Netflix Is Better Than Porn — in the Hotel Business, at Least

Jan 13, 2017

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There comes a point in many a person’s hotel stay where, with Wi-Fi that doesn’t allow for streaming and nothing interesting to watch on the television’s limited channel selection, you click the remote and see what sort of premium movies they’ve got. After a few minutes of browsing — and chuckling over the titles of the adult options (The Sopornos?) — you switch back to Bravo’s latest Real Housewives of Wherever marathon.

While hotels have been dangling those $15 in-room movies in front of you for years, we’ll let you in on a little secret: while 90 percent of the profits from on-demand movie purchases are from films of the X-rated variety, on average, only one percent of hotel guests actually order a movie at all — which makes keeping an up-to-date library of on-demand media seem like a waste of time and money. The better option? Netflix!

Enseo, a Texas-based technology provider that’s been outfitting hotel rooms around the globe with Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and other streaming entertainment options, recently crunched the numbers on in-room entertainment from hotels around the world and found that, whereas an estimated one percent of guests were likely to pay for a single movie, 40 percent of guests will access Netflix where it’s available — and their viewing sessions will last four times as long. Which makes Enseo’s pitch to hotels who want to deliver the best customer experience pretty simple: lose the porn.

“It’s a hard conversation,” Enseo CEO Vanessa Ogle told Variety, because hotel operators know that most of their in-room entertainment revenue is derived from adult fare. But Ogle thinks the hotel industry needs to look closer at the real numbers. One issue she points to is the number of guests who dispute these charges during checkout and end up not paying at all. According to Ogle, hotels are losing money by relying on traditional in-room movie services.

Clearly, she has made her voice heard, as more and more hotel brands are deciding that offering their guests complimentary access to the streaming channels they love at home is the better business model. In 2015, Marriott became the first brand to make the switch — courtesy of Enseo — with Scott Hansen, Marriott International’s director of guest technology, explaining in an interview with Skift that visitors’ habits have changed and “the video-on-demand model wasn’t sustainable anymore.”

Hilton, La Quinta and Gaylord Hotels soon followed in Marriott’s footsteps. In August, Enseo made a deal with Netflix, allowing the company to integrate the Netflix app into even more hotel rooms, and today you can find its technology in 100,000 hotel rooms around the world with plenty more on the way. Earlier this week, Millennium Hotels announced it’ll be partnering with Enseo to upgrade the entertainment options in its 5,121 hotel rooms nationwide. The streaming revolution has officially arrived.

H/T: Variety

Featured image courtesy of NurPhoto via Getty Images.

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