Rex Airlines 737-800NG

Stellar helps Rex rollout IFEC

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Rex Airlines 737-800NG

Australia’s largest independent regional airline Regional Express (Rex) has officially launched in-flight Wi-Fi and in-flight entertainment for the first time across its domestic Boeing 737 network.

Stellar Entertainment has been working closely with the domestic carrier on the IFE rollout since late 2020.

Besides proposing strategic and customised content solutions, Stellar offered assistance for the selection of the wireless IFE system and worked closely with Rex’s appointed OEM to ensure a smooth launch of the IFE product.

Prior to supplying in-flight entertainment content and technical services, Stellar has been working with Rex on PRAM (Prerecorded Announcement and Music) projects and original boarding music.

Rex Airlines 737-800NG

Stellar provides original music for Rex

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Rex Airlines 737-800NG

Australian domestic airline Regional Express, better known as Rex, has selected Stellar Entertainment to supply boarding music and PRAMs (Prerecorded Announcement and Music) for the airline’s expanding operations, having recently introduced B737s to their fleet.

At the start of March 2021, Rex rolled out its brand-new boarding music, a first for the airline, in the form of original compositions crafted in-house by Stellar’s own production studio.

There are two different contemporary tracks which are intended to help create a comforting and relaxed ambience as the melodies waft through the cabin.

Stellar Entertainment’s Creative Director, Brad Power, describes the compositions: “The pieces conjure images of a serene and blissful environment that are designed to put passengers at ease. These Zen and ethereal vibes transport the listener to their idyllic setting.”

As Stellar licenses the music directly to the airline, Rex will also save on royalty fees

China Airlines A350

China Airlines appoint Stellar as new CSP

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China Airlines A350

China Airlines has selected Stellar Entertainment has become the content service partner for China Airlines.

The contract was initiated in the January 2021 cycle, since when Stellar has supplied a full range of in-flight entertainment services, including account management, curation and licensing of all film, television and audio content, production services and content delivery to the 62-aircraft fleet.

China Airlines will be managed by Stellar Entertainment’s teams in Malaysia and Singapore.

Stellar’s Director of Commerce Stanley Ng said: “During these challenging times, airlines look for stable partners with suitable expertise, and Stellar Entertainment can fill that role well, backed by almost five decades in the industry. We are honoured by the trust that China Airlines has placed in us and proud to service such a reputable airline. With this latest client, Stellar continues to strengthen its position as a leading CSP in Asia.”

In addition to managing the airline’s entire IFE requirements, Stellar will assist China Airlines in implementing the launch of their upcoming new IFE systems, by providing technical consultancy, establishing new timelines and processes, aligning different content strategies to each system, and generally, ensuring a smooth integration with the rest of the fleet.

Sam Allen, Stellar Entertainment MD

Stellar Entertainment promotes from within with new MD appointment

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Sam Allen, Stellar Entertainment MD

Stellar Entertainment has appointed Sam Allen as Managing Director effective January 2021.

Allen has been with Stellar for eight years and is promoted from Director of Licensing. In his new role, he will continue to manage the Stellar licensing and acquisitions team, as well as lead the company’s production arm, Stellar Studios.

Founder and chairman of Stellar Entertainment, Rob Lynch, said: “The promotion serves as recognition of Sam’s exemplary work, diverse skillset, and remarkable achievements, especially during challenging situations. We are excited for him to be at the helm leading a great team to greater heights.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Allen steered a unique deal with a major Hollywood studio on behalf of a new client, structuring the deal in a way to offer flexibility and surety for both the studio and the airline from both a content and cost perspective.

Other achievements include first-of-their-kind in-flight music licence agreements with independent music distributors, many of which today continue to be unique to Stellar Entertainment’s music portfolio. Allen also successfully navigated the complicated music licensing transition from blanket licence collection agency agreements to direct licence agreements with rightsholders.

