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IFE Data

Efficiency for everyone

So much has changed over the last 20 years in IFE. But we still see the same costly processes month after month; the same repetition and monotony in working with so much data. With more systems, comes more painful data. We're making it easier and faster to work with data.

Who are we?

As a team, we are solutions architects and software developers. We have been in the IFE industry for over 20 years. We've worked with CSPs, airlines, distributors, labs, hardware vendors and connectivity providers. We have designed and developed CMS's, portals and process-critical applications. Plenty of them are still used in the day-to-day processes today.

But those applications are old. They are proprietary. They're not designed for the benefit of everyone. They don't improve the whole process. There isn't one solution that can help with all areas of the workflow. We wanted to change that: so now there finally is.

Our Application

Using our knowledge of the industry and our experience in providing tailored solutions for big enterprises, we have launched a new application that everyone can use to make it easier and faster to work with IFE Data.

Core Features

Content Library

"Content is King." Everything starts here. Our library is designed specifically to meet the requirements of your IFE data. From license rights and territories, to synopses, images and language availability. All the data you would expect, in one place.

Metadata & Images

Behind our Content Library sits a robust metadata archive. It can store your own metadata or offer you existing metadata. Most importantly, you can request translations right where you need them. Images can be managed efficiently through the UI.

No More Spreadsheets

Spreadsheets are great. Quick and easy to use. But for IFE data...? There are so many requirements for that data. It's cumbersome to use spreadsheets to shape data for all those purposes, then reshape it and deliver it. All that data is related in so many ways. We know that. So our workflow lets you abandon spreadsheets for compiling data. Or, if you prefer, you can still use your spreadsheet(s) and import them when necessary.

Efficient Working

All the data flows from the Content. And that’s how our bespoke implementation starts. Once a Title is selected, the system understands your configured requirements and the automated process begins. We use a bespoke database architecture to drive our application and maintain the relationship between all that data. This powerful approach makes it easier to shape, transition and deliver the data: whatever the requirements and wherever it needs to go.

Services

IFEData is built to offer several core Services. The use cases for these Services depends on the roles of the Users. The Services are:

The Content Library is the foundation of the entire IFEData application: without the Content - what would there be? We support the ‘main’ types such as Movies, TV Shows (Seasons & Episodes) and Albums, as well as Games, Ebooks, Podcasts, etc. We also support ancillary Content such as audio announcements, safety videos, graphics and advertisements.

Content can be entered by Airlines, CSP’s or Distributors as and when necessary. The basic details and images are captured for the Content Library: with more details and media supported in the Metadata & Images Services.

Distributors can use the Rights Service to manage the details behind the license being offered for the Content. Details such as guarantees, territories, taxing, revenue splits, etc. are all defined in this area. If the Distributors use the License Order Services, those Licenses will accrue against the Rights offering many different reports based on the licensees, time periods, territories, etc.

Content from the Library can be made available through a Distributor - regardless of whether Rights have been captured in IFEData. Availability is split across Versions, each with date ranges, territory and exclusion parameters, as well as the Languages that the Version is available in. Capturing the Availability of the Content in the Library ensures only relevant Content is presented to potential licensees, based on their own territories.

Selections are how you indicate that you ‘want’ a Version of Content. There are various ways to make Selections in IFEData - in order to make it as efficient as possible. But essentially it is based around what Content Version is required, when and how long it will be on board and on what Systems (hardware) it will be shown. Selections can hold initial Content choices, where it can then be further built, reviewed and fine-tuned until a confirmed list of Content is finalised. That list will essentially drive the whole process to get the Content and its supporting media onboard - giving the user a complete overview of everything onboard - from previous months to future months.

Categories are configured for each Airline, for each System GUI that the Content will be visible in. Once Content has been added to the Selection process, it can then be allocated to the various Categories. Each Category can have its own settings like the recommended number of Titles, minimum number of Titles and sorting requirements. This will then offer Users an overview of all the Categories and where more or less Titles are needed. You can even automatically Categorise the Content based on their Genre(s) and status (New onboard vs Held over).

