Hotel TV and The Future – Part Four

5th April 2020

The Future of Channels & Content in Hotel TV

The first post I made on this subject is here, the second is here and here is the third! They both talk about the succesful #LinkedInLive broadcast I did with FunnelTV. While the focus was guest room technology in 2020 we focussed almost totally on Hotel TV. The topic became so interesting and the excellent feedback from our viewers meant we stayed pretty much at the top of our agenda. What’s amazing, is we’ve got much more to say in the future.

This post is part of that future, in fact it is part four, where we continue our discussion on Hotel TV. This time we take a deeper look at content, whether that content is on demand or through Linear TV channels.

If you, like me, think sharing of knowledge is beneficial, please get in touch. I’d love to be able to facilitate the sharing of knowledge through my site, blog and FunnelTV.

A Hotel Technology & Travel Technology blog by HotelTCS. Every week we cover topics concerning Technology in the Hospitality Industry. Looking at subjects such as IPTV, HSIA, WiFi, GPON and IoT, we give you the insider info on Smart Hotels and Intelligent Hotel Deployments. Subscribe below for updates!

Just a reminder, we were joined by the following excellent guests:

Enzo Aita – FunnelTV

Christoph Hutter – FunnelTV & Revenue Consultant

James Harrison – HotelTCS

Nick Price – NetSys

Darren King – ROOMNET

Hannu Vahokoski – Hotelway

Joe Griffin – Hotelway

Hotel TV Part Four

As I said before, the long agenda went out the window. So here’s part four, all about content and channels in Hotel TV.

The Future of Content

Before we dive deeper into content delivery it’s key to understand what is happening in the content provider landscape. One word you will hear in the video, and in many other places is unbundling. Unbundling is something that effects both On Demand content providers and Liner (Channel) providers.

Unbundling is the idea that some of the traditional players in the content delivery space will cease to be a one stop shop. This is most obvious with Netflix and Disney+. Upon the launch of Disney+, Disney pulled a huge amount of its content from Netflix, where it could traditionally be found, to launch it through its own streaming service.

We also see this with traditional liner content providers, especially those with movie channels. They still offer movie channels through traditional packages, supplied by companies called aggregators. Now however, they offer On Demand delivery via an app, often to subscribers for a fee, who DO NOT already have access to that same content elsewhere.

The result of this unbundling means the approach to offering both channels and apps now needs to be different. Not longer will offer access to Netflix be sufficient. Now you must allow access to an array of packages, apps and channels through an app store.

However we define the solution it is wrong to assume what the guest wants. Especially as not only the location of the hotel varies, but the home country of the guest. Understanding where the guests come from and what they want to consume is key.

What About Those Channels?

For a long time the mindset of people responsible for a TV system has been something along the lines of:

Dishes on the roof – Distribute 60 channels or so to the TV – Rolling news and local channels

One of the problems with much local terrestrial is it is just that. The content shown is designed for people within a short distance of that hotel. We can assume most guests are from a greater distance away that 20 or 30 miles. If we are talking about the upscale/luxury segment then probably long haul international guests. Thus that content has no relevance to them whatsoever.

They key here is to look at OTT and Internet providers that offer a much greater channel selection. These kind of solutions can allow hundreds, if not thousands of geographically disparate channels to be delivered to the hotel. The key here is not to send all those channels to each room. You can customise the delivery, via a channel guide or OTT apps depending on the type guest you have.

Simple PMS integration, providing guest location or language could allow you to tailor a channel list to them, meaning they get focussed, relevant content. Suddenly, a reason to turn on the TV!

What is clear, is investing in irrelevant, non-targeted content, is a waste of time, effort and money!

Key Take Aways

  • Be aware of unbundling. Just Netflix is not enough. You must offer a way for guests to access their apps
  • Consider an app store to allow guests to tailor their experience
  • Make sure you view your guests with a geographical eye. Not all guests want the same content as is popular in the USA
  • Local terrestrial content often provides very little value to your guests
  • High value long haul guests would like content that makes them feel at home
  • Use delivery mediums beyond satellite to receive rich content sources from different regions
  • Look to simple integration to create channels lists focussed at the type or home country of the guest

Thanks As Always

I say this every time, but thanks to the over 500 live viewers we got during the show and all those who commented, you were fantastic! The interaction makes the knowledge sharing so worthwhile. I’d also love to hear people’s suggestions on what else we should cover. Let me know in the comments below!

In a coming series over posts of the next 2 weeks I will cover in more depth what we talked about, for those who missed it. Make sure you subscribe to our mailing list to keep up to date with all the latest posts! Remember to add to your safe senders list!

Hospitality tech VLOG

If you want to see more of the recordings, they are now up on my Youtube Channel The HotelTCS Hospitality tech VLOG! Click the button below to subscribe and view!

Hospitality tech VLOG Logo - Where we talk about Hotel TV

I hope you are all a passionate as I am about sharing the knowledge. watch out over the coming days and weeks for more posts on the fascinating topic of Hotel TV. Please also connect with me on LinkedIn and follow HotelTCS for even more conversation and knowledge sharing!

Also, please check out some of my other articles, such as “A Hotel is Just a Building”“Can Intelligent Hotels find their voice?” and “The Fate of Hotel HSIA”. The latter being referenced in the VLOG!

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