By Shashank Nigam

How often have you been on a flight, browsed through the in-flight magazine, flipped through the IFE channels, only to find nothing that interests you? In fact, as you increasingly travel on budget airlines, there are hardly any entertainment or reading options to begin with. Lufthansa has created a solution, called CloudStream.

Your in-flight content solution

CloudStream is a tool that creates a “digital carry-on” for travelers to pack with their chosen content (i.e. articles they’ve been meaning to read) as well as content they’ve discovered from our curated set of feeds. It is essentially the first digital media platform that takes advantage of travelers’ time in air.

The tool allows you to browse through a number of content categories, which include travel, health, sports or technology and choose from a variety of mediums, like blogs or podcasts. Once you’ve complied and downloaded your content, you can save it to your pen drive, or even share it with friends.

Keep Discovering, and share content with friends

What I personally like about CloudStream is the ability to discover new content, in the “Featured Carry-on” section, where SimpliFlying is showcased as well. This is where Lufthansa’s team selects leading online content sources. I believe this would keep an element of surprise going, and keep people coming back.

I also like that while the service is created by Lufthansa for its customers, anyone can use it on any airline, as long as they have access to wifi anytime before their flight. This reflects well on Lufthansa’s social media strategy to add value first, then seek favors. Just like it did with MySkyStatus.

Lufthansa treads its own path on social media

One of the key reasons Lufthansa won the SimpliFlying Award for the Best Social Media Engagement campaign, for MySkyStatus, was because it was truly value adding. There was no direct selling of tickets and no hard-sell of joining any contests.

Under the leadership of Dr Torsten Wingenter, Lufthansa has been busy lately, creating a slew of social media initiatives, which simply add value to travelers. Evidence is clearly visible from initiatives in the last few months, including the Stephen Fry-endorsed Virtual Pilot game and the Munich Oktoberfest Foursquare promotion, where over 2300 badges were unlocked.

I believe this is a distinctive social media strategy, which is creating a unique brand positioning for Lufthansa when it comes to interacting with travelers using tools they are already familiar with. I will be keenly observing what’s next for Lufthansa, and we’ll be sure to talk about it here too.

For now, it will be interesting to see how people using wifi on Virgin America and other airlines adapt to the CloudStream service. I’ll be sure to give it a shot on my next flight. Would you?

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  • Looks like a cool app, although wondering whether passengers won't prefer sites already available to mainstream users such as their own Google readers, stumbleupon, etc?

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