Today, immersive Inflight Entertainment (IFE) provider SkyLights, and international film exhibitor and distributor mk2, announce a partnership to bring award-winning VR films to passengers on long-haul flights.
As well as pooling their respective expertise, the two innovative companies have signed the most significant agreement to date for worldwide rights to exhibit VR content inflight. The news comes in light of the rapid increase in high quality VR releases that are well suited to enjoy on board a plane. With the addition of mk2’s VR catalog to its Cinematic VR devices, SkyLights aims to offer airlines greater differentiation and the opportunity to connect with their premium customers on a deeper level.
With 42 years of experience as a film exhibitor and distributor, mk2 branched out into VR film distribution last year following the success of its permanent VR venue. Today, it offers a diverse portfolio of VR titles, which have garnered awards from film festivals such as Sundance, Tribeca and Venice. Through the partnership, mk2 will benefit from an innovative new channel to distribute their VR portfolio and will also develop its expertise into the VR IFE market.
For SkyLights, the partnership comes as part of its strategy to augment its Immersive IFE solution to upgrade the premium passenger experience. The addition of mk2’s content not only acts to diversify its catalog, which predominantly consists of 3D and 2D early-window blockbusters, but also puts SkyLights’ airline customers in a unique position to introduce many of their passengers to VR entertainment for the first time.
“Up until 2017, the vast majority of VR content was of relatively poor quality and was not suitable to view in an environment where space and movement are restricted. Since then, appropriate VR content has taken off. As such, we are delighted to team up with mk2 for their premium VR catalog and their expertise in the field.”, said Laurence Fornari, SkyLights’ Head of Sales & Marketing.
“Airplanes are a promising distribution channel for VR content and we are delighted to partner with Skylights and benefit from their expertise to make premium immersive experiences available to travellers worldwide” says mk2’s CEO Elisha Karmitz.
With the precedent set for VR content inflight, VR IFE is likely to see exponential growth in the coming years. While airlines show increasing interest in the new medium, the VR content market continues to rapidly develop and diversify. As such, airlines adopting the new IFE system will be able to offer their passengers more choice and personalisation in their VR experiences.
SkyLights is an American-French company that leverages cinematic VR as premium passenger entertainment. It has a signature immersive-IFE solution that transports passengers to their own, private, in-flight movie theater where they can enjoy 3D, 2D and 180°/360° content on a wide-angle cinema screen. On average, passengers use the device for 4 hours with a 90% recommendation rate.
Intended for airline customer experience managers, the end-to-end solution (content, hardware, software & operations-setup) is tailored to upgrade and differentiate the business class experience. The company was founded in February 2015 and has offices in San Francisco, Paris and Toulouse.
mk2 is a multi-award winning film exhibitor possessing a know-how extracted from 42 years of cinematic excellence. mk2 distributes a unique library of more than 800 films in France and around the world and operates 26 theaters in Europe. mk2 has been awarded several times for the movie they produced or distributed, including 160 awards in major film festivals. From mk2’s conception to today, innovation and creation has been part of their DNA. mk2 VR is a logical move for such an innovative and experimented company. mk2 aims to empower the virtual reality world by opening venues, investing in content production and distribution, while offering plug-and-play technology and a communication agency dedicated to VR.