American Airlines to Offer Free Apple Music Streaming for Subscribers

Posted on January 30, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Apple, iOS, Mobile, Music + Videos with 16 Comments

Starting Friday, Apple Music subscribers will be able to stream music from the service for free over American Airlines in-flight Wi-Fi. Normally, users would need to pay fees to use the Wi-Fi.

“For most travelers, having music to listen to on the plane is just as important as anything they pack in their suitcases,” Apple Music vice president Oliver Schusser said in a prepared statement. “With the addition of Apple Music on American flights, we are excited that customers can now enjoy their music in even more places. Subscribers can stream all their favorite songs and artists in the air, and continue to listen to their personal library offline, giving them everything they need to truly sit back, relax and enjoy their flight.”

Apple notes that American Airlines is the first commercial airline to provide exclusive access to Apple Music through complimentary inflight Wi-Fi, suggesting that deals with other airlines may follow.

Apparently, this will work via an in-flight Wi-Fi sign-up screen, which will now offer a way for Apple Music subscribers to authenticate their accounts for complimentary music streaming. A Viasat satellite-equipped airplane is required, Apple notes.

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Comments (16)

16 responses to “American Airlines to Offer Free Apple Music Streaming for Subscribers”

  1. Avatar


    That's sort of a strange partnership, but good I guess. Maybe someday Apple can focus on making Apple Music available on the web. You know, like every other music streaming service out there.

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    It will be free for the first 5 minutes before the in-flight wifi stops working.

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    This could be enough to get frequent-fliers to switch. I think Schusser's statement is a bit hyperbolic, but this is still a nice perk.

    Question, though... doesn't everybody who pays for these services cache music for offline play? I mean... that's half the reason to pay, right?

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    As if the inflight wifi isn't slow enough already. I'm sure the increased bandwidth demand will not help business travelers who want to get any real work done.

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    This is classic Apple - identify a valuable market segment and craft a good solution for that segment alone without trying to kill all birds with one stone like Microsoft often does (and fails at). They are great at incrementally identifying the use cases and solving individual problems.

    You'd hope this would be supplemented by some kind of on-plane caching.

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    Tony Barrett

    I wonder how much Apple had to pay AA to get that level of exclusivity! It's all about Apple keeping their customers nice and safe within their ecosystem....

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    Because THIS is AA's biggest problem, lack of streaming music. AA, how about getting HALF the functionality in your iOS app as Delta? Or getting your flights on-time? Or fixing your terrible check-in kiosks that you basically force people to use? (The card readers are garbage on them, as evidenced by the fact AA has employed to stand by them all and show you the "proper" way to feed in a card - slowly, and with a prayer.) Forcing passengers to apply the baggage stickers is like asking to lose my bags. But hey, streaming music.

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    Is this only for domestic flights? Because I have a feeling it would break net neutrality laws outside the US.

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