Amazon Prime members who are also frequent travelers will now have another new benefit coming to them as part of their annual membership. The company this morning announced it has inked a deal with JetBlue to bring Amazon Prime Instant Video to the airline, allowing customers to watch tens of thousands of movies and TV shows that will be made available over JetBlue’s high-speed “Fly-Fi” broadband Internet.
This is the first time that Amazon has partnered with an airline to power an in-flight entertainment option. More importantly, it will put Amazon’s video service in front of non-Prime members, as well, as the JetBlue deal will allow all passengers the option to rent or purchase titles from the Amazon Instant Video store.
Amazon’s Instant Video store includes new release movies and day-after TV programming, which will provide JetBlue’s customers with a range of viewing choices. And it will allow Amazon the ability to advertise its Prime membership program, which includes the Netflix competitor Prime Instant Video, in front of a captive (literally!) audience.
The deal will also allow Prime members to access the 1 million tracks from Prime Music from the air, as well as the ability to purchase and download songs from the Amazon Music store, e-books from the Kindle store, as well as apps and games from the Amazon Appstore.
But the tie-in is advantageous to JetBlue, too – with the partnership, customers will be able to earn TrueBlue points when they shop from specific categories on Amazon while using the airline’s free Fly-Fi broadband Internet service while in-flight or via other JetBlue promotions. And while JetBlue’s Internet has been ranked one of the fastest in the sky today, the new partnership will also allow the airline to further differentiate its Internet service from others in the industry.
JetBlue’s Internet service uses satellite technology to offer customers broadband speeds. Access to Amazon’s video entertainment library will be built into the JetBlue Fly-Fi Hub, which lets customers watch titles without having to download an app or the content itself in advance of the flight.
The Internet service will be available on all of JetBlue’s Airbus A321 and A320 aircraft this year, and on JetBlue’s Embraer E190 aircraft in 2016. Amazon’s integrations will also go live later this year.
With this deal, JetBlue’s Fly-Fi broadband Internet for streaming, will be made free for all customers. Planes with Fly-Fi (beta) support streaming video, but today it costs $9 per hour.
While the companies aren’t disclosing the specifics of their business arrangement, reading between the lines, it sounds like Amazon may be helping to keep JetBlue’s Internet free by nature of this partnership.
“Amazon’s customer focus aligns perfectly with the experience we have created for our customers, including the best inflight entertainment, free unlimited snacks and beverages, lots of personal space with the most legroom in coach, and wide, comfortable seating,” said Jamie Perry, vice president of brand and product development for JetBlue, in a statement released this morning. “By teaming up with a category-leader like Amazon, we created a unique model where we can offer complimentary broadband internet access.”