After being Selected, Content can then have all the relevant Metadata populated. Metadata has configuration based on the Systems the Content is going on, such as required fields, character lengths and translations. Depending on Airline preferences, Metadata can automatically populate across the fields based on the original sources in the Content Library. If not present already, Translations can be populated automatically via one of our Translation partners. Of course, you are still free to enter some or all of your own Metadata: and we can still automate the translation of that for you.

Because each System’s requirements have been captured, we can offer a high level overview of exactly what Metadata is still required across all Systems (and Airlines, for CSP’s).

As one of the last stages of the process, the Metadata needs to get to the Hardware Vendors for integration. We can automate the export of the Metadata to enable fast import into the Hardware Vendors’ management systems, or export it into the file format and structure they require. We can even work with the Hardware Vendors to use each other’s API’s to transmit Metadata and status updates.

After being Selected, Content can then have all the relevant Images prepared. Images have configuration based on the Systems the Content is going on, such as aspect ratio, type, dimensions and naming convention. Depending on Airline preferences, Images can automatically populate across the fields based on the original sources in the Content Library. Of course, you are still free to upload some or all of your own Images: and we can still automate the different derivatives of them for you.

As one of the last stages of the process, the Images need to get to the Hardware Vendors for integration. We can automate the export of the Images to enable fast import into the Hardware Vendors’ management systems, or export archives into the file format and structure they require. We support the export and transmission via file delivery services. We can even work with the Hardware Vendors to use each other’s API’s to transmit Images and status updates.

Once Selections have been made, License Orders can be automatically created either on a per Title basis, or all at once. Creation of the License Orders in IFEData is not a necessity to use other Services - these are driven from the Selections. The Licensing process can be handled outside of IFEData, with the rest of follow-on Services still continuing unaffected.

There are many advantages to, and ways of, using the License Orders Service. The automated creation saves a lot of time when compared to more manual approaches. Orders can be sent via email from IFEData or the PDF’s can be downloaded and sent manually. If the Distributors are themselves accepting/using the License Orders via IFEData then it is even more efficient as the submission of Order and update of status is all handled ‘internally’ within the system. Orders can also be submitted to Distributors’ own systems via API’s. Distributors can update the status of the Orders either directly via traditional methods, by logging in and updating through IFEData, or via connected systems over API’s.

One important thing to note: IFEData is not brokering any deal between licensor and licensee. The relationship between Airline/CSP and Distributor must be existing or set up prior to License Orders being submitted. IFEData is simply providing a means of making the process of ordering so many Licenses, from so many Distributors, easier. All negotiations regarding pricing or any other aspect of the license agreement will remain between licensee and licensor.

Once Selections have been made, Material Orders can be automatically created either on a per Title basis, or all at once. Creation of the Material Orders in IFEData is not a necessity to use other Services - these are driven from the Selections. If License Orders are taking place outside of IFEData, the Material Orders Service can still be used. Of course the license must be agreed and confirmed before Material Orders can be accepted. The Material Ordering process can also be handled outside of IFEData, with the rest of follow-on Services still continuing unaffected.

There are many advantages to, and ways of, using the Materials Orders Service. The automated creation saves a lot of time when compared to more manual approaches. Orders can be sent via email from IFEData or the PDF’s can be downloaded and sent manually. If the Labs are themselves accepting/using the Material Orders via IFEData then it is even more efficient as the submission of Order and update of status is all handled ‘internally’ within the system. Orders can also be submitted to Labs’ own systems via API’s. Labs can update the status of the Orders either directly via traditional methods, by logging in and updating through IFEData, or via connected systems over API’s.

