by Mark Kaelin
Whether it’s for business or strictly pleasure, there’s no disputing the fact that global air travel is on the rise. Billions of people travel by air every year. And according to the Gogo Global Traveler Study 2015, nearly 90 percent of those passengers bring a Wi-Fi-enabled device with them. The ability to connect their devices to the internet, the office VPN and other devices via Wi-Fi has become a service many passengers now expect airlines to provide.
That’s why services like Gogo 2Ku are becoming so popular. Travelers want to be connected to work, email, social media and entertainment at all times — no matter where they are or what vehicle they are traveling in. The ability to post to Facebook or stream a favorite show is no longer considered a luxury. It’s now an expected option during a flight or trip. For the business traveler, a robust connection means that travel time isn’t coupled with downtime.
A Mobile World
The way people consume entertainment has changed dramatically over the years. Not very long ago consumers were clamoring for bigger and brighter television screens. It was an era when the question was not whether a screen was too large but rather was this screen large enough.
Things have changed. According to the State of the Broadcast Industry 2016 report commissioned by Ooyala, 30 percent of North American smartphone users now watch full-length TV programs on their mobile devices. Perhaps even more startling, 20 percent of those also watch full-length movies on their smartphones.
The report also points out that Millennials number over 75 million members in the U.S. alone, surpassing Baby Boomers for first time in 2015. The younger demographic’s preference for time-shifting content and cord-cutting cable networks is increasing and there’s no sign of the trend reversing anytime soon.
To further cement that point, this month Disney announced it was purchasing a 33 percent stake in Major League Baseball’s BAMTech streaming-media unit so it can offer a new subscription streaming service. Viewing live sporting events is one of the main reasons younger consumers continue to subscribe to cable. If ESPN becomes available through a streaming channel, cord-cutting among Millennials will likely be rampant.
The Table Is Set
The mobile market is clearly growing. Nearly everyone has at least one smart device when they travel and use it to check in, navigate, and when settled to watch a favorite show. In many cases mobile devices are an extension of the workplace and productivity via email and collaboration tools such as Slack. Airline customers increasingly expect Wi-Fi to be available on their flight so they can access their content and have peace of mind. And meeting that need is just good business.
Mark has been writing and editing stories about the information technology industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.com.