A simplified future?
NYU’s Hanson says many brands are trying to find ways to generate revenue but he hasn’t heard of any companies who have solved the problem. “The interim solution is that hotels will buy or lease a TV with the understanding that most travelers expect an experience at least equal to what they get at home. The idea of branded entertainment is being discussed. If a traveler likes classical music or art, that special interest might command a premium. But branded entertainment would have to have broad enough appeal.”
“The future is a bit murky right now,” Andresen says. “However I believe it will hold new technology which will allow more flexibility for the guests and will allow for revenue streams to be created for the hotels.”
“I wonder that with some systems like Verizon’s FiOS, the time would come where you don’t need a content provider at all,” Netzhammer says. “You would just need some basic head-in equipment that would deliver content to hotels without having to put in large equipment, but so far there is not a solution like that out there.”
“Brands don’t really hold out hope for getting revenue from TV,” Hanson says. “What will happen is tiered pricing. If people are just using the Internet to check email that would be part of the rate. It comes down to what makes for a satisfied guest at Brand A rather than Brand B. If a hotel actually has some exclusive content that is cost effective, it could affect the choice. But right now what appears to be the situation is not a race for leadership but an effort not to create dissatisfaction among guests.”