Shift to Mobile Devices Makes Hotels Rethink Entertainment

LodgeNet, which provides television services to hotels, has revamped its video-on-demand and Internet programs after claiming bankruptcy. Hotel video-on-demand programs have been shifting as an increasing amount of travelers have started bringing their entertainment with them. Hotels are now trying to find new ways to keep cable and Internet packages without losing profits and customers.

“The revamped LodgeNet faces strong competition from companies including Swisscom Hospitality Services, based in Geneva; iBahn, based in Salt Lake City; Guest-Tek, of Calgary, Alberta; and Roomlinx, based in Broomfield, Colo.,” reports The New York Times

These competitors are all developing systems that enable travelers to consume entertainment media the way they want — “via the Internet, frequently through subscriptions they already have and use at home, either through Wi-Fi or a direct cable connection between their laptop or tablet and the guest-room television set,” notes the article.

While hotels have different standards for Internet access, many establishments now may charge based the amount of bandwith used. The Marriott International hotel is planning on connecting their televisions to the Internet, and then receive commissions from services like Netflix and advertisers. Other international hotels, such as CitizenM have been creating “affordable luxury” for customers by putting Samsung tablets in each room.

“We will give customers more short-form content at very attractive prices, affinity packages of sports channels, just-missed TV, video games, as well as movies currently in theaters,” said Michael Ribero, Lodgenet’s new chief executive. “We want to give them the opportunity to watch what they want, even if it’s through Netflix and Amazon Prime.”