Biz Tips: Could IFE be the Redemption for Indie Authors and the Frequent Flyer?

Biz Tips: Could IFE be the Redemption for Indie Authors and the Frequent Flyer?


Could IFE be the Redemption for Indie Authors and the Frequent Flyer?

Photo by Suhyeon Choi on Unsplash

At some point in your life, you’re gonna have to stop and ask yourself the ultimate question: ‘This business of… being such a f****** pr***, what is it really getting me?

Thankfully that’s not a question I’ve ever had to ask myself. It’s a stunning line from a wonderful, yet very under-rated movie called Ghost Town which in my opinion received nowhere near the exposure and recognition it deserved. I watched it on a Turkish Airlines flight to New York in 2009. If you can find it, I’d highly recommend it as a romantic comedy that you can watch with your other half. It’s a gem.

Inflight entertainment systems on airlines are a goldmine for similar gems and not just little known movies but obviously music and TV content from all over the world. I was recently in conversation with a colleague who commented that while audio books are present in a number of airline IFE offerings, there is a distinct lack of e-books. And it got me thinking:

In an era where trying to find exposure for their self-published gem is THE major obstacle for the indie author, and airlines are looking for relevant non-air redemption offerings for their loyalty program members where flight redemptions are sparse, is there an opportunity to create a redemption offering for frequent flyers to purchase e-books they read inflight?

Some statistics.

There are obviously other platforms, but if we take the biggest, at time of writing there are over 4.5 million e-book titles available on Amazon, compared to under 600,000 in 2010. In an average week, roughly a third of the best-selling Kindle books are self-published titles, while according to a 2015 Codex Group survey, 36% of book buyers still read only print books.

Air passengers, frequent or not, look for content to read. And authors are looking for readers.

Providing e-books in flight via IFE, could not only be a popular miles redemption channel while providing indie authors publishing e-books opportunities for exposure by marketing their books priced in miles, it could potentially be an added ancillary revenue stream for airlines.

Could a case not be made for an airline loyalty program to partner with an e-book seller as an “Associate” and earn ancillary revenues for each book that is purchased from the seller platform, by entering a frequent flyer number (as a promo code) for select books that was available on their IFE? Could this not drive additional members to the program?

In a sector where “Only 40 Self-Published Authors are a Success” (quote attributed to Amazon by New York Times), airlines may wish to use this as a cultural branding angle to promote one or, even better three, indie authors a month in their in-flight magazines as they do with certain musical artists.

Just a thought?

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Could IFE be the Redemption for Indie Authors and the Frequent Flyer? was originally published in Marketing And Growth Hacking on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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