American Airlines taps Apple Music for in-flight entertainment

American Airlines and Apple Music have closed a deal that will give passengers access to the full library of Apple Music songs on AA flights.

Apple Music’s more than 50 million songs will be available on any domestic American Airlines flight equipped with Viasat satellite Wi-Fi at no extra cost to customers, marking the first commercial airline to offer exclusive access to Apple Music via in-flight Wi-Fi.

Here’s what VP of Apple Music Oliver Schusser had to say:

For most travelers, having music to listen to on the plane is just as important as anything they pack in their suitcases. With the addition of Apple Music on American flights, we are excited that customers can now enjoy their music in even more places. Subscribers can stream all their favorite songs and artists in the air, and continue to listen to their personal library offline, giving them everything they need to truly sit back, relax and enjoy their flight.

American Airlines has been investing in Viasat Wi-Fi, which has the bandwidth to allow for streaming video and music, as well as electrical outlets at every seat. This comes at a time when airlines are debating between seat-back entertainment and personal device entertainment.

American Airlines has also been rejuvenating its in-flight entertainment library as a whole, adding new shows and movies as well as free live TV. In fact, American Airlines passengers flying on Super Bowl Sunday will be able to watch the big game in the air on select flights.

Here’s what American Airlines VP of Global Marketing Janelle Anderson had to say:

Our guests want to make the most of their time when flying us. That’s why we’re investing in faster Wi-Fi, a variety of entertainment options, and why we’re so excited to introduce Apple Music to more of our customers. Providing customers with more ways to stay connected throughout each flight is one way to show we value their business and the time they spend with us.

Meanwhile, Apple has yet another channel to market Apple Music in a competitive music streaming landscape. Just yesterday, Apple announced that Apple Music has hit 50 million global paid subscribers. The most recent number we have from industry leader Spotify is 87 million paying users as of November 2018.