Air Berlin to produce own IFE content

A joint venture by Air Berlin and German media company kick-media, follow me entertainment, aims to produce music and video programmes for IFE and market entertainment themes through the airline’s web site and inflight magazine.

The Cologne-based joint venture says it will start with features such as the Italian crossover group Appassionante and an exclusive Air Berlin concert by Marius Müller-Westernhagen. In the music sector the company is aiming for an exclusive sales cooperation with a major label.

"Eighty per cent of our 167 aircraft have video equipment on board and almost all our planes have audio connections," says Air Berlin CEO Joachim Hunold. "We have been paying high licence fees for the film and music programmes that we have used in the past. Together with kick-media, we now want to produce music and video programmes to which we ourselves own the rights."

Using the programmes on board Air Berlin aircraft will be a first step in marketing them, he adds: "We want to generate additional revenue by utilising further distribution channels. Our web site with six million visits a month and our printed airberlin magazine with four million readers are superb marketing instruments for this."

The three sopranos who make up Appassionante, Stefania Francabandiera, Mara Tanchis and Giorgia Villa, have recorded pop song Wings exclusively for Air Berlin. The group has also appeared with Peter Maffay at a concert the airline staged in Jerusalem.

Air Berlin and kick-media have instigated the exclusive Air Berlin Westernhagen concert through follow me entertainment. The event will take place on 24 September at the Lido in Berlin. The new company also plans a new production of Frank Farian’s Daddy Cool to be performed in Majorca from 2011 onwards, with tickets sold on board Air Berlin flights. And in cooperation with follow me entertainment the airline is sponsoring the Berlin Music Week.

Alexander Elbertzhagen, kick-media CEO, says the co-operation with Hunold and Air Berlin "represents a most exciting challenge as both companies are jointly breaking new ground with follow me entertainment. We are delighted that many artists, organisers and media suppliers have indicated their interest in working with us."

Kick-media claims to be the leading media company for artist management, PR and entertainment in the German-speaking area. With their joint venture, the two partners are seeking to extend their presence in various segments of the entertainment business. Operations include the individual marketing of image and sound media, books and games as well as events, concerts, tours and sponsorships.

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