WPP's Matrix forays into in-flight entertainment with Kingfisher Airlines

MUMBAI: The youngest agency of the WPP fold, Matrix has entered into the in-flight content arena supplying packaged content for the soon-to-soar Kingfisher Airlines.

Kingfisher Airlines launches commercial operations on 9 May and will be the first domestic airline to provide in-flight entertainment in a personalized manner. Currently, Deccan Airways is the only other domestic airline that provides entertainment and a TV set is shared between six seats. The Kingfisher aircraft will be equipped with an advanced in-flight entertainment system that offers a personal video screen at every seat with five TV channels and 10 audio channels.



Matrix has been instrumental in the trading and syndication of the in-flight entertainment programming from the conceputualisation to the execution stage.

The agency, in tandem, with the client, have decided to provide entertainment across five genres - Bollywood, Sports, Kids, Lifestyle and Fashion. The content for Bollywood will be sourced through SET, Hungama TV will provide for kids entertainment, Ten Sports on the sport front, Zoom on lifestyle and the fashion is still being worked upon. Speaking on the same, Matrix head LS Krishnan states, "The programming will be canned and packaged by us to ensure freshness, relevance as well as no fatigue. Considering it is a 90-minute flight, the effort will be to keep the content as light as possible."

On the audio front, the ten channels will delve into all genres of music starting from hip hop, classical, retro, pop, jazz and many more.

Commenting on being a content provider to Kingfisher Airlines, UTV CEO Ronnie Screwalla says, “This is the first time that a domestic airline is providing in-flight entertainment. We have been providing our content to many airlines for the last 10 years and when we were approached by Dr Mallya, we decided to join hands with him as it would be a step further for us. Also, the fact that now air travel is moving away from the business fraternity and more and more families are also flying frequently, makes sense for us to tap them. The deal is based on the concept of advertising and revenue sharing.”



Matrix, apart from doing the packaging of the capsules, would also be looking at monetizing the free commercial time (FCT) by allowing for brands to advertise and create alliances with Kingfisher. The FCT has been frozen at 240 - 300 seconds per half hour.

Krishnan points out that the scope for up market brands to gain mileage with this proposition is very high. "Brands that cater to niche audiences will find this a very low cost and effective medium. Also, the association will not merely be restricted to spots on the audio and video channels but will also entail innovations for passengers to actually experience the brand via contests and interactive means."

Sectors that Matrix will be approaching for this liaison will be insurance, automobile, lifestyle apparels, personal finance. This will give brands another means to touch the customer in a clutter-free environment going beyond break bumpers and tags on television.



Matrix is functioning on a fixed fee based structure for the services being rendered to Kingfisher. This is the first of such alliances in India. Krishnan believes that this is just the beginning of the take off of branded entertainment and in days to come, this phenomena will really pick up momentum, with advertisers looking at this avenue a lot more seriously.

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