Marriott are trialling online content services like Netflix, Hulu & co in eight of their US hotels to see how provisioning such services would work in the hotel environment. It is even though guests would use the public Internet access to stream these services to their own computer equipment and connect this equipment to the hotel-room TV to have it on the large screen. But this is more about providing access to these services on the TV screen without dependence on user-supplied equipment.
There have been issues raised regarding US hotels seeing these services as a way to overcharge their guests by offering them as part of premium Internet packages. It is although most of us would be subscribing to these services to enjoy them personally and these questions relate to us paying Netflix directly for our personal service but also paying the hotel via our room accounts which leads to “double-dipping” when we are at these places.
But there is another question regarding the provision of Netflix or Spotify in the hotel environment. These services work best for end-users when they log in to the services with their own credentials. Here, Netflix could give one access to their personal movie queue or recommendation list or Spotify could show up the playlists that one is following. Hotel-based setups should support the ability to gain access to one’s own account with these services so that we gain access to our own customisations.
If there is concern about the “double-dipping” issue, Netflix could take things further by providing a “cut” of the subscription fee to the hotel for each guest who logs in to this service through their equipment. As well, Netflix and co could work on concepts like favourites lists that represent what is liked by guests staying at that hotel or recommended-content lists for that particular location, thus integrating these services with the hotel’s community.