Virgin America is continuing to outpace the competition when it comes to streaming in-flight entertainment. The airline announced today that it's going to start offering customers free Wi-Fi to access Spotify's entire back catalog as well as selected content from The New York Times. This is in addition to free Wi-Fi to access Netflix content, which the company announced last month.
Courtesy of Virgin America's satellite-based viasat Wi-Fi
All of these services are being made available on mainland Virgin America flights via aircraft equipped with ViaSat Wi-Fi, which the company claims offers internet access that is "eight to 10 times faster" than traditional in-flight Wi-Fi. The satellite-based ViaSat is only available on a small number of planes though (specifically Virgin America's recent order of 10 new Airbus A320s), and the Netflix, Spotify, and partial New York Times access is only available through March 2nd next year.
The Times content includes breaking news from the Business, Travel, and Technology sections as well as the day's most viewed stories. Virgin America says it has also worked with Spotify to curate 60 playlists for specific cities, such "The City of Angels" for Los Angeles (highlights include NWA's "Straight Outta Compton" and LL Cool J's "Going Back to Cali") and "Cold Beer on a Friday Night" for Austin and Dallas (featuring "Chicken Fried" by Zac Brown Band and "Bloody Mary Morning" by Willie Nelson). However, users will still have to pay for a Spotify subscription or sign up for a 30-day free trial if they want to listen without commercials.