The Mystery of Hotel Movie Distribution

The hotel and motel window is just as it sounds: this is the service you see when in a hotel room, and typically have a choice of several first run movies that can be ordered (with payment simply added to your hotel bill). All studios offer their first run movies to the various providers, and the window is typically “triggered” by notifying the provider of a film’s availability. This notification will usually be several weeks prior to availability, as the services need to program available “slots.”

As an interesting, and not unexpected anecdote, this is a distribution window where “adult entertainment” paces the field. Although statistics are not readily available, the buy rate for adult programming is a significant multiple of the average buy rate for a top Hollywood title.

Size of Market and Window

The US market here consists of a few million hotel rooms that are serviced by various providers, although given the relatively small scale a few providers have historically dominated the market (e.g., LodgeNet and On-Command).

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