19 Apr 2021 Casting Q&A With Hauke Lenthe
Ditch the Remote & Give Guests What They Want
A Q&A with Hauke Lenthe, Managing Director, Nomadix EMEA & APAC.
Casting is a hot demand in hospitality. The Nomadix solution offers secure and seamless casting via a simple QR code connection. We caught up with Hauke Lenth, the Managing Director for Nomadix EMEA & APAC to find out more about this awesome technology, the Nomadix offering and what’s in store for the market.
Q: Can you explain what the Nomadix casting solution is?
Casting, or screencasting, lets video, music, or other content be played on a different screen or display. I like to call it ‘bring your own content.’
Unlike premium TV channels, pay-per-view or even smart TVs, casting lets hotel guests use their own iOS or Android devices to play their own choice of entertainment and media apps on the in-room TV. In fact, we support over 2,000 apps including Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and Spotify.
Don’t confuse it with screen mirroring though. What’s key is that guests can still use their laptop or mobile device for work, email or gaming while they’re watching content on the hotel TV.
Q: Why has Nomadix launched this solution?
My view is that casting creates a completely different, superior guest experience that can attract new and repeat business. If you’re a hotel looking to attract overseas travellers, for example, offering a solution to watch their local language entertainment and media is going to make you more competitive.
Our viewing behaviour has swung dramatically in favour of apps that let us watch our own choices whenever we want. Casting now makes it possible to watch them wherever we are.
When you consider that the number of streaming service subscriptions was forecast to hit 700 million around the world last year, you can appreciate why guests don’t want to lose them when they travel (not least because they’re still paying). Hotels can help to create a home-for-home by making access easy.
I’ve read recent guest research that found that 67% of guests want a casting feature at hotels, and 50% say that the availability of casting could affect their booking decision. With demand like that, it seems counterintuitive to force travellers to watch limited in-room channels, or to have to use their own devices when there’s a high-quality screen in the hotel room that can make their viewing better.
It’s also important to mention that casting is completely contactless. Guests use their own mobile devices and can avoid touching the TV remote, which is usually the dirtiest item in the room.
“…casting creates a completely different, superior guest experience that can attract new and repeat business.”
“…67% of guests want a casting feature at hotels, and 50% say that the availability of casting could affect their booking decision.”
Q: How does it compare with competing products and what are leading differentiators?
This is a great question.
Nomadix gateways provide authenticated, managed internet access for millions of hotel rooms at properties all over the world. For properties with Nomadix gateways integrated with the property management system (PMS), guest devices are automatically recognised and paired with the in-room TVs when they connect to the hotel Wi-Fi network. No other guest action is needed.
For properties implementing Nomadix Casting as a stand-alone solution, guests can simply aim their cameras at the QR code on the in-room TV to pair their devices. Then they choose what they want to watch on their personal devices and click the casting button included in all popular content apps, such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Spotify, Amazon, YouTube and many more.
Because guests stay seamlessly logged in, they can pick back up on episode seven of a new show right from their devices. That’s a major bonus when you’ve been on a six-hour flight and need to get your Spotify music fix.
We’ve also made sure that this access is secure. We don’t ask guests to log onto a public device, to download anything onto their own devices or to share login credentials with the in-room TV. There’s also no risk of accidentally connecting to the room next door or being logged out when they check out.
Hotels can customise Nomadix Casting to their own branding and because it’s vendor agnostic, it works with any hotel TV without integration.
Nomadix facilitates more than five million internet connections every day. We monitor and manage guest mobile devices for peak performance so that we are able to integrate further products that allow for a seamless guest journey and better connectivity.
Q: Where do you see the most opportunity for the Casting solution, and which sectors have the most potential for growth/demand?
The opportunity is now for ‘bring your own content’. During the pandemic lockdown, there has been a peak in content subscriptions, guests have got used to watching their own apps, so we have a sweet spot now to deliver a guest solution in response to this demand. I’m certain that ‘bring your own content’ will be expected as standard by guests in the near future.
We think that casting is a valuable product for any hotel and creates a better guest experience for everyone. A younger tourist might want to watch Netflix or Hulu; Families may want Disney Plus; Business travellers might want to watch a training video, and will almost certainly want to keep their laptop free to work. Hotels with a high proportion of overseas guests will also benefit from reducing language barriers and isolation by using casting to make the stay feel like home.
Q: What are the biggest advantages for resellers who are considering adding this to their portfolios?
This a guest technology that is relevant, in-demand and shows that the hotel is putting their customers first. By expanding their portfolio beyond pure internet connectivity, resellers offering casting can add value by delivering a very valuable part of the guest experience. This can open up wider discussions about the improvements that could be made with other technologies.
There’s also a huge opportunity to demonstrate how hotels can get better ROI from their IPTV. In-room TV use is at an all-time low mainly because of the limited channel choice. Casting is a fraction of the cost of a full-blown IPTV interactive content solution – and puts this high-quality, expensive screen to best use.
Q: Why has Nomadix partnered with Purdicom to take this new solution to market?
Purdicom has been incredibly proactive in the UK and has demonstrated its ability to apply smart internet connectivity and management services to add value to hospitality customers.
Purdicom has always been committed to offering the full portfolio of Nomadix hospitality solutions to its UK channel – from our established internet gateways to Nomadix Casting, in turn making it possible to deliver a complete customer solution from an excellent user experience to simplified network management and support.