In a sense, the traveling crowd has played a major role in spurring cable operators to provide more on-demand services. For years, hotel guests have been iTV guinea pigs, trying out nascent in-room interactive and video-on-demand services, and consequently wondering, "Why can't I have this at home?"
Pioneer on-demand provider On Command has been developing interactive platforms for hotels around the world, and it's extending its reach via a five-year agreement to provide in-room video-on-demand programming and entertainment to hotels under the Accor Lodging North America umbrella.
Specifically, the deal calls for On Command to provide the services to Sofitel and Novitel hotel brands in the Accor family, representing 17 hotel properties and more than 5,300 rooms in cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Miami, Minneapolis, Washington D.C., New York and Philadelphia.
Many of the Accor properties will get On Command's Roommate platform, which boasts a more energy efficient operating system and 400 percent increase in content capacity, which should translate into a real increase in the number of titles available to guests. On Command is also introducing a new menu system, which features a number of improvements to the user interface, and the ability for hotels to customize entire menu sections for targeted promotions.