Airbnb, the Digital Disruptor, Launches a Print Magazine

Posted on by Patty Odell

Airbnb is the digital disruptor to the hotel industry. Its online marketplace of short-term rentals has led to millions of hosts signing on to share their own homes, a mighty legal backlash from the hotel industry and some cities, as well as plenty of happy Airbnb guests who have booked lodging around the globe at prices far below standard hotel fees.

airbnbmag
The cover of the new airbnbmag.

Airbnb has turned itself into a powerhouse using a straight-up message—feel at home anywhere you go in the world. It delivers that message through a variety of media, including TV, video, digital, social and other means. Now, the company is shifting to a more old-fashioned media—a print magazine.

The Airbnb/Hearst partnership, titled airbnbmag, will sell for $3.99 an issue at airports, supermarkets, bookstores and retail beginning May 23 and will be supported by advertising. The publication will also be available to Airbnb hosts to share with their guests.

The content is sourced from billions of digital insights the company collects as users search far and wide for fun travel destinations and places to stay. For example, as Fortune.com explains, the popularity of searches for Cuba, were the basis for creating the inaugural cover story around the Caribbean country. Also included are articles on traveling on your taste buds, life changing trips and beach houses at every price.

“No one has billions of search data points for nearly every country in the world. That gives us a leg up,” Brian Chesky, chief executive of Airbnb Inc., told The Wall Street Journal.

One year ago, Airbnb tapped its huge host community to use their knowledge of local goings-on to enhance local marketing that it turned into a Guide Book on the latest version of its Airbnb app. And in 2015, it had launched its largest campaign to date to push its case that staying away from home can be just as comfortable as being at home, especially if you’re traveling alone. The spots, which also run on YouTube, featured a real Airbnb frequent traveler who journeys to five capitals around the world while staying with Airbnb hosts.

Related articles:

Airbnb Community-Curated Content Shapes Marketing

Airbnb Disrupts the Travel Industry and Marketing Norms

Home Away Uses Awkward, Gross Moments to Fend Off Competition

 

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