The Invoicing Service can bring even more efficiency to existing processes. While it does sit outside of the core IFEData processes in delivering Content, it is still a vital part of the business. With this Service, Invoices can be created, sent and payments managed simply and efficiently. What brings the most benefit is when a Distributor or Lab uses it based on their License/Material Orders in IFEData. The Invoices can be created automatically either one at a time, in groups or scheduled based on preferences. As payments are received, the Invoices can be updated to reflect that. Any Invoice recipients can see their Invoices in IFEData (i.e. if they are an Airline or CSP).

One important note: IFEData does not handle any of the actual payment transaction side of Invoicing. Payments are made and received as they are now, and IFEData can be updated to reflect the status of the Invoice based on the payment (“paid”, “part-paid”, etc.).

The levels of automation in IFEData are based on the amount of detail in the Configuration. By understanding the various options, requirements and specifications of a Company, IFEData can then use those as defaults, guidelines and checkpoints for the various Services.

Examples of the Configurations are: fleet info, System (hardware) types, media specs, metadata languages and limits, image sizes and formats, etc. These can be managed by the designated Company admin(s) (i.e. someone with a login from an Airline) and/or by IFEData when initially setting up the Company and when new details or updates are needed.

Advertising - in IFEData sense - is defined as getting media sales onboard aircraft. Advertising is not part of the IFEData core offering or model. That said, we understand - especially in the current climate - that ancillary revenue for Airlines is very much sought after. So we are looking at supporting these opportunities. If an Airline who uses IFEData is interested in being courted by Advertisers and has explicitly agreed, IFEData can aggregate and report some of the high-level data surrounding fleet, screens, geographical coverage, etc. This can be anonymised at first, if desired, with further discussion between Airline and Advertising ‘unlocking’ the data and attributing it to an airline.

An Advertiser could then use IFEData to determine opportunities across all Airlines who have opted-in to sharing (at their desired level) their data.

An important note: IFEData is not brokering any deals between Advertisers and Airlines (or other Companies using IFEData). We are offering a Service that can provide an opportunity for parties to be introduced - if open to that - but any conversation, negotiation or deals done will be maintained within the relationship between Advertiser and Airline.

Who would use IFEData?

Anyone involved in the process of getting Content from license to onboard. Roles such as Airlines, Content Service Providers, Distributors, Labs and Hardware Vendors can all use IFEData to help bring efficiencies to all, part or many parts of the data journey: from sourcing content through to delivery onboard.

Distributor Airline Content Service Provider
Lab Hardware Vendor

Use Case - Distributor

Distributors can use as many or as few of the IFEData services as desired. As a minimum, IFEData can list your Content titles including Availability & Languages. All this can be offered as a free service - to encourage as much Content as possible to be present and available for selection and licensing by Airlines or CSP’s. Content data can be entered manually through the web interface, imported from spreadsheets/documents or transmitted via API from your own internal systems.

Other Services include additional media assets (trailers, screeners, images, etc.), Rights Managing, License Ordering, Material Ordering and Invoicing modules. These will allow you to manage your Content and relative information all in one place.

For Ordering, you can offer the IFEData interface to your customers - meaning they can select and order your Content right from the application - your orders will be populated by your customers - rather than emailed to you for manual entry on your existing solution. IFEData also supports order submission via import and/or our API (for 3rd party systems to send data directly). You can update the status of the orders in IFEData - meaning you don’t need to keep going backwards and forwards with customers - they can login and see updates right in the system. The Invoicing module can have Invoices created automatically from the corresponding Licensing orders, as well as allowing you to track payments against them.

Use Case - Airline

Airlines who take care of their of IFE processes can probably benefit the most from IFEData. Content Availability will be offered inside of the IFEData application, meaning you can login and select your content right from the Availability lists. These Content lists are tailored for your territory and fleet configuration, meaning you’ll only see Content that you can order, and the default requirements for that Content will already be known ready for ordering.

