Hotel Networks Bows Place-Based VOD

hotelThe Hotel Networks, which delivers video programming to 1 million hotel rooms and claims to reach about 20 million hotel guests a month, is undertaking a major expansion of its content offerings with a new ad-supported video-on-demand service.

The service, called FreeViews, effectively combines place-based video with VOD, leveraging its digital measurability, high degree of viewer engagement and long duration time. THN claims that hotel guests watch an average of four hours of TV per day, with 98% of guests saying they watch TV in their rooms.

The network's audience will be measured by Nielsen's On Location Media using digital traffic data. Televisions in its network are not equipped with DVRs, so viewers can't skip the advertising.

THN's regular and VOD offerings feature content from A&E, The Biography Channel, CNBC, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, Hallmark Channel, History, Versus, The Weather Channel and National Geographic Channel. The network handles all local and national ad sales.



In the VOD service, advertisers can associate their brands with certain kinds of content--becoming the exclusive sponsor, for example, of programs featuring golf tips or concerts. This can include rollover graphics that appear on the VOD menu, inviting viewers to watch a long-form video message. Viewers also have the option of learning more about the product advertised by using the remote control to navigate a simple menu of options.

The service will be promoted with a 30-second video message airing occasionally in THN's other, non-VOD programming.

While no details were provided, it seems that THN's system could eventually offer behavioral targeting based on the viewer's psychographic profile, as expressed in their content choices and interaction with ad messages. Another company--BrightLine--allows advertisers to target TV viewers based on their interactions with programming and advertising, enabling BrightLine to deliver precisely targeted ads and interactive environments that engage users with a brand.

Importantly, all behavioral and demographic data is yielded voluntarily by viewers; it begins when they engage with the first interactive offering. This could include interactive spots, interactive channels, and customized sponsorship of video-on-demand with ad insertion and interactive program integration.


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