Virgin Australia tail fin

Virgin Australia brand welcomes with customised boarding music

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Virgin Australia tail fin

In a first for the airline group, Virgin Australia and VARA (Virgin Australia Regional Airlines) are now using customised boarding music.

The original piece was written in-house at Stellar Entertainment and replaces the commercially available music playlists previously played onboard.

As Stellar Entertainment’s Creative Director, Brad Power, explained: “Our latest piece draws on deep house and Balearic beats to create a fresh, vibrant and modern sound that is upbeat without being too exuberant. Perfect for a contemporary airline looking to do something a little different.”

Director of Licensing at Stellar, Sam Allen remarks, “A bespoke piece doesn’t stop at boarding music. It can be implemented across the airline via other platforms and applications such as advertising campaigns and promotional buzz reels, to optimise usage as part of an over-arching sonic strategy.”

Besides rolling out this new signature music across the fleet for boarding and disembarking, Virgin Australia and VARA have also implemented it as on-hold music for their phone lines. Working directly with Stellar Entertainment has given the airline group the ability to licence the music as needed, allowing for greater flexibility in how and where they use the new sound. This also includes a financial benefit, with a direct licence with Stellar saving the airline group royalty fees paid to local collection agencies.

This is the second composition from Stellar Entertainment to be used by an airline, following the bespoke piece used by Malaysia Airlines earlier this year.

Stellar KL team photo

Stellar Kuala Lumpur celebrates birthday

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Stellar KL team photo

Stellar’s in-flight entertainment hub in Malaysia, Stellar Kuala Lumpur, is celebrating its 15th anniversary.

The content service provider’s site known as Stellar KL, is a state-of-the-art media hub. The facility offers a range of services including customised content curation and acquisition, screening, metadata management, and houses a production and technical department equipped with hi-tech recording studios, editing suites and media delivery labs.

The range of services even includes support for airlines using legacy systems such as VHS and Hi-8 systems.

“Stellar Malaysia is designed to offer clients a 360-degree scope of in-flight entertainment services including 24/7 support for urgent technical issues,” remarked Mervin Mathawan, Country Manager Malaysia and a big aviation and motoring enthusiast. “With 15 years under our belt, we have a solid track record of partnering with major airlines in the region who value our wide network and our cost management strategies.”

“Stellar Entertainment completely understands the importance of editorial requirements for an airline, especially for Asian and Middle Eastern carriers whose cultural sensitivities are understood inherently by our multi-cultural Malaysian team at Stellar KL,” Mathawan added. “The team has grown over the years and is now staffed by more than 25 people from various media, entertainment and technical backgrounds. An extraordinarily low staff turnover has resulted in an experienced, passionate, and dedicated team of IFE specialists who provide high client servicing standards, supported by the rest of the Stellar extended family worldwide.”

Production facilities at the hub have been upgraded, whilst a strong bandwidth connection supports airlines requiring screening facilities and Global Distribution Services (GDS), a digital method of media delivery

At Stellar KL, most operational processes are already automated and there is ongoing effort to achieve fully automated deliverables which would further expedite delivery while ensuring accuracy.

Malaysia Airlines greets passengers with new boarding music

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Stella Entertainment has provided exclusive boarding music for Malaysia Airlines, and is being rolled out across the entire Malaysia Airlines fleet.

This bespoke boarding music is a first for Malaysia Airlines, giving passengers an undeniably Malaysian feel through a range of rhythms, sounds and instruments such as the erhu, pinai (flute), gamelan, sitar, bowed string chordophone, providing amazing textural layers of ethnic notes.  The familiar sounds of piano, guitar and drums help to reflect Malaysia’s contemporary culture.

Throughout the piece, there are also subtle ‘Malaysia’ vocals woven into the composition, the fruits of Stellar Entertainment’s in-house composer, Luke Mason, a recipient of multiple Anugerah Industry Muzik awards, who spent 20 years in Malaysia.