The decline of pay-per-view

Once a popular offering in the guestroom, the pay-per-view channel or movie was a luxury guests could look forward to after traveling. In the modern day, where streaming content from online and the resurgence in popular premium channels, how is pay-per-view holding up?

“The number of guests buying into pay-per-view is declining rapidly,” said Bob Holland, GM of the Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront hotel. Holland sees the Internet as one of largest deciding factor in PPV’s decline, but noted that in some circumstances it can bring in money. Airlines are offering better PPV services than before, often sating a traveler’s desire for movies on the go. Families are the biggest purchasers of PPV content, but Holland doesn’t think that movies on the guestroom TV are something that is in right now.

“If a traveler wants to watch a movie, they will use Netflix or bring DVDs with them,” Holland said. “The popularity of the pay-per-view movie is dying because people are watching more television programs in the guestroom.”

One area of guestroom TV programming that has grown to replace PPV channels to the point that it too has become a necessity is a hotel’s selection of high-definition channels. Once a novelty, now guests are growing to expect this amenity as well.

“Guests now have multiple high-definition TVs in their homes, and they are used to that type of picture quality,” Holland said. “In the past, hotels would lead the industry in areas like this, but with current technology trends we are trying to match the guest.”