What's on your screens?
Affordable streaming options that are great for laundromats
Televisions have been a staple of laundromats as a way to help our customers pass the time. While more and more of that time waiting is spent on their own devices, providing entertainment on large screens is still a core part of the modern laundromat customer experience.
As recently as 2 years ago, laundromat owners who offered entertainment on TVs were limited to what they could get from cable and satellite TV providers. Operators were increasingly frustrated by the monthly cost or finding appropriate channels that would entertain the entirety of their diverse customer base.
But that has changed with the increasing availability of streaming services designed for retail businesses that provide entertaining content designed to help customers pass the time - often at a much lower cost for the operator than they were paying to the cable company.
The biggest downside to these services is the lack of live sports – so if that is important to your customer experience you’ll need to maintain a cable subscription or look to services like YouTube TV or FuboTV that will cost you $65 - $100 per month and may not have all the channels you are used to with your cable provider.
Two of those streaming services that are gaining popularity with retail businesses and restaurancts are Atmosphere.tv and Loop.tv. Both offer you a wide variety of ad-supported, audio-optional channels so you can choose the royalty-free content you want to match your desired customer experience AND they enable you to integrate your own promotions (aka digital signage) into their entertainment content.
As you can see from the table below, from the Entertainment perspective -- the services are pretty similar and it’s hard to differentiate between them unless there is a specific streaming channel you are looking for.
If you only care about finding the cheapest cost – then Loop.tv is the one for you. The player is free and there is no activation charge or monthly charge – in fact they have a rewards program that enables you to earn a variety of gift cards.
When you consider which service is right for you to share information and promotions via digital signs, here’s how they are different.
Loop.tv offers the ability to eliminate the entertainment and only play digital signs – making it more comparable to a digital signage solution like Yodeck.
Atmosphere.tv makes it easier to create attractive promotions with a library of templates featuring great photography and animation. And if you want to eliminate ads/promos that aren’t your own, Atmosphere.tv offers that option for an additional charge.
You can see a comparison of the key features in the table below. I’ve tried both in my laundromat and we are currently using Atmosphere.tv because our customers prefer a few if the channels. And in terms of creating my own ads, I can leverage their templates or create my own in PowerPoint and upload them to Atmosphere.tv and they take care of the conversion for me.