Instant Access to Newest Content Drives Marriott Video Experiment

By Chris Smith on February 09, 2015

Hospitality management is all about giving travelers what they want. In this age, what people want is access to a high speed Internet connection so they can get their work done and maybe catch up on a few of their favorite television series'.

Of course, that play won't take place your work is done. Right? When it comes time to relax, though, what if it didn't take a mobile phone or laptop to get those favorite shows in front of you? At select Marriott International locations, all it may take is the remote to your in-room hotel television set.

This is fair warning not to get too antsy just yet, but the latest news regarding Marriot is that the hotel chain is experimenting with providing Netflix, Pandora, and Hulu in their hotel rooms. For now, the L.A. Times reports, the experiment is only taking place at eight hotels, and Marriott is reportedly tight-lipped about how it will use the feedback from this test to better address its guests wants and needs. Well, sometimes Netflix is a need.

Experts associated with this type of benefits marketing could allow the hotel chain to increase its revenue by making the Internet-based services only available for an extra charge or only part of a rewards program. For now, the ultimate implementation of these services is inconclusive. That doesn't mean, however, that there aren't some things to ponder.

One of the glaring exceptions to Marriott's test is the exclusion of Amazon Instant Video. According to Readwrite, the growing online video portal, which has a series that just grabbed an award at the Golden Globes, is missing from the Marriott lineup. Although it may have the chops to take in some industry awards, it may also lack the freshness that at least one of its seasoned competitors presents. That competitor is Hulu, and part of its appeal is the up-to-date episodes that mark its overall cast of shows. Hulu Plus members have access to the newest episodes of many of their favorites such as South Park and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Netflix supplements that content with an array of travelers' favorite movies and series. Not only can Amazon not yet stand up to those two rivals on its own, it's in direct conflict with NBC Universal which is part-owner of Hulu and has a content agreement with Netflix. In that sense, because of their shared relationship with NBC, it is unsurprising that both Hulu and Netflix appear alongside one another. As Readwrite puts it, Amazon is just the odd man out.

What other content providers can take away from this situation is the notion that fresh content can tip the scales in one's favor. Even without the leverage that NBC offers, the fact that Hulu has some of the latest content in broadcasting makes it a gem of which other businesses -- Marriott -- can take advantage. The latest content brings in viewers, and viewers bring in the potential for monetization. When Marriott brings rewards programs into the equation, it will have capitalized on the freshness of Hulu's content.

For any business, that freshness is key. That is what Zype can offer with its ability to bring content into a central location. Viewers of any brand's latest creations want them here and now, and Zype can bring focus to from multiple websites, Youtube and Hulu channels, or syndicated content into a single pane of glass. Taken alone, Hulu and Netflix are powerhouses in the digital media arena. Placed together, Marriott can draw in travelers who want their content now and can receive it easily from the pane of glass that is, literally, their hotel television sets.

Image courtesy of m01229 via Flickr.

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