Adding a touch of flair in the form of a painted set of iconic Beats headphones on the front of one of its 737 jets, Southwest Airlines announced it will offer its passengers free access to Apple’s recently acquired Beats Music streaming service, starting today.
To celebrate the latest amenity in the Southwest arsenal, the company is providing a demonstration aboard its 737 jet bearing the Beats logo, with a live performance “at 35,000 feet” from the band Cobra Starship as flight 732 makes its way from Dallas to Chicago. A second jet, flight 1527, will also depart from Portland to Denver today with a live performance from bluegrass band Elephant Revival.
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Beats Music will be made available for free to all passengers aboard Wi-Fi-enabled Southwest flights. The flight-ready version of the streaming service will be compatible with Android and iOS mobile devices, as well as most major Web browsers. The service is being touted as a way for Southwest to “remain current as (its) customers’ needs evolve.”
Just how long Beats Music will remain current, however, is up for some debate. Not long after Apple purchased Beats Electronics and all of its assets, a buzz of rumors concerning the slow-starting service’s viability in the competitive music streaming market have arisen, including reports that the service could be shuttered altogether. However, the most recent reports point to the likelihood that Apple’s newest asset will be merged into its iTunes platform, which already sports a streaming service of its own in the form of iTunes radio.
Whatever the future plans for Beats Music are, for now, it’s alive and well aboard Southwest flights, giving passengers one more way to while away the hours between take off and touch down.