License and Material Orders can be automatically generated, leaving you just to enter the pricing you have negotiated with the Distributors/Labs (IFEData is not brokering the deals - these relationships would remain as they are currently). You have the option to download the Orders as PDF and email them directly, or have IFEData send the orders for you. Wherever possible, IFEData would import the License Orders directly into the Distributors’ ordering systems. Similarly, Material Orders can be automatically sent to the Labs from IFEData, or you can pull them out as PDF and send them yourselves. Again, we can import them into Labs’ third party Ordering systems if available.

As a bonus, if any Distributors or Labs are using IFEData for capturing and/or managing their Orders, the process all stays inside of IFEData for both parties and you will be able to instantly see the status of those Orders i.e. when received and confirmed by the Distributor and when received and sent by the Labs.

IFEData can help bring together the metadata and images you required for your various systems, and will allow you to organise it as per the requirements for those systems - ready for delivery to the Hardware Vendors (or 3rd party integrators). If the Hardware Vendors have systems that support it, IFEData can automatically send the data via API or file export.

If you don’t want to enter License or Material Orders into IFEData, then that’s your choice: you can use the application to help source your Content and indicate your Selections, order outside of the application, but still collate the rest of the data (metadata, images) in IFEData before delivering to the Hardware Vendors.

Your various specifications for hardware, media files, metadata requirements and image details can all be configured when you begin. We offer a complimentary "2 cycle" trial where you can manage your processes via IFEData for two content updates as you familiarise yourself with our application.

Use Case - Content Service Provider

All of the benefits that an Airline would get from using IFEData, are multiplied for Content Service Providers. Availability lists can be viewed with one, multiple or all of the Airlines you represent, with their status highlighted on our Availability matrix. Because each of your Airlines will be configured, the selected Content can have License and Material Orders automatically generated with all those relevant details, leaving you just to enter the pricing you have negotiated with the Distributors/Labs (IFEData is not brokering the deals - these relationships would remain as they are currently).

For even more efficiency, where the Distributors or Labs are using IFEData for capturing and/or managing their Orders, the process all stays inside of IFEData for both parties and you will be able to instantly see the status of those Orders i.e. when received and confirmed by the Distributor and when received and sent by the Labs. Having these efficiencies during this process - especially when all inside IFEData - is a big step forwards towards our goal of streamlining as many of the processes as possible.

IFEData can help bring together the metadata and images you required for your various Airlines’ systems, and will allow you to organise it as per the requirements for those systems - ready for delivery to the Hardware Vendors (or 3rd party integrators). If the Hardware Vendors have systems that support it, IFEData can automatically send the data via API or file export.

If you don’t want to enter License or Material Orders into IFEData, then that’s your choice: you can use the application to help source your Content and indicate your Selections, order outside of the application, but still collate the rest of the data (metadata, images) in IFEData before delivering to the Hardware Vendors.

Use Case - Lab

As a Lab, you can use IFEData to manage your Material Orders. How you get those Orders is up to you: you can receive them from your customers and enter them yourselves, import them from our spreadsheet template or have your customers enter them directly into IFEData. We also offer the ability to receive Orders via our API from your customer’s own systems and even export them from IFEData into your own Order or Workflow Management software via our API.

Even if you don’t use IFEData to manage all your orders, we can offer you access to review those Orders that have been submitted via IFEData (i.e. if Airlines/CSP’s are using it to raise their Orders). This will allow you to update the status of those orders to help reduce the amount of back and forth with your customers during the delivery phase.

A final option is to have data transmitted in one or both directions to and from IFEData to your own internal management systems via API’s.

Use Case - Hardware Vendor

Typically, for the IFEData journey, the process at the Hardware Vendors begins towards the end of the Airline/CSP processes. We can offer Hardware Vendors access to IFEData to review the deliverables you are expecting: what media is coming from the Labs, what metadata and images are expected, etc.

We can import data into your systems from document templates, via API or other methods, in order to streamline as much of the delivery as possible. We can also support updates on the receipt of files from your own systems, or third parties such as Aspera, etc.

