Guests streaming stays could be niche with room to grow
 
Guests streaming stays could be niche with room to grow
22 NOVEMBER 2019 7:00 AM

A hotel that offers guests a $1 nightly rate for a room that includes a livestreaming camera honestly isn’t that shocking and could potentially open up new possibilities for hotels growing their online presence.

At first glance, the offer by a Japanese hotel to allow guests stay in a room for roughly $1 a night in exchange for livestreaming themselves in their room sounds nuts.

It should sound crazy. It should feel like a major invasion of privacy in exchange for a lower price. It should sound like a deal that everyone realizes is some sort of trick.

But it doesn’t, because it isn’t. In fact, this seems like a natural extension and combination of a number of things that already exist and have become at least somewhat normalized.

People are constantly livestreaming themselves doing any number of things: eating, playing video games, waxing poetic on any number of subjects, just doing normal stuff. And people watch.

The video game livestreaming platform Twitch has more than 1.2 million average concurrent viewers in 2019, Twitchtracker.com reports. That’s an increase from just over 1 million in 2018. An Engadget story from April 2018 reports that Facebook Live attracted 2 billion monthly users in 2018. Twitter’s Periscope platform has 9.3 million monthly livestreams and 1.9 million daily users, writes social media expert Dustin Stout.

So yeah, livestreaming can be big business. Not every stream is going to be successful, but the ones that are can bring in a lot of eyeballs.

Why is that, though? Why are so many willing to open up their lives to potentially millions of strangers? Many streamers grew up with the internet already existing and being a regular part of their lives. The digital native term is cliché, but it’s also fitting.

One of the best things about the internet is its ability to connect people from all over the world, allowing strangers to create friendships over shared interests. Platforms such as YouTube, which allowed people to create and share their own video content, formed the base on which more people became comfortable with livestreaming.

A hotel encouraging guests to livestream their stays feels like a natural extension of what people are already doing, especially if this brings travel influencers into the mix.

Will this sort of thing catch on? Maybe, at certain hotels in specific locations. Not every hotel stay lends itself to livestreaming a guestroom full time, so it might make sense to try specific aspects of a stay. The W Hotel in Washington, D.C., created a $295 roomservice package in the style of South Korean mukbang videos, in which vloggers (video bloggers) eat large amounts of food while live streaming it. Along with more food than a person should eat in one sitting, this roomservice package includes a lavalier lapel mic and a cell phone stand.

It won’t work for every hotel. It might not even work for the hotel in Japan. But it is a bit out there, which could potentially be a good way to attract attention if done carefully.

Looking at the realm of social media, livestreaming in a guestroom really isn’t that weird when you think about it. Actually, it is really weird regardless, but it’s becoming more normalized, so at this point, it kind of makes sense, too.

What do you think about livestreaming hotel stays? Will this turn into something of a trend? Where do you think it could succeed? Let me know in the comments below or reach out to me at bwroten@hotelnewsnow.com or @HNN_Bryan.

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