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Streaming TV is still working on its mission to take over the world, err, become a viable alternative to regular TV. This week, the hotel chain Marriott International announced that it would be adding streaming services to eight of its properties as an amenity. Hotel users at the eight properties will soon have access to Netflix, Hulu and Pandora through their TV sets in the hotel rooms.
Obviously, Wi-Fi access has been big business in hotel rooms for a long time, so those who already have Netflix or Hulu have been able to access the subscription streaming services while on vacation or business trips. According to Bloomberg, the deal will hopefully prove to be a lucrative way for both Marriott International and the subscription streaming companies to make money. According to early reports, Marriott is trying to figure out a way to make Netflix and the other services available in a package for free to guests who choose to stay in the hotel. Regardless of how the services are made available, Netflix, Hulu and Pandora are exciting options for potential guests.
Why is this a big deal? Because if it proves to be a successful experiment, we could be seeing Netflix, Hulu and more expand into numerous Marriott hotels and eventually into other hotel rooms across the globe. Marriott, for instance, has over 700,000 rooms in 79 countries, and could be a big boon for business should those services be popular with those who stay in hotel rooms. If the proper business model can be figured out, it could be a great revenue stream for all involved.
Whether or not travelers would actually use Netflix, however, is unclear. There are a certain percentage of hotel guests who are in town to, you know, vacation. It’s hard to imagine these people sitting around in the hotel room watching old episodes of The Wonder Years. Those people definitely aren’t the target demographic for this service, but there are a percentage of other travelers who are in town for things like business meetings. In theory, these people would be extremely bored for long stretches and would love to check out a little entertainment to pass the time.
At this point, the idea of Netflix being in every hotel room in the world is a pretty far off prospect. Luckily, whenever there is money to be made, businesses are remarkably quick to adjust. So, if it turns out travelers really do want streaming services in their hotel rooms and will use them, either for free or for a small fee, then the change will occur within the next few years.