Understanding the viewing habits of domestic and international guests is essential for any hotelier looking to provide a stellar in-room experience.

Here, Foxtel Business National Manager – Accommodation, Scott Wiedemann, discusses the key trends in guest viewing habits in 2023 and reveals the ways in which Foxtel Business is helping hotel partners meet guests’ needs.

Scott Wiedemann, Foxtel Business

As we look ahead in 2023, tourism and international travel is growing each month, in-person conferences and key events are back, and some tourist destinations are seeing more visitors than they had pre-pandemic. From Foxtel’s side of things, over the past 12 months we have grown our Business iQ product to over 10,000 screens installed nationally with around the same again in the pipeline, and we’ve launched our streaming Business iQ product for smaller accommodations and businesses. We’ve also extended the AFL and cricket broadcast rights until 2031 and formed a commercial partnership with the Reivernet Group to assist in the network space.

The whole accommodation industry has been affected by rising power and food costs as well as experiencing staffing and supply chain issues and Foxtel too has been affected by these post-pandemic challenges. Our challenge has been to navigate through these times without compromising the product or content we provide to our customers.

The outlook for 2023 is very exciting. Our Business iQ user interface will be receiving an impressive facelift, we have added ‘vuReel’ technology which enables the creation and management of streamed custom in-house channels, we are further increasing our exclusive 4K/Ultra HD content offering, we recently launched a 24/7 WWE channel and are constantly reinvesting in key content rights and technology upgrades. 2023 will also see us further solidify our commercial relationships with our loyal partners as we strive to create a greater guest experience together.

A key focus throughout the year will be preparing for the national switch-off from underground cable. Our dedicated technicians will be busy migrating hundreds of commercial cable customers over to satellite or streaming. As a result of this project, we have increased our resourcing in project management and support to ensure no one is impacted with loss of service.

Throughout 2023, Foxtel will also continue to create awareness of how guests are consuming entertainment in hotels when provided with different entertainment options. With the emergence of casting, there is a misconception in the marketplace that guests prefer to bring their own content and cast. The viewing habits of guests in hotels that have Business iQ shows that when given the choice, guests overwhelmingly prefer not to cast.

Data analytics from Business iQ Hotels in 2022 show guests spent 97% of their time watching live TV & Foxtel On Demand vs just 3% casting. Whilst guests may or may not leave a negative review about lack of TV content if they’re only provided with casting, the lack of content offering may affect their decision to come back to the hotel. Having casting as your only TV entertainment also doesn’t meet international travellers’ viewing preferences as their own streaming apps can often be geo-blocked. It’s a competitive market for business which has the accommodation industry motivated to provide their guests with a more enhanced and personalised experience.

We look forward to the journey ahead with our partners with the primary objective of providing guests with a better experience. Hopefully Foxtel can contribute in a small way to achieving this goal.