Marriott Hotels, the flagship brand of Marriott International Inc – which acquired South Africa’s Protea Hotel Group in 2014 – and Netflix announced a ground-breaking partnership to revolutionise the guest room entertainment experience. Guests staying at selected Marriott Hotels will be able to subscribe to Netflix or sign into their existing accounts simply by using the Netflix app on the hotel’s internet-connected guest room televisions.
For Marriott guests who increasingly want to view streaming content on the road, the enhanced entertainment option means Netflix members can set aside their mobile devices and watch Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, Marvel’s Daredevil and a growing library of originals, kids’ titles, movies and TV shows on wide-screen HDTVs for the first time in hotels.
“Our collaboration with Netflix responds to changing consumer preferences in the way our guests access and watch content, while recognising the leading role Netflix is playing in driving this transformation,“ said Matthew Carroll, vice president brand management, Marriott Hotels. “Because consumers are choosing to take their streaming content with them when they travel, Marriott Hotels is making the industry’s first rollout of Netflix a priority.”
With this agreement, Marriott Hotels is the first hotel brand authorised to offer guests direct access to their Netflix accounts as part of its guest room entertainment offering. Netflix is currently available at six American Marriott venues, with six more launching over the next three months. The brand plans to expand Netflix to 100 of its properties by the end of 2015, and to nearly all of its more than 300 properties in the U.S. by the end of 2016.
Marriott Hotels designed and adapted its Netflix app for the hotel environment. Guests staying multiple days only have to login to their accounts once throughout their stay. When guests checkout all account information is automatically wiped clean from the televisions.
“Our members tell us they want to watch Netflix anytime, in any place where they have an Internet connection,” said Bill Holmes, global head of business development, Netflix. “Through our partnership with Marriott, they’ll get to watch their favourite movies, TV shows and Netflix originals on big screens just like they do at home.”
According to a report from Accenture, more than half of U.S. consumers watch internet television. In testing at hotels, the number of guests using any of the internet apps on the guest room televisions was as high as 26 percent, depending on the property, with a significant majority choosing Netflix. This exceeded expectations.
While the introduction of Netflix is currently focused on the Marriott Hotels brand, the service is also available in over two dozen U.S. hotels representing other Marriott International brands. The company will expand Netflix to its other brands in the future.
“This initiative is a good example of the Marriott International focus on enhancing the guest experience – something that the local Protea Hotel brand endorses,” says Mark Satterfield, Marriott International Business Leader in South Africa. “The Netflix offer is the upshot of listening to the client base and its needs, which is core to the business strategy of Protea Hotels.”