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Virgin America taps iHeartRadio?s mobile streaming for in-flight entertainment

Virgin America is integrating iHeartRadio?s music streaming platform within its in-flight entertainment system to offer fliers curated content on their personal devices.

Consumers will now be able to listen to iHeartRadio content within the airline brand?s Red in-flight system, which is available at every seatback and on their personal devices, including smartphones, tablets and laptops, enabling them to enjoy the music even after the flight has landed. Streaming services on mobile are increasingly taking off with users, making Virgin America?s move to collaborate with a top platform a smart tactic.

?We are always looking for new integrations and partnerships that align well with our brand and offer our listeners new content and avenues to access their favorite radio stations and music,? said Michele Laven, president of business development and partnerships at iHeartMedia, New York. ?Our collaboration with Virgin America is a perfect fit and highlights both of our brands? love for music and entertainment. 

?We are excited to be able to offer these iHeartRadio Original stations both in-flight as well as anywhere our listeners go once they land.?

Curated content
IHeartRadio is bringing six curated stations to the Red platform, effective immediately. The ?Atmospheres? playlist is an ideal meditation station for customers who want to relax or sleep, while reggae fans can tune in to ?Dub and Dubber? for Jamaican-inspired songs.

?Dyna-Mic Flows? features trailblazing hip-hop and ?Pop, Skip and a Jump? offers the latest pop tunes.

Lastly, ?Soul-igarchy? takes listeners back to the golden age of blues and rhythm, while ?Lat-Indie? embraces old traditions with a mixes of different music styles.

The music streaming service is available on all mobile platforms, including smartphones, wearables and tablets as well as gaming consoles. Fliers who access the content via iHeartRadio?s direct platform will have access to the interactive station features, including skip functions and Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down feedback.

The two brands are planning to celebrate the partnership with a series of promotions, such as displaying videos on the Red in-flight system.

Immersive experience
This new partnership arrives on the heels of Virgin America?s announcement that it is heading into a beta launch of the next generation of the Red entertainment platform, which aims to offer guests an even more immersive experience with touch screens as well as Android-based software to enable faster updates.

It also claims to offer three times more content, including interactive maps, classic video games and full seasons of popular television programs.

Virgin America provides the largest in-flight library for entertainment domestically via the Red system, and enables users to create their own playlists aboard the aircrafts.

More airline services are teaming up with major streaming services to bring their customers a barrage of new content, ensuring boredom will seldom be an issue on flights.

JetBlue is partnering with Amazon to bring the ecommerce giant's Prime Instant Video service to airplanes this year, enabling fliers who are Prime members to access tens of thousands of television shows and movies via their mobile devices while in-flight and further augmenting the airline sector?s move to mobile-enhanced entertainment systems (see story).

?IHeartRadio has access to world-class radio programmers from across the country and we are excited to share this expertise and love of all things music with our listeners,? Ms. Laven said. ?IHeartRadio extends the reach of our AM and FM radio stations and allows users to access the music they love anytime and anywhere ? even at 35,000 feet in the air! 

?Our new partnership with Virgin America enables us to share this passion with even more listeners.?

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York