JetBlue Adds More Entertainment In Push For ‘Multi-Screen Experience’

by Chris Dong

While airlines like American and United are actively eliminating in-flight seatback entertainment, carriers like Delta and JetBlue are bucking the trend.

Even for non-frequent flyers, the JetBlue experience has become basically synonymous with live TV and free snacks. The airline’s latest ad campaign, “Just Alright Doesn’t Fly Here,” reiterates that and is plastered all over New York City streets and on the subway.

JetBlue is also only one of a handful of airlines that offers free WiFi (their WiFi is sponsored by Amazon Prime) on every plane. Now, the New York-based airline is going all-in on what they are calling the in-flight “multi-screen experience.”

JetBlue is now partnering with SHOWTIME for full seasons of shows, Spotify for podcasts, Inscape for meditation sessions, and PressReader for digital newspapers and magazines. 

The JetBlue Multi-Screen Experience

Whether you want to binge-watch, binge-listen, connect, disconnect, or just discover something new – you can do it from our new HD seatback screens, your own devices, or more likely, all of the above.” – Mariya Stoyanova, Director of Product Development

Boom. JetBlue, like Delta, realizes giving the luxury of choice ‘– the “all of the above” mentioned — is what can win over passengers. United and American harp on the fact that every customer has their own devices and can stream entertainment directly to those said devices. JetBlue says yes, that’s true, but customers want to have screens and use their own devices, or at least have the option to choose.

The New JetBlue Entertainment Additions

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JetBlue says they’re trying to copy the living room experience, allowing customers to use a range of devices simultaneously.

Additionally, the new entertainment options are also basically free trials of a usual paid subscription. It gives passengers a taste of what it’s like to be a full-fledged subscriber — and these companies and advertisers can get in front of eyeballs in a captive environment.

Besides the existing live TV and movies at seatback screens currently, here is what also is being added:

  • Showtime: Full seasons of SHOWTIME series on individual HD seatback screens. 
  • Spotify: Stream podcasts from anchor, Gimlet, Parcast and more from the airline’s exclusive podcast partner.
  • PressReader: Catch up on the latest headlines with unlimited access to thousands of local and national news publications and magazines through the PressReader app.
  • INSCAPE: Kick back and relax at 35,000 feet with 20 curated inflight meditation sessions available on seatback screens.

Unfortunately, Spotify is only limited to podcasts and not the company’s full music library. American Airlines also has a much-publicized partnership with Apple Music, in which passengers new to Apple Music can get a free three-month trial to Apple’s entire catalog of music and programming in-flight.

The Upshot

With SHOWTIME, Spotify, Inscape, and PressReader, JetBlue now has an even more robust array of entertainment options onboard. They weren’t slacking to begin with since there’s already live DirecTV, hundreds of movies, and free Wi-Fi onboard. JetBlue is further differentiating by investing in the customer experience.

Meanwhile, these entertainment providers and advertisers now have a channel to reach a customer base that is bored at 35,000 feet in the air.


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Ben November 7, 2019 - 1:02 pm

“This is in contrast to American Airlines’ much-publicized partnership with Apple Music, in which passengers can access Apple’s entire catalog of music and programming in-flight. Kudos to American for launching that with unlimited access to Apple Music.”

Correction: Apple Music subscribers can access it for free; if you aren’t an Apple Music subscriber you can sign up for the free trial, but after that it’s either maintain the monthly bill to get access onboard or nothing.

Chris Dong November 7, 2019 - 1:08 pm

I stand corrected, thanks Ben!


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