The changing face of media consumption: What happened to movies in hotels?

Estimated read time: 3 minutes



Media consumption changes constantly and the channels are exploding and the content creators are multiplying. Welcome to the 21st century.

You’ve heard the old cliché of how everyone can now start their own blog and build an audience as long as they have something interesting to say. That’s partially true of course and often today requires tremendous amounts of investments because well everyone is doing it. Including the companies who actually can spend money on the promotion of content.


And content consumption changes so much. For example, I used to read a printed newspaper. I used to read printed magazines. Today, I read most of my content digitally and my consumption while traveling certainly has changed as well.

And I noticed this recently when I decided that I wanted to watch a movie at a hotel. Given that I am a platinum Marriott member I get to pick a welcome gift. And at one hotel in Düsseldorf, Germany, one option was to watch a free movie.


That was at the Sheraton Düsseldorf Airport, which has beautiful views and already cool event space and a Sheraton fusbol table – though they were remodeling last time I was there.


I had already tried the other two welcome gift options on previous visits and thought I might as well give that a try.

I quickly found out that the free movie otherwise would’ve cost over US$10 but it was kind of a moot point because there were only like 6 movies to pick from and even when I picked one it didn’t play. Given up the assortment wasn’t that big I didn’t really see a movie I really wanted to watch anyways.


I hardly ever watch TV in my hotel room and actually have gotten annoyed on the rare occasion when I had a roommate who wanted to watch TV-especially a show I didn’t want to watch.

Most of my multi media consumption at the hotel happens on my iPhone. And then I found out that hotel movies have changed anyways.




Exhibit No. 2: when we stayed at the Marriott in Cedar Rapids they didn’t have any movies to watch and you were prompted to either watch regular TV or sign into your own Netflix, Hulu or YouTube or other account.

I didn’t hate that at all because I could just continue watching the shows I normally watch and I didn’t have to make decisions. The Netflix experience made me sign in on the screen and type letters with the TV remote. Welcome to 1999 I guess.

The Hulu experience sent me to Hulu.com/activate and I simply had to type in the code that was displayed on the screen to turn on my account. Very customer-focused and user-friendly.

My four-year-old, who was traveling with me, even said that “this is just like at home.” We watched TV when we didn’t go swimming.

For consumers life is about personalization and this was just another example of that. Being able to watch whatever I want to watch and what I already had in my account on the TV at the hotel was actually convenient


I have no idea when this switch started happening and I’ll keep an eye on it and see what other hotels are doing. But one thing is for certain in that is that the way people consume any kind of content continuously evolves.

If you have a market today that doesn’t mean you’ll have the same market tomorrow. Keep innovating and try reaching new markets and try to stay relevant as much as you can.

When it comes to movies at the hotel it seems like that ship has sailed at least in the couple of examples that I noticed recently.