Case Study

Virgin Atlantic Logo

Virgin Atlantic (VAA) have always been passionate about content and prefer to manage their own IFE sourcing and acquisition processes. Aggregating the new release movies and potential TV shows, as well as coordinating the available languages and media assets was a time consuming process; in particular managing the many 'shapes' of that data across different spreadsheets for the various purposes (reviewing, translations, status sheets, financial reports, etc.). Add to that the huge changes the global pandemic has brought to the airline industry - including furloughing and team changes - it was a real challenge to coordinate working through these conditions.

IFEData was launched in November 2020. After following its progress since the early days of the project in 2020, VAA started using IFEData in January 2021 to support the core of their monthly processes. Having newly available content all aggregated in one place makes it much easier to select potential titles. From those selections, the usual screening and review process is managed and tracked using the dedicated features in IFEData. When the final line-up is agreed, VAA continues to negotiate directly with the distributors and then make any necessary changes in IFEData.

When the selections are agreed, IFEData creates the license and material orders automatically - they are submitted from IFEData directly in batches to the distributors. All license fees and selections are confidential to VAA. At each step, the VAA team are in control of their own processes and meet their deadlines with more efficiency and better data control. All this with little to no changes or disruption to third parties.

"When we first heard about the IFEData project, we were excited to learn more. Since starting to use it - especially during this unprecedented period of uncertainty and change - it has helped us reduce admin, bring transparency and most importantly allow us to focus more on selecting the best content for our customers. IFEData is an innovative and welcome improvement to the selection and acquisition process; the team there listened to our feedback and have made customisations for us accordingly. Their understanding of the industry, attention to detail and commitment to supporting us has proven that we can use IFEData to manage and automate our traditionally cumbersome tasks each cycle, while still maintaining control over the process as a whole."
Cathy Walters, Manager - Inflight Entertainment & Connectivity

Frequently Asked Questions

We know you'll have questions, so here are a few common ones. If you have one that isn't listed, ask us using the Contact form.

How do we get started?

The best way to start is to have an introductory call to understand your current processes and tools - so that we can configure your areas of the application as comprehensively as possible. We can give you a thorough walk through of the application. We are happy to work closely with you as you start your first cycle using the application.

We want to integrate with as many processes and companies in the industry as feasible. Of course, if a process is closed off to automation or improvement via other means, then that inhibits us from making it as efficient as possible. In particular, we are looking to integrate with Distributors, Labs and Integrators - with those hardware integrators as a priority.

IFEData is available! Although not all of the Services are fully functional. In light of the current challenges in the industry, we decided to launch our initial offering as soon as possible in order to offer some efficiencies to those that can benefit.

We will continue to roll-out the features over the coming months to bring online all of our Services. We plan for this to be complete by the end of Q3 2021.

How can we get a demo of the application?

We are more than happy walk you through a demonstration. Please contact us to discuss further and schedule something.

We are finalising our pricing, but it will open and transparent. There will be a flat license fee to get started, with Services priced in addition based on the number of new Titles required. A different model will be used between Airlines, CSPs and Distributors. Our goal still remains to let Distributors list Titles and Availability without charge.

We invite Airlines to work with IFEData - without fees - for 2 update cycles in order to be familiarised with the processes and for us to ensure you are full configured to ensure as much automation as possible.

We offer all Distributors the ability to list their Content Titles for free with no trial period - i.e. forever!

Any data you enter/upload into the application will only be visible to your login, or those of the organisation you work in. We will not disclose any of your private data with any other party. A privacy policy will be in place and we are happy to enter into NDAs if required.
We are not affiliated with any other party - we remain agnostic in our goal to make it easier to work with IFE Data.

Contact Us

We’ve designed our application to be for everyone: to bring benefit to all parties involved in the processes from CSP’s to Distributors, Airlines to Publishers, Labs to Integrators. Send us a message below and we can register your interest and you can join us in the first phase of our launch.

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