Move over in-room hotel TVs – guests now want to watch entertainment on their devices

It makes sense that hotel guests nowadays would like to access entertainment and information on their mobiles and tablets – but to what degree? It would appear quite a lot.

Research of both leisure and business travellers has found that 66% would be keen to have hotel TV content available to them to watch on their devices anywhere in the property.

Mobiles should also double-up as controllers for existing TV services, the study by Smith Micro found, with 57% wanting channel listings available on their handsets and 55% keen on having the ability to pause and stop content on the TV from a device.

So what’s in all this digital enthusiasm by guests for the actual hotels?

The research of nearly 750 regular hotel guests found that two-thirds (67%) would be willing to buy pay-per-view content ordinarily reserved for in-room TVs if it could be made available via a mobile device anywhere in the hotel.

Three-quarters reckon they would be more inclined to book a hotel if it included such services.

What about the differences in the needs of different types of travellers?

Not surprising is the huge figure (95%) showing that business travellers are already using a hotel’s high speed internet service, but more interestingly is what they would be willing to use if it were available on a mobile device.

  • 79% would check in and out
  • 75% would take advantage of discounts and special offers for local amenities
  • 68% would use of other guest services.

As for the leisure guests:

  • 30% would be moderately likely to buy pay-per-view content on a mobile.
  • 25% would book a hotel offering content via a mobile.
  • 34% would view content via a hotel’s wifi.

But with tablets really starting to mark their mark in the browsing and usage habits of travellers, are we beginning to see differences in behaviour between the two types of owners?

  • Tablet owners more likely to take advantage of special offers on devices than mobile users.
  • 10% more likely to purchase pay-per-view content than mobile users.

Smith Micro VP of products and programs, Jim Mains, says the industry is seeing guest preferences move away from static TV to streaming of content and interactivity via devices.

“Historically, the hospitality industry has faced many challenges in devising a content strategy that would address shifts in consumer behavior while replacing lost revenue from consumers using their own devices for content.

“While business travelers and vacationers have different preferences, one constant remains: accessing video content from a mobile device is a valuable asset and ultimately a deciding factor when selecting a hotel.”

NB: Hotel TV image via Shutterstock.

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Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May was a co-founder and member of the editorial team from September 2009 to June 2017.



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  1. LodgeNet Rolls Out New Interactive Program Guide for Mobile App

    […] in a way that is familiar and comfortable. In fact, a recent study from Smith Micro found that 57% of guests want channel listings on their mobile device. Channel programming information is even […]

  2. Suzanne Runald

    Hi. You’ll need a combination of hardware and software to accomplish this, so we recommend working with a company that specializes in this type of entertainment programming for hospitality. Company’s such as Guest-tek and Allin Interactive are using our Vidio solution to stream live TV and video-on-demand to mobile devices within a hotel property via the Wi-Fi network. They can assist with the necessary components and content distribution rights to enable your guests to watch TV and movies on their mobile devices. Here are links to contact them: and

  3. Ron Coselman

    We operate a mom and pops boutique resort located on a secluded tropical island. We readily admit that we are struggling to keep up with advances in technology. Not because we don’t want to but we don’t know how to. Our web page is currently mobile phone friendly through Dudda. We have anywhere onsite internet, but only Satellite TV in the Bar area. No other TV on site. How can we use our satellite TV and our WiFi to offer movies and TV to our mobile phone guests via our WiFI???

    • Kevin May

      Kevin May

      @ron – hey, thx for the comment. I’ve asked Smith Micro to respond…


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