business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Fast Company reports on a new partnership that makes so much sense that one has to wonder what took them so long.

The deal is simple: "Marriott has just launched a partnership with Netflix that allows guests to stream Netflix on the hotel's Internet-connected TVs. In the testing phase, Marriott incorporated several different Internet apps on TVs and found that over a quarter of guests logged on to them, with a significant majority using Netflix, which beat out other video streaming services like Hulu and YouTube." The service is expected to be all 300 US Marriott hotels by the end of 2016.

The impetus for the deal: "Over the past few years, Marriott Hotels has been closely studying how its guests, who are on average 35 years old, use technology during hotel stays.

"Marriott discovered a few important facts: Guests are no longer keen on paying for the video-on-demand that comes loaded on the TVs in each room. Instead, they come equipped with their own lineup of devices—smartphones, laptops, tablets—that are chock-full of content, from video games to books to movies."

Only Netflix subscribers will be able to access the service, though trial subscriptions will be available. And while many or most of these subscribers may already be able to access Netflix on their personal devices, Marriott also found out something else in its research - that people like to have multiple screens going at once, and expect to have the same access to technology and content on the road that they do at home.

As both a Netflix subscriber and a fairly regular Marriott patron, I have to say that I love this idea ... though, as I said before, it seems so obvious that I wonder what took them so long. The growing self-sufficiency of the hotel consumer has been going on for a long time, at the same time as shoppers in general have benefitted from shifts in the balance of power. It is the Eye-Opening thing that every business has to understand - that more than ever, the consumer is the educated, equipped and engaged arbiter of what is acceptable and what is not.
KC's View: