A Very TV Christmas

The holidays are a season of family get-togethers, sumptuous feasts and, increasingly, binge-watching your favorite TV shows. Yes, it’s a great time to cozy up in your sweats and get swept away in hours upon hours of DVR, Netflix, Hulu, HBO or Amazon Prime, all but forgetting the world outside exists until the inevitable return to work come January.

Binge-watching, streaming and cord cutting are trends that are here to stay. It’s a new way of absorbing the medium where viewers watch what they want, when they want it, and with the ability to pause and resume at any point. We live in an era of media access, not media ownership, after all, and streaming videos of any kind is an incredibly easy task nowadays. Indeed, filmmakers have even adjusted the way they tell stories through heightened serialization to accommodate this behavioral progression.

But this mostly affects the home front; what does it have to do with hotels?

Streaming and binge-watching aren’t just a holiday season phenomenon. It’s a 365 day event. Hence, there is a demand for hotels fitted with big screens and the latest smart boxes that are able to facilitate said habits. All told, these devices are a guestroom amenity worth advertising. Two hypothetical situations help articulate this point.

First, picture yourself as a road warrior salesperson. The combined stresses of airport travel, networking conferences, seminars and back-to-back meetings can leave you with little to no personal time beyond a half hour at the end of the evening to unwind before going to sleep. Wouldn’t it be great to know that when you finally returned to your guestroom, you could remotely log in to your preferred on-demand streaming service, access your own account and pick up exactly where you left off as if you were at home?

Next, imagine you are planning a family vacation with the hubby and two energetic children. In this case, smart TVs that can recall the kids’ streaming profiles and their favorite shows are especially handy for mollifying the youngsters in between planned activities. Furthermore, such an amenity can act as a brief distraction or bedtime accessory while the parents sneak off for a romantic dinner downstairs or for a couples’ treatment at the spa. Knowing that the children will never be bored or, worse, annoying you while you are trying to enjoy your vacation is definitely a non-negligible emotional driver.

While upgrading a property’s in-room TV capabilities is hardly anything revolutionary – and there are many options for hoteliers to consider in this regard – hotels still aren’t doing enough to promote these amenities. The extent of which often involves a short string of text buried somewhere within a long, bullet point list of all the guestroom features, written in 12-point font.

Instead, given how widespread the demand for streaming services is, your newfound installations of smart TVs that let guests breezily access exactly what they want should be described in full on the appropriate website pages and social channels. Make sure this is something you express at the tail end of any package or promotional e-blast (where appropriate, of course). It’s but one more way to sell your guestrooms and something to think about while you laze about your house over the break.

Aside from that, happy holidays and catch you in 2016!

(Article by Larry Mogelonsky, published in Hotels Magazine on Wednesday, December 23, 2015)