Qantas’s free Wi-Fi may boost streaming sign-ups

Peter Terlato 7 March 2017

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Netflix, Spotify and Foxtel may see subscriptions rise.

As part of its Wi-Fi rollout on domestic flights, Qantas is offering passengers access to Netflix, Spotify and Foxtel Now content libraries, which may prompt customers to sign up for a free trial the next time they fly.

Netflix and Spotify customers will be able to log in via existing subscriptions. If you don't have one, you can sign up for a standard 30-day trial. Foxtel will offer a free three-day access to live channels as well as on-demand content every time you fly with Qantas, without requiring an ongoing subscription.

Wi-Fi will be included in the ticket price, so there’s no additional charge for data usage with these apps.

Roy Morgan Research found that 4.3 million Australians (14 and over) take at least one domestic flight with Qantas each year. The overwhelming majority of Qantas passengers own a smartphone (87%) or tablet computer (76%), higher than the national ownership rates of 80% and 65%, respectively.

Despite these figures, the research found that just 60% of Qantas flyers subscribe to any of the three nominated entertainment services, soon to be widely available on the airline's domestic flights.

One third (33%) of Qantas' domestic passengers watched Foxtel in the last four weeks, including streaming options Go and Play, one third (32%) watched Netflix and one fifth (22%) listened to Spotify.

Netflix and Spotify will benefit from around 2.9 million and 3.3 million potential new sign-ups, respectively.

Roy Morgan Research industry communications director Norman Morris said an in-flight presence will satisfy existing customers and could be the perfect opportunity to persuade others to give it a go.

“There’s perhaps an extra benefit to Foxtel. A third of Qantas domestic passengers already have Foxtel, but only one in six of these subscribers watch it via mobile streaming. This means that Foxtel's three-day offer will not only reach up to 2.8 million non-subscribers on Qantas flights, it will also serve to promote its mobile streaming platforms to another 1.1 million subscribers who don’t currently utilise them," he said.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings recently took to the stage at Mobile World Congress for a keynote interview to discuss the streaming giant's take on where the industry is right now and where it's headed.

A new report shows Australian airports are receiving significantly higher revenues per passenger than a decade ago, and despite achieving solid service appraisals, ratings aren't much different than 2005/06.

For the latest in everything streaming, check out our weekly View Finder round-up.

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