Southwest Airlines launches new onboard entertainment service with Apple’s Beats Music

Southwest Airlines is giving customers a new reason to pack their headphones. Beginning today, Beats Music is providing a uniquely curated music experience onboard Southwest Airlines WiFi-enabled aircraft.

Customers accessing Beats Music onboard have an opportunity to listen to wide-ranging music programming in pop, rock, country, and other genres to hear fresh new artists and the hottest songs, which are handpicked by Beats Music expert curators. Accessing the service inflight is on the house and includes a library of hundreds of playlists. Not sure what to listen to, but feel like Jet-Setting with your BFF to Pop? The Sentence offers a continuous playlist just for you, customized by your response to four questions about location, activity, surroundings, and musical preference.

“Southwest connects our Customers to what is important in their lives, and in this case, it’s music,” said Kevin Krone, Southwest Airlines Chief Marketing Officer, in a statement. “We continue to enhance our onboard offerings to remain current as our Customers’ needs evolve, and with the addition of Beats Music on our entertainment portal, we’re doing just that.”

The new entertainment service was introduced today at a live demonstration onboard the official Beats Music-decaled Boeing 737 aircraft. To celebrate, a special playlist was created that will come to life with live concerts from a couple of the artists on select Southwest flights at 35,000 feet! The official Beats Music aircraft is planned to depart from Dallas Love Field to Chicago-Midway on flight 732 with Cobra Starship onboard. Customers on this flight will get a Southwest Airlines VIP backstage pass to the most elevated live concert they’ve ever experienced, with an opportunity to meet and receive autographs from the band. Southwest Airlines also is celebrating with Customers on Flight 1527 with Elephant Revival, flying from Portland to Denver.

Beats Music is a music subscription service that combines expert curation with the best technology, so you get music that’s right for you every time. Customers can stream a selection of Beats Music playlists through the Southwest entertainment portal, which is powered by Global Eagle Entertainment Inc., using their personal electronic devices onboard Southwest Airlines WiFi-enabled aircraft. Global Eagle Entertainment is a worldwide provider of media content, technology, and connectivity solutions to the travel industry. Through the industry’s most comprehensive product and services platform, Global Eagle Entertainment provides airlines with a wide range of inflight solutions including WiFi, movies, television, music, interactive software, as well as portable IFE solutions, content management services, e-commerce solutions, and original content development.

The service provided on the Southwest entertainment portal will be compatible with major mobile devices and operating systems, including iOS and Android, as well as most web browsers, and is designed to ensure a seamless and superior quality playback.

Source: Southwest Airlines Co.


  1. Hmmm. I don’t watch airline movies nor listen to their music. Carry my own thanks. Knowing how much the airlines in general want to save (and charge) a buck at customer’s expense I’m surprised they’d offer this.

  2. Hey Southwest, Beats music is nice, but what would be nicer is if your planes started flying on-time again.

    I used to love flying Southwest, but since they merged with AirTran, their on-time performance is consistently at the bottom of the barrel.

    But hey, at least you’ll be listening to good music as you sit on the runway waiting and waiting and waiting.

  3. I wish airlines would concentrate on providing transportation rather than attempting to be entertainment providers. Like cars, the reason airplanes are so expensive is partially because of all the unnecessary electronic entertainment junk that is foisted on the prospective buyer. That directly affects ticket prices for everyone. There is no “opt-out”. The base price of a ticket has to cover all this unnecessary overhead.

      1. You may be right, but no matter who pays whom to advertise Beats, planes need repainting every now and then. If SWA needed to repaint the plane anyway, why wouldn’t it advertise for itself?

        Still, I am confused why Apple isn’t improving iTunes and folding the Beats service into it. When you say “Beats”, everyone thinks about overpriced plastic bass-heavy headphones. Apple and/or SWA is wasting their money trying to make music rental a preferred service. Jobs had the right model: people want to own their music. So put ALAC files on your Mac and create playlists and you won’t have to suffer from crummy ads or monthly fees — or yet one more stupid airline charge.

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