Many airlines are toying with the idea of getting rid of seat-back displays, how much revenue did those seat-back displays bring in the form of in-flight advertisement? I would presume for a long haul flight the revenue might be more than what it is for a mid-range flight.

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    $\begingroup$ 5 hours is short-range? $\endgroup$ – cpast Apr 27 '15 at 6:08
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    $\begingroup$ I don't have the precise numbers but those displays take up power (==fuel) and weight and need to be serviced. I'm sure that there is some tipping point between profit from adds and running cost that they are very carefully analyzing. $\endgroup$ – ratchet freak Apr 27 '15 at 8:56
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    $\begingroup$ and airline that bombards me with advertising using their displays will find that I quickly position a towel or something to block it out, and probably won't fly that airline again... $\endgroup$ – jwenting Apr 27 '15 at 12:03
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    $\begingroup$ I personally have seen very little advertising on seat-back displays, so I would suspect it's not much. $\endgroup$ – GdD Apr 27 '15 at 12:43
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    $\begingroup$ OP: can you point to some sources for your assertion that "many airlines are..." $\endgroup$ – CGCampbell Apr 27 '15 at 15:57

According to this article from September 2014:

Thales estimates total revenue from IFE at \$17.6m a year for small/mid-sized carriers, up to \$397m a year for large carriers.

But that's for all services, not just advertising. The only specific mention I could find of advertising was this 2012 quote attributed to the CEO of Thompson Aerospace:

Somewhere in the middle of the second question about advertising on the system he said: “… and we are generating somewhere between \$20,000 and \$30,000 per month per plane with the IFE.”

The revenue is apparently generated in a similar way to internet advertising:

[...] every 2 weeks the airline and the advertising service bureau receives a summary of the requests/viewings and the airline gets a check. At 1 to 5 cents per click, the tally adds up as daily flights, sometimes short as an hour, record revenue and usage every passenger, every flight, every day, and every month

However, there's no information in the article about which airlines actually use that specific service, and I have no idea if those numbers are typical or not, or even exaggerated.

If you need more information than that and you can afford USD 4,650 to find out, this looks like a comprehensive report on the IFE industry.


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