Four Trends We’re Seeing in Content and Connectivity for 2023
January 24, 2023
The past year saw a return to more “normal” travel environments around the world. Corporate travelers re-emerged to hit the road. Professional conferences resumed. Leisure demand remained very robust, with strong leisure demand for premium travel experiences.
Yet after two years of a global pandemic, airlines and cruise lines found that passengers’ entertainment tastes had changed. This was primarily due to pervasive streaming video services. And many former office-based professionals morphed their work-from-home mandate into a work-from-anywhere strategy —including the need to be productive at 40,000 feet or on a cruise ship.
To help our customers address these rapid shifts in the air and at sea, Anuvu has embraced new ways to bring efficiency and flexibility to our media content and connectivity businesses. While we’ve been adapting to meet customer needs, we’ve identified several trends that will further shape the entertainment and remote connectivity markets in 2023 and beyond.
- Entertainment Diversity
Today’s travelers seek a variety of new content, both in form and in how they consume entertainment. As a result, airlines are responding by curating far more than traditional Hollywood blockbusters and popular TV series to define their passenger experiences.
We’ve seen a shift in passenger demand beyond the traditional inflight fare – including movies, television and audio programming — toward content developed for streaming services, and even native-digital content produced for platforms like TikTok. We’ve also curated short-form video and episodic series from the likes of YouTube, Vice, and Complex Networks. Today, Anuvu works with content distribution teams at HBO Max, MUBI and Paramount+ to further diversify content in the inflight ecosystem.
Video-rich social media services command huge inflight audiences, streamed to personal devices on Wi-Fi connected aircraft. We also saw strong and consistent demand for in-flight gaming, with engaging games such as Angry Birds World Tour, solitaire, and trivia garnering a growing portion of passengers’ time. We expect that the appetite among airlines and their customers for more content diversity will continue to grow in 2023.
- Connected Content
The screens embedded in aircraft seats are valuable real estate for airlines, driving both passenger experience and marketing opportunities. Airlines are eager to transform these seatback screens from one-direction video players into interactive portals aligned with both inflight connectivity—delivering content wirelessly and targeting every passenger uniquely. Further, airlines are driving to interact with passengers’ own devices over cabin networks.
With satellite-based connectivity systems now on most global aircraft, the opportunity is now present to deliver content to both passenger devices and seatback systems over the top. Pioneering airlines that have embraced this model now refresh their entertainment far ahead of competition. Further, connected aircraft also offer a valuable innovation for passengers to choose entertainment and advertising that’s more relevant, while helping airlines potentially boost both customer satisfaction and revenues.
“We’ve demonstrated the ability to push media directly to end users in partnership with key airlines, and now it’s time to push that to a broader market,” Anuvu CEO Josh Marks said recently. “We think this is the future of IFE – and critically gives airlines the ability to get more dollars in advertising by making ads personal and relevant to you as a passenger."
- LEO Connectivity and Flexibility
There’s lots of excitement about Starlink, SpaceX’s low-earth orbit satellite constellation, with future rival LEO networks in late-stage development. At Anuvu, we believe that neither geostationary nor low earth orbit satellites alone can meet the future needs of connectivity customers. Anuvu believes a hybrid network is required to capitalize upon each orbit’s best features, economics, and capabilities for our partners’ needs.
SpaceX’s Starlink service is currently the only LEO connectivity option deployed in the cruise, yacht, and aviation verticals, but others are in various stages of development. Eutelsat’s OneWeb has deployed about 500 satellites for its first-generation LEO constellation, Amazon’s Project Kuiper has scheduled its first launch to LEO in 2023, and Telesat plans to deploy its 188-satellite Lightspeed LEO network in the coming years.
As one of the largest buyers and integrators of satellite capacity, Anuvu maintains close contacts with all four providers about their LEO development work. As an authorized Starlink reseller and service partner, we’ve pioneered successful Starlink integration on cruise ships and yachts, and we’re rapidly deploying Starlink across other markets too.
Later this year we’re launching our own satellite system – the Anuvu Constellation - to complement our GEO and LEO portfolio. “Our hybrid network is going to be the future. Even our competition now knows it” and has pivoted their marketing to tout multi-orbit solutions, says Mike Pigott, Anuvu EVP of Connectivity.
There’s another reason we’re committed to a hybrid network: satellite hardware decisions are long-term in nature. No airline or cruise line wants to be locked into an inflexible approach given the swift changes in technology and media. Anuvu is committed to solutions that allow flexibility and will not tie customers to one approach in their decisions, giving them options for today and for the inevitable changes in future technology. As a result, our hybrid network offers three core attributes that every mobility customer seeks: flexibility, redundancy, and reliability.
- New Ways We Work
The 2020 global pandemic changed nearly everything about how office-based professionals work. Beyond the now ubiquitous video call, daily collaboration among coworkers shifted permanently to Teams, Zoom, Slack and SharePoint.
Corporate teams interact wherever they are – at home, in the office, or in the air, during the day or night. Instead of emailing attachments, we now share documents in the cloud. Employees are expected to respond to group messages and address comments on shared documents. And throughout corporate America, with distributed workforces and waves of cyberattacks, corporate IT security has forced users to employ VPNs and two-factor authentication, presenting unique challenges in the air.
All of this has changed the demands on satellite networks, often in more complex ways that require new architecture and approaches to how we serve connectivity. It is not surprising that as corporations rebound and reassess workflows, our mobility users’ network requirements have dramatically increased. It is critical to recognize that people’s software and work habits will evolve, unlikely to resemble much of the pre-pandemic office environment.
Learn more about how our team can help you address these trends at firstname.lastname@example.org