While the trend for streaming services has altered our traditional viewing habits, TV is still very much in favour at home in our sitting rooms and, most importantly, in our hotel rooms. Who for? Why? How? Wifirst sets out an update of TV service offerings, in tune with the new viewing habits of hotel guests.
The streaming revolution and the age of BYOC
In recent years, we have already seen SVoD platforms (Netflix, OCS, MyCanal, Amazon, Disney+) gaining a significant share of the viewing audience from so-called linear TV. Whilst it’s true that the explosion of video streaming services has changed consumer attitudes to TV viewing, it in no way heralds the end of television itself.
Indeed, a recent study conducted by CenturyLink and the Streaming Video Alliance shows that although viewing figures for online video content are on the increase compared to traditional TV viewing habits, watching telly does still rate as a key social activity. As many as 60% of those surveyed do indeed watch online content on a TV screen at least once a day. This has given hospitality and tourism professionals cause to rethink their service offering to remain in step with new trends in video content viewing.
Wifirst, which now operates the WiFi network for almost 1500 hotels and apart-hotels, is positioned at the forefront of this revolution:
The challenge of TV in the hotel industry
Hotel industry professionals have long recognised the importance of TV screens, allocating a considerable spend in their budget. Bigger, better, ultra-high screen resolution: TVs are real technological magnets – except that, nowadays, that simply doesn’t suffice.
Haven't most of us ended up in our hotel room watching TV shows on our smartphone or tablet – with a splendid 55” screen sitting redundant in the background?
Back in June 2019, in an effort to help hotel operators address the challenges of modernisation, we launched our “Stream & Cast” offering, based on our own proprietary “Room Area Network” technology and the general public Chromecast product developed by Google. This innovative service – which enables users to broadcast their own content onto the TV screen in their hotel room – bridged the gap between hotel guests and theTV experience provided in the hotel, with an immediate positive impact on satisfaction ratings.To further improve the Chromecast user experience, we have also partnered with Otrum to develop an IPTV portal with a clean, functional design. In practical terms, hotel guests enter their room to be greeted by an interactive and user-friendly custom interface, allowing them to connect to the room's WiFi network and access their own content in just a single click. Wifirst has progressively covered all the separate stages in the process of a TV project: reception of TV channels, management and distribution of channels on an IP or coaxial network, TV installation, interactive IPTV portal.
The race for content is now the race for connection speeds
While the explosion of video streaming has changed our relationship with television as users, it has also redefined various aspects of the TV offering for industry professionals. The main issue within the hotel industry is not to provide guests with an endless list of TV channels, but rather to deliver the fast connection speeds they need to stream their own content. And this is precisely where Wifirst comes in.
Thanks to our ongoing investment in WiFi technology, we are able to provide the go-to solution: a robust, high-performance technical platform, capable of delivering the multitude of digital services that hotel guests have come to expect, through a seamless and fully accessible user experience.