GLENDALE, CA—The need for streaming media capabilities in hotel guestrooms is obvious. Whether at home or in hotels, people consume TV shows and movies through apps like Netflix and Hulu. But what about public spaces? Loop Media, headquartered here, offers a way to give guests bite-size streaming content that helps enhance the hotel’s branding and vibe.
“Everything we do is five minutes or less,” said Jon Niermann, CEO and co-founder, Loop Media. The types of content can be broken down into five categories: music videos, viral videos, sports clips, movie trailers and atmospheric. And, all can help hotels create the ambiance that they want.
“Think of the themes of just the bars and restaurants,” Niermann said. “Let’s say there’s a lounge and they have a happy hour that’s based around Sinatra and that type of music, or you’ve got a club and you want more EDM or more hip hop; if you’ve got a country bar, we’ve got country videos. There are so many different genres that even within the same venue, you can theme out.”
In bar areas, both viral videos and sports clips can be crowd pleasers. “We’ve got a deal with Jukin Media. They have bloopers and viral videos—people doing stupid things. People love to look at that in bars,” Niermann said.
With regard to sports clips, Loop Media focuses on collegiate clips. “Our first deal was with Pac-12. It’s all of their sports—not just basketball or baseball, but gymnastics, water polo, etc.,” he said. “If you’re a bar near the University of Oregon, you can theme out with those clips all the time. The game doesn’t have to be on. You can have them on demand or you can create a loop.
“We also have movie trailers, which we find works well because people love to sit there watching what’s coming up for two to three minutes. There’s a whole channel of those,” he continued. “The fifth part is the atmospheric and ambiance stuff, which for us is all drone videos, which is really cool: landmarks, cities, countries, all this drone footage with music in the background.”
Loop already works with several hotels—for example, Margaritaville Hotels & Resorts, San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter and Tropicana Atlantic City—and Niermann noted that it could work for a variety of hotels.
“If you think of the ones that are more music-type focused, whether that’s a W type or a boutique hotel, that’s a natural fit because you have a lot of lobby and atmosphere that they might need to fill,” he said. “Even the resorts—all of our stuff is family-friendly and sanitized. We make sure it’s for public display. Clearly, you can’t be in a family restaurant and have some dodgy video come up. We don’t have to limit our targeting; we can throw it wide and modify it based on that hotel.
“With Margaritaville, for example, we customize,” he said, noting that the music video lineup features a lot of Jimmy Buffett, but all other videos have to fit that theme. “There’s a lot of personalization that goes into each of these venues; Loop is probably the only one that can really do that in terms of curation.”
In addition to the content curation, the company also offers in-room and digital signage solutions. “For example, we’re doing some linear deals with OTT services where we’ve got 18 channels of music videos, so they can do a similar-type offering in-room if they wanted to, so there’s a potential revenue opportunity there,” he said. “The other component is aside from content, we have digital signage, so anything they want in terms of menu boards, activities and upcoming events can be done with our system, too. What we’re trying to present is an all-in-one solution. You don’t have to go and get multiple content deals, you don’t have to do a digital signage deal—you can get that all with us for way less than you’re paying now.
“In terms of updates, we provide that daily, sometimes multiple times a day, in terms of content. They don’t have to do anything. The system automatically updates,” Niermann said. “They really don’t need to do anything other than the programming and scheduling. You can program and schedule by the hour. Let’s say I want tropical music in the afternoon, but I want to move into an ’80s party at night; you can always do that. Basically, it’s like signing up for Amazon or Netflix. You get your player sent—or if you’ve got a smart TV or your own system, you don’t even need our player. You can just integrate our content within your hardware. That’s a very easy thing as well. It’s very low maintenance in that sense. For hoteliers, it’s flicking the switch and choosing what they want, scheduling it and letting it go.”
Loop can also be programmed to work offline. “A lot of these places can’t afford to go dark, so if there’s a breakdown in terms of bandwidth or coverage, everything caches on the player and it can play offline for days,” he said.
Looking toward the future, Niermann only sees streaming content gaining in popularity. “This pandemic forced the timeline on so many things. I think it accelerated it three to five years in terms of streaming and windowing,” he said. “Think about when movie theater releases are, when it gets to streaming, when it gets to cable—those windows could disappear or become much, much shorter. That’s one of these unintentional consequences. In the past, the studios have been very protective that they had to give it to the theaters for this long, and then the networks, so they each have their window to maximize their money. But, you can see from what’s going on now, streaming is up so much and I think people are going to take that habit. It’s the same with the artists. Look at all of the direct access going on. You’re going to see more and more of these artists engage with their fans, do more virtual things, as opposed to just waiting for their live concerts. This pandemic has forced an acceleration of that timeline.
“We’re bringing the streaming model on a commercial level that’s much more affordable and customizable that they can now create their own playlists and become their own program directors for their hotels, resorts, their bar, like they never could before,” he added. HB