Virgin America Puts The 'Multi' In Multimedia With Spotify And The New York Times

Travelers Won't Miss a Beat at 35,000 Feet with Free Streaming of the Entire Spotify Music Catalogue and New York Times Content

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 20, 2015 — (PRNewswire) —  Virgin America, the Silicon Valley-based airline known for offering next-generation in-flight entertainment and connectivity, today teams up with both Spotify, to offer free streaming of its entire catalogue of over 30 million songs, and The New York Times to offer a curated collection of daily NYTimes.com content onboard the airline's new ViaSat WiFi-equipped aircraft through March 2, 2016.  The news comes as Virgin America is today named the "Best U.S. Airline" in the coveted Condé Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards – for an unprecedented eighth year in a row.

Virgin America is the first U.S. airline to partner with Spotify to offer all Spotify users streaming access to its entire music catalogue of over 30 million songs from 35,000 feet. In addition, Spotify provided song pools based on hundreds of millions of playlists to help Virgin America curate over 60 city-inspired music "Mood Lists" that will inspire and excite guests for their destination. Guests can enjoy in-flight playlists such as New York's "Empire State of Mind", Chicago's "Welcome to the Windy City," all of which can also be found at virginamerica.com/spotify. Virgin America's boarding music is also available as the "#SpotifyOnboard" playlist. New Spotify users can listen for free or take advantage of a free Spotify Premium 30-day trial: www.spotify.com/us/premium

Also today, Virgin America launches an exclusive collaboration with The New York Times to offer guests complimentary in-flight access to a collection of Times content, including breaking news, from Business, Travel, Technology and 'Most Viewed,' on any connected device onboard ViaSat WiFi-equipped aircraft flying on mainland flights*. Guests may also sign up to receive a free 30-day New York Times All Digital Access subscription, good for use both in the air and on the ground.  

"Virgin America has always been about providing guests with the largest breadth of entertainment and more control over their in-flight experience, whether through the fleetwide WiFi we've offered since 2009 or the library of latest release films, live TV, videogames and MP3s available at every seat via our Red® entertainment touch-screens," said Virgin America Vice President of Brand Marketing and Communications, Abby Lunardini. "With our new ViaSat WiFi, we're excited to take this offering to the next level by offering guests the ability to stay informed with access to daily New York Times content and their favorite music with the entire Spotify catalogue at 35,000 feet."

"At Spotify, we're dedicated to finding ways to bring music into every part of consumers lives, wherever they are, whatever they're doing, whatever their mood," said Erin Clift, VP Global Marketing and Partnerships at Spotify. "Partnering with Virgin America to provide guests with Spotify "Mood Lists" is an excellent way to enhance their experience and bring Spotify to flyers both in-flight and beyond."

Clay Fisher, senior vice president, consumer marketing, The New York Times, added: "Through this collaboration, NYTimes.com offers Virgin America guests access to some of the best news, information and entertainment content available on the web. Whether they want to catch up on the news, dive deep into an investigative article or sit back and enjoy a Times video, travelers will feel more connected to the world around them when they are up in the air, simply by logging on to the in-flight WiFi."

Virgin America has curated over 60 city "Mood Lists" on Spotify including:

  • 'The City of Angels', for Los Angeles, California
    • 'Straight Outta Compton' -  N.W.A
    • 'Going Back to Cali' – LL Cool J
  • 'Let's Get Our Stories Straight' for Las Vegas, Nevada
    • 'Get Your Freak On' - Missy Elliot
    • 'Anything Could Happen' – Ellie Goulding
  • 'Pineapple Express' for Honolulu and Maui, Hawaii 
    • 'High Tide or Low Tide' – Ben Harper and Jack Johnson
    • 'What'cha Know About' – Donavon Frankenreiter
  • 'Cold Beer on a Friday Night' for Austin and Dallas, Texas
    • 'Chicken Fried' – Zac Brown Band
    • 'Bloody Mary Morning' – Willie Nelson

The news today builds on Virgin America's recent announcement that the entire Netflix catalogue of award-winning television series and movies can now be streamed in-flight – all of which is made possible by Virgin America's recent connectivity partnership with ViaSat to bring even faster WiFi to the airline's 10 new Airbus A320 aircraft, which are being delivered from fall 2015-mid-2016. Netflix users onboard Virgin America's new ViaSat WiFi-equipped aircraft flying in mainland U.S. can stream the best programming available in the skies, including the hit series House of Cards and Orange Is The New Black, to their phones, tablets, and laptops at no cost through March 2, 2016.

Virgin America's recent connectivity partnership with ViaSat leverages the company's satellite-based in-flight internet service to enable Virgin America's guests to experience internet speeds similar to what they expect at home and 8 to 10 times faster than any other onboard WiFi system. In addition to being the only U.S. airline to offer fleetwide WiFi as of 2009[1], Virgin America has made continuous investments in its in-flight connectivity system, including upgrading its full fleet to the latest generation ground-based WiFi system as of 2014 and now investing in the most advanced satellite-based WiFi system with ViaSat for its next 10 aircraft deliveries.  

How to stream Spotify and read The New York Times in-flight:

  • Guests on aircraft equipped with the new ViaSat WiFi service and flying in mainland U.S. will be notified by the Virgin America in-flight team that they can access high-speed WiFi.
  • Guests can then open their browser and log in for free by selecting the "virginamerica" ViaSat network, after which they will be connected to WiFi and through the WiFi portal page banners will then be prompted to:
    • Visit the Spotify playlist page on Virgin America's website, and then select a destination to hear the city-themed playlist on Spotify. Users can sign up or log in to their existing Spotify account and enjoy access to stream the city "Mood Lists" throughout their flight and/or stream the entire Spotify music catalogue for free. New Spotify users can also try out a complimentary one month premium account when signing up for a new account.
    • Visit the New York Times landing page to read top headlines in real-time.  For full New York Times access, users can log in to their existing New York Times account or create a new, 30-day free trial account - good for use both in the air, on Virgin America's ViaSat-equipped aircraft, or on the ground.  

Virgin America also  recently announced it was implementing a significant upgrade to its Red® in-flight entertainment  system with an even more immersive in-flight entertainment experience that features higher resolution capacitive touch screens, Android-based software that allows for faster, real-time updates, and three times more content – including full seasons of favorite television shows, more interactive maps, videogames including classics like Pac Man and Asteroids – along with the first surround-sound listening experience to be offered by an airline.

About Virgin America: Known for its mood-lit cabins, three beautifully designed classes of service and innovative fleetwide amenities — like touch-screen personal entertainment, WiFi and power outlets at every seat, Virgin America has built a loyal following of flyers and earned a host of awards since launching in 2007 — including being named both the "Best U.S. Airline" in Condé Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice Awards and "Best Domestic Airline" in Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards for the past eight consecutive years.  For more: www.virginamerica.com

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