A partnership to put e-reader editions on airline flights extends publishers’ reach and may sound a knell for digitally-printed editions (writes Peter Coleman).
Passengers on FlyDubai already have access to digital replica newspaper editions, thanks to efforts by NewspaperDirect and DTI Solutions, a Montreal-based specialist in inflight entertainment unconnected with Newspaper systems developer Digital Technology International.
The deal provides passengers on the budget airline with access to updated daily newspapers.
DTI Solutions president Patrick Préfontaine says that while digital e-reading solutions may be ubiquitous on the ground, the complexities of the inflight environment – including compatibility with entertainment hardware and the logistics of frequently updating content – made it a challenge to install in the skies.
New software allows passengers to browse through reading material on in-flight entertainment systems equipped with touch-screen technology, and integrates NewspaperDirect’s PressReader media reading application. This offers full-content, digital replicas of more than 2200 newspapers and magazine publications from 100 countries in 56 languages.
"We're delighted to have helped FlyDubai achieve this historic project,” says Préfontaine. “We truly believe that e-reader solutions are strategic for airlines to provide passengers with relevant and engaging content, while benefiting from the noted advantages of digital content such as weight and cost reductions compared to paper-based media onboard."
FlyDubai chief executive Ghaith Al Ghaith says passengers now expect to be able to read their favourite newspapers electronically on board. “Offering daily newspaper updates digitally is a real logistical challenge for airlines, and we are proud to be the first to provide this enhanced passenger experience."
The system provides daily updates from NewspaperDirect’s catalogue of newspaper and magazine titles.