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Idea of the Day: Crowdsourced video for airlines

I just listened to a Harvard Business Idea Cast comparing the success of Singapore Airlines with the austerity measures put in place by their domestic counterparts. Singapore Air is investing in “human software” (aka, customer service) for their first class and business class customers. The perks include in-flight standing areas, cappuccino and a database that knows just what brand of scotch you want (and how many ice cubes to add).

You’ve heard enough about their American counterparts, with their baggage fees, etc. so I don’t really need to get into that. But one point struck me: the author indicated that some major airlines have even cut movies on long distance flights in an attempt to reduce expenses.

Wow.airplane movie

Here’s one for you: why don’t those airlines crowdsource instead? Call out for the videographers (amateur and professional) among their customers to submit 10-minute short films. These could be documentary, family, comedy-oriented, etc. The airline would host the movies on their website, allow viewers to vote on the best ones, and show those in-flight.

Just over 30,000 commercial flights occur in the U.S. every day. That’s a lot of customers, a huge potential audience who’d be able to give aspiring film makers the big break they need. And by the way, it would cost the airline practically nothing. They can’t cut expenses more than that!

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