Skip VOD and charge for in-room media streaming

Media content streaming apps have become the new favourite for all types of guests, according to a new survey and they are willing to pay for the in-room privilege.

The survey, carried out by Hotel Internet Services, found that 76.8 per cent of guests would rather be able to use their own streaming subscription (to Netflix, Hulu, HBO, etc) through the in-room TV than have access to on-demand cable movies. Just 18 per cent of guests said they would prefer hotel video on-demand.

“Guest interaction is of utmost importance and empowering the user to access hotel amenities and services is of the highest priority,” read the report.

“Here’s how guests and accommodation providers rank various functions that could be accessed through the room television. Checking out and billing rank very highly as does finding local businesses and attractions. Also topping the responses was Internet access, watching Netflix, Hulu, etc and the electronic programming guide (the highest response).”

When given a list of functions to choose from, 66 per cent of guests felt being able to watch Netflix and being able to check their bill and purchases ranked most important. However, 62 per cent of guests claimed being able to surf the Internet was the TV’s most important function. Meanwhile, 49 per cent said “ability to check-out”, and a further 55 per cent said “find local biz and attractions”, while 44 per cent said “ability for hotel front desk to send messages to your TV” and 43 percent chose the “ability to listen to Pandora, etc on the TV”.

It seems Internet and app usage are coming more popular services and are therefore increasingly expected in the market. Smart TVs are the only televisions that have these capabilities so accommodation providers are therefore being asked to upgrade if they want to meet this demand.

The survey also asked guests to rank their favourite or most-used apps: Facebook, Netflix, Pandora, iTunes, Ebay and the Weather Channel topped the list while Spotify, Vine and others also ranked highly. By comparison, TripAdvisor received a popularity rating of 32.2 per cent and Netflix received one of 60.4 per cent. Facebook ranked the highest with an impressive 77.4 per cent but Netflix was the highest ranking streaming app. Amazon Instant Video reached just 25.1 per cent and HBO received 24.1 per cent.

More than 67 per cent of guests responding to the survey said they would download an app that would let their control the TV via their mobile device.

Perhaps most interestingly, 60 per cent of guests said they would easily pay $3.99 to $6.99 per day for a service that allows them to stream media through the in-room television. A further 18 per cent said they would be willing to pay $9.99 per day for that same service.

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