Amazon Fire Stick: Don’t Risk Sticking Your Business

Technology is changing TV

Amazon Fire Stick, Chromecast, and Smart TVs are steadily emerging over the horizon, more so now than ever. With access to services like Netflix, Hulu, or HBO Go and devices that allow you to stream those services on your TV, cable is on its way out.

TV has come a long way since the 1920’s, and as we get closer to 2020, looking back on the history of television during the last one hundred years and seeing how far we’ve come is pretty amazing. Today, televisions are just about everywhere you go. Everywhere. And they have been for a while. That’s because TVs are a staple of technology – we use them to reach out to one another, stay informed, and keep ourselves entertained.

If you’re a business owner who caters to crowds, or often has people waiting or sitting for lengthy periods of time, then chances are you’ve got a TV within sight for the exact reasons just listed above. Which is great, the comfort of your customers is key – but in this rapidly advancing world of technology, it’s easy to get carried away.

Between all the technology available to business owners coupled with the drive to maintain customer satisfaction, the ease of putting something up like Netflix powered by an Amazon Fire Stick is second nature. So why wouldn’t you do it? The answer is simple. Because it’s illegal.

NETFLIX TERMS:

The Netflix service and any content viewed through our service are for your personal and non-commercial use only. During your Netflix membership, we grant you a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable, license to access the Netflix service and view Netflix content through the service. Except for the foregoing limited license, no right, title or interest shall be transferred to you. You agree not to use the service for public performances.

Using those services with a “set it and forget it” mentality without regard for the licensing terms and conditions can be dangerous for your business. The people who enforce the rules on media licenses take this very seriously. For more information regarding why you should think twice about setting up services like that in your business, check out this article on using Netflix in your business.

Personal use is different than business use

In the end, the licensing rights tied with those services only applies to personal use. Setting them up in your business is a no-go. But if you think about it, TVs and plug-ins like Fire Stick and Chromecast were designed with the home setting in mind, not business settings anyway.

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So you can’t use a Fire Stick in Your business to deliver any real TV content. Up until recently, this left you with only one real choice: cable TV. And while it’s legal to run cable in a business setting, cable TV isn’t designed for the benefit of your customers and your business. It’s Relevant TV is.

Custom TV from It’s Relevant

It’s Relevant TV bridges the gaps between TV, customer satisfaction, and business messaging. The service provides businesses with content and control that makes for a better TV experience all the way around. IRTV creates a custom TV network for each business with access to a vast library of original content divided into a number of categories you can pick and choose from. On top of the TV content with more meaningful controls, your business also gets room to advertise additional services, reach out to customers, and share your latest social media posts. It’s Relevant TV turns your television into a tool for your business.

Using Netflix & DVDs in Your Business: Don’t Put Yourself at Risk

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There it is – did you read it? You probably saw it, but did you really read what it says? Me neither. At least not after years and years of seeing it, or a similar message at the beginning of every movie I’ve ever watched.

Well, in case you still haven’t read it, it says:

“Federal law provides severe civil and criminal penalties for the unauthorized reproduction, distribution or exhibition of copyrighted motion pictures, video tapes, or video disc.”

So what does this mean exactly? In short, it means that if you own something like a DVD of a movie, or a CD, you can’t legally burn copies of that disc and sell them to people – or even hand them out for free. Nor are you allowed to show that movie or play that album for the general public without the expressed consent to do so.

You might be wondering where the line is drawn, and it’s a fair question. Just like when you get a driver’s license that allows you to drive a car, when you buy anything like a DVD, you’re buying the license to watch or listen to that media privately.

Now before you go taking a hammer to your home theater, it’s important to note that while those licenses are private, it doesn’t exclude friends and family from enjoying them as well – the means to actually traffic and enforce that would simply be ridiculous. So long as your viewing is limited to personal and non-commercial use, you’re not in violation of the Terms & Conditions.

Is it legal for me to show Netflix in my business?

In short: No.
But this is an easy question to clarify by looking at Netflix’s terms of service.:

“The Netflix service and any content viewed through our service are for your personal and non-commercial use only. During your Netflix membership, we grant you a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable, license to access the Netflix service and view Netflix content through the service. Except for the foregoing limited license, no right, title or interest shall be transferred to you. You agree not to use the service for public performances.”

This is a prime example of how companies lay out licensing agreements. Does this mean you can’t show Finding Nemo in your waiting room? Unfortunately, you can’t. The difference between throwing the movie into your DVD player at home, and the TV at your office – is that one is at home (personal), and the other is a business (public). It’s the same reason you can’t buy a Taylor Swift CD and play her songs outside your store to attract customers. You can try, but it’s illegal, and it’s not good when you get caught. Companies take this sort of thing very seriously.

But were DVDs or Netflix a good idea in the first place?

When your visitors are at your location do they really want to watch a movie? Not really. They’re there for a reason and don’t want to be around long. People want to watch the TV as a distraction while they wait, but can’t be invested in a long-form program or movie.

The average time spent in a waiting room varies from business to business. Dentist offices come in at 5 to 10 minutes, whereas you could be waiting up to 20 minutes at a doctor’s office. Even if you could play the movies you wanted, a typical feature-length flick usually runs over or just under two hours. So unless you’re waiting over an hour for your car to be serviced, you’d only catch 1/12th or 1/6th of the movie – starting from who-knows-where.

The sort of programming that runs in a lobby should compliment the length of time people are going to be waiting there, with the notion that they’re not going to be fully invested in whatever’s on the screen.

So what can you play instead?

It’s Relevant TV features a network of original content spanning across a vast selection of categories. And unlike a DVD or Netflix, all of the content is licensed for public display. From kid’s entertainment to the national news, the programs are on average two and a half minutes long – long enough to hold someone’s attention in a waiting room and feel as though they left entertained or informed.