United Airlines takes flight with airline industry’s first media network

United Airlines takes flight with airline industry’s first media network

Dive Brief:



  • United Airlines unveiled Kinective Media by United Airlines, a media network that uses travel behavior data to create more personalized ads and content, per a press release.

  • Norwegian Cruise Line, Macy’s, Chase United Co-Brand Credit Cards, TelevisaUnivision, IHG Hotels & Resort and Dentsu are among the brands and agencies already using the platform, which will have a formal commercial launch at Cannes Lions.

  • United is billing the offerings, which allows marketers to reach consumers on its mobile app and inflight entertainment screens, as the airline industry’s first media network.

Dive Insight:


As rumored, United Airlines has gotten into the growing media network game, which has spread like wildfire from the retail industry to other sectors, including ride-hailing, financial services and hospitality. Marriott and Expedia are some of the travel-oriented businesses that have started to leverage their troves of customer data to better target ads. As with other media networks, United is promising to help marketers utilize insights drawn from its first-party data to drive personalized ad experiences across its owned channels.


“We’ve built a first-of-its-kind, real-time, adtech-enabled traveler media network where brands have already started connecting to premium audiences at an unmatched scale,” said Richard Nunn, CEO of United’s MileagePlus loyalty program, in a statement. “There has been a huge strategic shift within this high growth sector in the past five years where advertisers and brands have come together to determine how best to connect with consumers in a way that’s valuable, effective and personalized.”


Kinective Media is focused on premium brands across key verticals including retail, luxury goods, financial services, automotive, media and travel. The platform gives brands the ability to target consumers across the marketing funnel, from consideration to conversion, and is already seeing “impressive results,” Nunn said without sharing specifics.


Media networks have grown as the ad industry deals with the loss of identifiers and prepares for the eventual sunsetting of third-party cookies. To address privacy concerns, Kinective Media provides advertisers with aggregated and anonymized audience segments without giving access to personally identifiable information of United customers. Plus, U.S. customers have the option to opt-out at any time.


Kinective allows marketers to engage with consumers across United’s mobile app, which sees nearly 100 million sessions per month, and its fleet’s nearly 100,000 seatback screens, which provide the potential for 3.5 hours of attention per traveler based on average flight time. United has “a ton of opportunities to be contextually relevant,” Chief Advertising Officer Maggie Schmerin previously told Marketing Dive.