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United Launches World’s First Personalized Inflight Media Network

Kinective Media gives brands the opportunity to market products on the United mobile app and on seatback screens

by Fergus Cole

June 10, 2024

Photo: Panasonic Avionics' Astrova Seat-End Solution. Courtesy of United Airlines.

United has launched a new media network, dubbed Kinective Media, that will use flight customer data to create personalized advertisements, content, and in-flight experiences for its passengers.

Said to be the first of its kind in the airline industry, United’s new media network uses insights from travel behaviors to connect flyers with ads, content, offers, and experiences from a wide range of leading brands. United customers will be shown Kinective Media content on both in-flight entertainment (IFE) screens and the United Mobile App.

Photo: Courtesy of United Airlines

According to the Chicago-based airline, the new platform allows companies to market their products to various customers via both platforms.

For example, United’s mobile app has been downloaded over 110 million times across IOS and Android – more than any other airline’s app – and generates almost 100 million monthly sessions.

Meanwhile, the airline boasts almost 100,000 seatback screens across its fleet and plans to expand this number further by delivering new aircraft and retrofitting existing planes. United claims that, based on average flight times, there’s potential for 3.5 hours of attention per traveler on each flight.

Several prominent brands have partnered with Kinective Media to create customized advertisements. These brands include Norwegian Cruise Line, Macy’s, Chase United credit cards, TelevisaUnivision, and IHG Hotels & Resorts. Kinective Media intends to officially launch its commercial activities during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2024, which will take place on June 17-21.

“We’ve built a first-of-its-kind, real-time, adtech-enabled traveler media network where brands have already started connecting to premium audiences at an unmatched scale,” said Richard Nunn, CEO of MileagePlus – United’s frequent flyer program.

Photo: Courtesy of United Airlines

“Unlike some commerce media platforms, United gives brands across a wide range of industries the ability to reach engaged customers throughout the entire marketing funnel – from brand consideration to conversion – in a way that’s highly personalized and relevant, and we’re already seeing impressive results.

“There has been a huge strategic shift within this high growth sector in the past five years where advertisers and brands have come together to determine how best to connect with consumers in a way that’s valuable, effective and personalized.”

While United claims its new media network is a ground-breaking concept within the airline industry, it is already causing controversy among analysts, with some claiming it’s just an excuse to force advertisements on passengers consuming IFE.

There are valid concerns about how the personalized content is created and the data used in the process. However, United has taken steps to reassure its customers that their personally identifiable information is secure and that Kinective Media only uses the insights of U.S. customers aged 18 and over to create aggregated and anonymized audience segments. Passengers also have the freedom to opt out of targeted advertising at any time.