Marriott Deploys Netflix & Pandora to Hotel TVs

Dave Zatz —  May 16, 2015

marriott-netflix-youtube

As promised back in January, Marriott has started deploying a suite of streaming applications to their Enseo set-tops and televisions… and Cord Cutters News has gone hands-on. Netflix, YouTube, Pandora, Hulu Plus and Crackle are available at select higher-end Marriot properties and it’s believed the plan is to expand to more and more diverse properties. At the moment, there aren’t any television-specific fees but you’ll be required to use your own subscription with Netflix and Hulu Plus. Even should the lineups shift over time, this is a great option and sure beats trying to get a Roku or Amazon Fire TV Stick working in the hotel (via WiFi Marriott once blocked). Or sadly “watching TV” via phone or tablet in bed, as I have on too many occasions. Two more interesting tidbits: Marriott’s Enseo TV remote has a dedicated Netflix button and supposedly the hotel will clear your credentials upon checkout.

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7 responses to Marriott Deploys Netflix & Pandora to Hotel TVs

  1. Well my work traveling days are over but most of the hotels I stayed in didn’t have fast enough Internet to stream much of anything. Maybe that has changed. I really never stayed at Marriott’s (stayed in more rural areas that didn’t really have higher end hotels) so perhaps they are better. But I did come to hate having to watch “live” TV in hotels so these streaming options would have certainly been welcome. Will be interesting to see if they find someway to justify charging extra for this.

  2. I’m baffled that Marriott isn’t offering free Netflix and Hulu to guests that don’t have subs. I mean, I used to select motels on the highway based on whether or not their signs advertised HBO. You’d think free room subs wouldn’t cost Marriott more than a rounding error…

  3. “We promise we’ll delete your credentials on checkout”? I don’t know how I feel about that. I’d feel much more comfortable streaming from my iDevice where my credentials (ahem) “safely” reside.

  4. No big chain hotel is going to outfit their televisions with Apple TV. Probably not Chromecast either. Best we might be able to do is something like Miracast in a TV or set-top, which might not be useful for iOS owners. I’m fine putting my Netflix credentials in. I suppose I could also change my password at the end of my trip. I assume the risk is low, tho not zero, but the reward is potentially high. At least in my case.

  5. “I’m fine putting my Netflix credentials in. I suppose I could also change my password at the end of my trip. I assume the risk is low, tho not zero, but the reward is potentially high. At least in my case.”

    Yeah. Risk is low. They don’t have your billing info. And you can easily see what’s been recently watched on your account.

    If thievery happens, it’ll reflect very badly on Marriott, so I expect them to protect against it. Again, with low risk for the user, even if there is a breach.

    Still don’t understand why Marriott isn’t willing to pick up the cost of a Netflix and Hulu sub for guests without an account, or for those who don’t want to enter their credentials. Seems like a no-brainer on the cost/benefit front…

  6. “Still don’t understand why Marriott isn’t willing to pick up the cost of a Netflix and Hulu sub for guests without an account, or for those who don’t want to enter their credentials.”

    Just a wild guess, but maybe Netflix’s TOS don’t allow providing their service for commercial use. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Netflix-content provider contracts specify personal use only (so the content providers don’t miss out on that dwindling PPV revenue).

  7. I think Steve is onto something there. Remember, RCN was frustrated for a few years they couldn’t offer Netflix on the TiVos they rent due to Netflix’s licensing terms.

    Also, there’s some pricing complexity. In the old days when we picked hotels based on HBO, we couldn’t really bring our own HBO (or a VCR for that matter) — so I’d think a hotel business would want to pay based on access – something like a base x$/month based on total rooms and then billing based on access either 30 minute blocks for room/day. But I agree it’d be compelling as a guest, good for marketing, and an even more interesting blog post and sign o’ the times. The flip side, also as Steve said, is that hotels (still) make money on VOD. So does the above Marriott deployment get rolled into this new trend of resort fees, do they ultimately charge for online streaming access per day or stay (if not for the service itself), or just write it off completely as Chucky suggests (which kinda puts it in resort fee territory anyway).

    In any event, as is this would push me more towards Marriott than Hilton in many instances — for example, they both have beautiful properties in Orlando with lazy rivers that I enjoy about once a year (Hilton Bonnet Creek, JW Grande Lakes). The Marriott is nicer, but also usually 1/3rd more costly. Netflix-on-the-TV could tip the scales. Here’s some fireworks I shot July 4th, 2013 from my room in the Marriott — they run their own show.