Netflix is coming to more hotel rooms worldwide

Netflix and an Enseo, the makers of an in-room entertainment platform for the hospitality industry, today announced an expanded agreement that will see the Netflix app offered in more hotel rooms around the world. Through the Enseo system, hotel guests will be able to log in to their Netflix accounts from their rooms, allowing them to stream Netflix’s collection of TV and shows, as well as access their own personalized settings, lists, and other content.

The two companies were already working together on Enseo’s product, the Enseo Entertainment Experience, which also provides access to other streaming services like YouTube, Pandora, Hulu and Crackle.

Enseo’s distribution agreement began back in 2014, making Enseo the first hospitality integrator to gain the right to deploy the Netflix application to hotels. Its “Room Operating Center” is what provides access to these over-the-top applications like Netflix, and lets guests listen to music via Enseo’s Bluetooth audio.

The newly announced deal, however, is about expanding Enseo’s distribution rights. That means the company can now offer Netflix to any hotel under a contract in any country worldwide where Netflix is available. As a reminder, Netflix announced its global expansion in January, bringing 130 new countries on board. The streaming service now has 83 million total subscribers. However, its international subscriber base only grew by 1.5 million in the last quarter – a disappointment for which the company blamed China’s regulatory climate.

The new deal will also allow Enseo to distribute Netflix to more hotels beyond those on its pre-approved list of specific brands. Today, Enseo has system in over 300 hotels in the U.S., and Netflix is also available in hundreds of those properties.

Hotel guests who want to watch Netflix from their room using Enseo devices can launch the Netflix app from the on-screen TV menu, or they push a Netflix-branded button on the hotel room’s remote, depending on the setup. Accessing Netflix doesn’t incur any in-room internet fees, and when the guest checks out, their Netflix credentials are wiped from the device automatically.

According to the hospitality tech provider, after analysing data from the installations and usage of its system across millions of occupied rooms in 2016, Netflix was the number one most-used channel by hotel guests, regardless of demographics. Its system is in 19 hotel brands today.

Enseo has deals in place in hundreds of hotels in the U.S., including those at Marriott, Hilton and La Quinta properties.

In December, one hotel brand, Gaylord Hotels, which has five properties and 8,500 rooms, reported guests were streaming over 1,400 hours of video daily. 

What’s interesting about the Enseo system is that it doesn’t generate revenue for the hotels through Wi-Fi or internet access fees. Instead, the hotels like having the system in place not only as a perk for guests, but because it frees up their Wi-Fi network for guests who want to use the internet for other reasons – like checking email, surfing the web, working on business projects, and more. (The hotels generally stream Netflix and other apps to the Enseo-powered TVs through a dedicated network, not Wi-Fi.)

Meanwhile, Enseo’s system can also be integrated to provide TV from Dish Network, branded welcome pages and other marketing messages from the hotel, weather information, as well as tools that let hotel remotely manage energy consumption via in-room controls, or those that allow guests to manage the room through their room’s TV.

This isn’t the first time Netflix has announced a deal with the hospitality industry. Last year, Netflix partnered with Marriott, allowing guests at its properties to stream the service via Netflix-enabled TVs, as powered by Enseo, though its name wasn’t announced in Marriott’s press release at the time.

Enseo licenses its equipment to hotels, but doesn’t disclose revenue. However, the company says that it has more than doubled its revenue every 6 months for the last two years. It’s also currently the only hospitality integrator with a direct relationship with Netflix for the time being.