Netflix’s quest to rule the video-streaming world continues with the news that it’s struck a deal with Marriott Hotels to let guests watch Netflix movies and TV shows on their hotel room TV.
First rumored back in January, the partnership will apply only to a handful of hotels at first: New York Marriott East Side, San Jose Marriott, Princeton Marriott, Newport Marriott, Dallas/Fort Worth Marriott Solana, and Bethesda Marriott Suites. Six more will be coming soon, though there are plans to roll the service out to more hotels in the future.
The deal is a landmark moment for Netflix, as it’s the first time a major hotel chain has integrated the service directly into its in-room entertainment setup. Marriott says it has “designed and adapted” the Netflix app specifically for a hotel environment, with guests only needing to sign in once for their whole stay, with their account details automatically wiped when they check out from the hotel.
It makes a great deal of sense for both companies, and it’s indicative of where the entertainment world is heading, with tablets, phones, and computers already letting people access their own tailored watchlists, recommendations, and favorites on their travels. Indeed, today’s news comes a month after Amazon announced a tie-up with JetBlue that would let Amazon Instant Video customers stream content on their devices without having to pay for Wi-Fi access. So a natural extension of this shift is surely on a hotel TV screen.
“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,” said Matthew Carroll, vice president of brand management at Marriott Hotels, in a press release.
That said, it is already possible to watch Netflix content on many hotel screens, depending on the technological setup. For example, users could physically plug their device into the HDMI slot, or even use their own personal Chromecast to “beam” content from their mobile phone or tablet. But having Netflix preinstalled on a hotel TV is more convenient and could be a lucrative deal for Netflix, given that guests will also be able to sign up for a Netflix account from their room if they’re not already a subscriber.
Marriott Hotels says it plans to expand Netflix to 100 of its properties by the end of the year, and to most of its 300-plus U.S. hotels by the end of 2016.