Serving the right content to the flying commuter

Metadata management in IFE

Serving the right content to the flying commuter
27.05.2019 Zaif Khan

An industry-wide challenge

The aerospace industry has made the world a smaller place, yet this small world is vastly spaced in terms of culture, languages, and values. The modern passengers, no matter the geography, share a lot of traits, including their appetite for popular movies and TV shows. Serving entertainment thousands of feet up in the clouds to this similar yet different audience can be a daunting task. There have been incidents in the past where the passengers have reported offensive content, wrongly categorized content, wrong title, details or descriptions, or simply the lack of their language localization.

For instance, carriers flying towards or out of middle eastern regions have to be extra cautious about not only the display of movies and shows containing erotic imagery and language but also the mention of specific consumables. Similar rules and regulations also apply to some of the other countries and regions.

Why does it matter?

Owing to the sensitivity of the different audiences, the carriers have to tailor the IFE content and the metadata according to flight paths, destination, and origin of the aircraft, and passengers on-board. A minor slip-up or error can tarnish the image of the carrier or cause damage to the revenue. Carriers desperately want to avoid anything that can ruin the image, or lead to lousy passenger experience. Hence, the process of IFE content management becomes even more crucial for a carrier aiming for the best customer experience and loyalty.

The In-flight entertainment and connectivity industry is speculated to reach almost USD 10 billion by 2025 with a CAGR of nearly 10%. The sector is presenting carriers with many new ways of generating revenues, from personalized entertainment and advertising to destination-based services. However, to capitalize on this revenue opportunity, customer loyalty has to be earned first. The best way to do so is similar to the conventional media industry, serving the right content.

The digital supply-chain

The media supply-chain in the IFE industry involves many stakeholders, ranging from content service providers, metadata providers to editors, and reviewers. The number of stakeholders and the conventionally manual process of metadata editing makes it more error-prone.

When it comes to early window content (EWC), the level of complexity increases manifolds due to the level of security surrounding the content. There is also a need to reduce the lead times during content processing and delivery, owing to the faster content cycles and licensing.

There are a few ways that can ease the issues mentioned above in the content supply-chain:

Content access and restrictions

The content for entertainment in the aerospace industry faces far more regulatory and compliance challenges than by its conventional counterparts. Such challenges can be overcome by the creation of strict automated rules that not only allows delivery of the right content to the craft but also a smart system onboard that can show what content to display according to the flight path and passenger data.

Automated Workflows

Metadata management has been a manual task for years, and that makes it more error prone. Hence, end-to-end automated workflows are required for the management of a massive number of assets. This includes metadata management, content set rules, advertising management, content targeting, and much more.

Multi-user and Multiple instances

The content management and localization process involves the inclusion of a variety of expert roles, ranging from content set providers (CSPs), engineers to editors, translators, and reviewers. Hence, each user, whether internal or third-party, must have a dashboard, customized for their specific roles and data access policies.


Integrations with metadata and metadata enrichment services, along with language service providers (LSPs) that provide translations and other localization services. Other integrations including with CRMs to gather passenger data and to carry out further personalization can also be done to achieve the best PaxEx.

Preview portal

Having a preview portal to snapshot and review the content to ensure its quality is also a possible way of mitigating the minor slip-ups that are not caught by the automated checks.

Axinom with its years of content management experience understands it like no other. Working in the aerospace industry for over ten years, we have created unique, tailored workflows that ease the process of content and metadata management, content localization, and targeting. Axinom CMS provides access to all parameters of editorial, technical, and service metadata with few clicks, along with custom interfaces and a customized strictly regulated access to other stakeholders of the process.

For more information, get in touch:

Aleksandra Sõsun

Director Aero Business Development

Axinom is a member of the World Airline Entertainment Association