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Hyatt unlocks mobile-enabled amenities via in-room streaming

The Hyatt Regency San Francisco is showering consumers with a wider array of mobile offerings by enabling guests to stream subscription-based content from their smartphones to in-room televisions, showcasing how hotel marketers can offer more entertainment options for personal devices.

The Bay Area-based hotel has joined forces with guest engagement platform Sonifi Solutions to power the full-property installation. While entertainment options for consumers? personal smartphones have been available on a slew of airlines, the concept is still relatively new for hotel chains, meaning brands that begin leveraging the strategy now will find themselves ahead of the pack.

?We've seen 'use your own' initiatives in the sky ? Alaska Airlines is but one of many ? so it follows that hotels will allow visitors to not just utilize their devices, but also the content that is theirs through purchase or subscription,? said Jeff Hasen, founder of Gotta Mobilize and author of The Art of Mobile Persuasion.

?As much as we like to view content on our phones and tablets, we will gladly trade up for a larger screen if the experience is seamless, easy, and already paid for.?

Expanded entertainment options
The Hyatt Regency?s implementation of Sonifi's SoniCast platform will enable customers to use their own content subscriptions for services such as Hulu and Netflix to stream television shows and films from their smartphones to the in-room television sets.

SoniCast also taps into Google Chromecast's 1,000-plus available applications.

The San Francisco hotel?s first installation of the platform included a 50-room pilot deployment in mid-December 2015, a rollout that experienced success and increased consumer demand. This prompted Hyatt to introduce SoniCast to all 804 of its hotel rooms.

Since the primary installation, the Hyatt Regency?s guests have streamed content from a growing number of mobile apps, currently spanning 78 subscription-based channels for entertainment, music and television.

Consumers typically stream for one hour per session, and tend to use SoniCast several times throughout their stay.

Adopting new trends first
Hyatt is among the first hospitality marketers to offer guests the ability to stream content from their personal devices. However, a plethora of airline companies have already implemented this feature into their in-flight systems.

In December 2014, Alaska Airlines joined a growing number of airlines leveraging consumers? mobile devices to stream inflight entertainment (see story).

Last year, JetBlue partnered with Amazon to bring the ecommerce giant's Prime Instant Video service to airplanes, enabling fliers who are Prime members to access tens of thousands of television shows and movies via their mobile devices while in-flight and further augmenting the airline sector?s move to mobile-enhanced entertainment systems (see story).

Consumers have been found to prefer streaming content from their personal devices rather than from those provided by an airline or hotel, meaning that brands must adapt their services accordingly to meet these needs.

?Amenities like these in hotel rooms and on airplanes tap into one's high interest in personal and relevant experiences,? Mr. Hasen said. ?For some, it will matter when making a choice of one over another.?