Southwest Airlines announced today that Apple's Beats Music streaming app is now available on select Wi-Fi enabled flights as part of a new onboard entertainment system that passengers can access through their smartphones and tablets. Southwest doesn't have access to the entire Beats Music library, only a "selection" of playlists, but the new airline app does include Beats' signature feature, "The Sentence," which lets users choose a continuous music stream based on their mood and company and other preferences and nouns. The entertainment system, which also includes access to Dish TV, is available on iOS and Android devices and through a mobile web browser. See a few promotional images below:
To promote the announcement, Southwest added a custom Beats decal to one of its Boeing-737s that makes it look as though the plane is wearing the iconic red headphones around the cockpit. On top of that, Southwest is using the airplane to host a mid-air concert today with the band Starship Cobra on Flight 732 from Dallas to Chicago. Separately, another Southwest airplane, Flight 1527 from Portland to Denver, will be hosting a live concert by the band Elephant Revival. Finally, Southwest created its own special Beats playlist for the day that will stream live music from the mid-air concerts to passengers on other Southwest flights.
All of that fanfare comes in the wake of reports that Apple is planning to kill the Beats app as a separate brand and fold some of its functionality into iTunes as early as the beginning of 2015. If that happens, Southwest's custom Beats plane will be quite an odd bird indeed.