From the cinema to the cabin – a year in Qantas Entertainment

Published on 20th December 2017 at 14:01

One of the perks of flying is being able to indulge in your favourite TV show or movie without copping flak from your mates. And our customers are definitely making the most of the time in the air, with 22 million hours of inflight entertainment viewed this year alone.

So, here’s what our ratings this year have revealed:

  • The most watched movie of 2017 was The Boss Baby
  • The most popular Australian film was Lion
  • The most watched drama series was Game of Thrones
  • Modern Family was the most watched TV show, with customers watching 151,334 hours of the family sitcom
  • The most popular documentary was Planet Earth II, followed by a documentary about obesity, Why Are We Fat?
  • After English, the most popular films were watched in Japanese, Mandarin and French
  • The most-watched children’s show was Peppa Pig
  • Ariana Grande took out both the most listened to and second most listened to tracks of the year, with Dangerous Woman and Side to Side
  • On domestic flights with Wi-Fi, passengers are spending the most time using email and browsing the web, followed by social media (Facebook is the most popular social media application) and streaming video and music services

Sooo many movies: There are over 30,000 daily users of Qantas Entertainment screens


Top picks by our customers:

  • The Boss Baby
  • Logan
  • Hidden Figures
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Lion
  • La La Land
  • Baywatch
  • Kong: Skull Island
  • Baby Driver



Deciding what to screen

We use an anonymous on board ratings system to find out what customers are watching and for how long. Data tells us that movie premieres continue to capture the biggest audiences, and comedy is the most watched genre on the TV channel.

We’re usually locking in selections with our entertainment partners at the same time films are about to premiere, so as well as monitoring trends, it’s often up to us to predict what will be a smash and what will be a flop.

At the end of every month our engineers upload new content to the media centre, which is a fancy name for the hard drive housed in the avionics section inside the aircraft belly. The updates are about a terabyte in size and contribute to the 2,000 hours of entertainment loaded at any one time.

Flights camera action: The interior of a 737 waiting for customers, almost like a cinema just without the popcorn

Drama, drama, drama

We know people don’t want to start a drama mid-way through the series, so we’ve replaced our drama category with Box Sets. Now, customers can binge watch – or pick up where they left off – every episode of every season of every drama show on board. To watch all of Downton Abbey, you’d have to do two return Perth to London trips.

Between the Qantas Entertainment app, seat back screens and Wi-Fi rolling out on our domestic aircraft (complete with the Ashes live this summer), we’re pretty confident we have enough entertainment to keep everyone occupied. Even the kids. We’ve recently introduced Kinderling, the Australian radio channel for young children, audiobooks and the Joey Club Art Studio – a colouring-in game on seat back entertainment screens.

Happy viewing!