for other IFE product categories and finds that there is diminishing appetite for overhead screens, while the emergence of cinematic headsets and virtual reality (VR) head-mounted displays holds potential. “Airlines are always looking at new ways to innovate and stay one step ahead of the competition. This coupled with the fact that some passengers want to cut themselves off from the cabin environment and forget the unpleasantness associated with air travel has resulted in interest in more immersive IFE platforms”.
Valour Consultancy is a provider of high-quality market intelligence. Its latest report “The Future of In-Flight Entertainment” is now in its second edition and is the only one of its kind to delve deeply into each in-flight entertainment category and comprehensively cover a wide array of market participants, as well as all the key trends at play. For a table of contents and report scope, visit: https://www.valourconsultancy.com/aviation-market-research/the-future-of-in-flight-entertainment-2017/