Streaming and casting are the future of hotel entertainment.
Fifteen years ago, hotels had a significant technology upgrade as the industry standard moved to have flat-screen televisions in the guest rooms.
No longer is a hotel guest satisfied with cable television and a few premium channels like HBO or Showtime. Instead, they want to watch the latest hit on Apple TV+, the newest series on Netflix, or a comedy set uploaded to YouTube.
The last few years have seen hotels deploying various solutions to help their guests access their favorite shows from added boxes that allow app sign-in, external dongles, and additional software. These workarounds come with an additional cost, maintenance, and a possible security risk to the guests' information. Unfortunately, there hasn't been an all-in-one solution until now.
Post-Pandemic Streaming Culture -
Streaming was popular before the pandemic, but it skyrocketed to new heights when people were required to stay at home for months. In the first three months, Netflix added 10 million subscribers. Disney+, which had just launched at the end of 2019, also saw incredible growth, as did Paramount+, Apple TV+, Hulu, etc. Currently, there are more than 50 streaming services available, and that is just in the US. In fact, according to Kantar, 85 percent of US households have a video/streaming subscription service, and the average household uses 4.7 services. That is nearly five different services per guest. It makes it impossible for a hotel owner to choose what to offer, knowing that there will always be one guest unhappy their streaming service is unavailable.
Industry shift -
Hotel owners recognize it is time for a technology upgrade to keep pace with today's guest demands when it comes to their entertainment experience. A recent lodging study reports that "45 percent of hoteliers reported that enhancing guest room technology in 2022 will be a very or extremely important initiative."
At the most recent AAHOA National Convention, the most asked question we received when meeting with hotel owners was, “Do these TVs support streaming?” Casting, streaming, and PMS integration were definitely top of mind at this show last month. A short week later, we met with owners at the national Choice Hotels convention and they too wanted to make sure the TVs would allow their guests to cast and offered ProIdiom.
Hotel brands in the US recognize this need, with some major players requiring not only specific screen sizes but that all new display enhancements allow the guest to stream their content.
One Solution -
Guests overwhelming want to stream their content. According to Nielsen, "72% of Americans say "I love my user experience with video streaming services," and 93% plan to increase their streaming options or make no changes to their existing plans."
Philips MediaSuite is the only product to offer integrated Netflix and Chromecast built-in. The guest simply scans a QR code and can immediately cast from their device and pick up where they left off with their favorite shows, regardless of the streaming platform.
We have seen several different workarounds, but those all add extra costs and headaches for owners and can be confusing to guests. Philips MediaSuite is a turnkey solution that lets the guest control their entertainment experience. Providing guests with a casting entertainment experience also provides hotels a key differentiator.
We spoke with one of our customers, Tom McDonald, General manager at Hilton Garden Inn Myrtle Beach and he said, the feedback from guests has been overwhelmingly positive. They love being able to stream content directly from their device to TV. I would certainly recommend these TV and technology to other hotel owners."
A sound future-proof decision
Hotel owners want to decide on the TV in the room and not have to worry about it again. Selecting a TV that is powered by Android allows seamless software updates when needed without having to deploy a technician. Philips MediaSuite also integrates with the PMS, features Philips CMND, which enables the hotel to control/customize one or all TVs on the property from one location. All of this comes with the industry's best warranty, at three years full exchange, so owners do not need to worry about having an empty room due to an issue.
We are continually updating and improving the technology we are offering to hotels and are excited to show how Philips MediaSuite can help hoteliers' bottom line at this year’s upcoming HITEC in Orlando.