About a year ago there were hints in the air that Airbnb was partnering with Hearst on a new print magazine for the travel brand, and now the charter issue has been unveiled at an Airbnb host event in Los Angeles.
We were thrilled when the company, taking what they called their “first real steps in storytelling,” launched Pineapple back in 2014. From those initial steps, the brand has now solidified print as part of their overall content marketing strategy.
“Airbnb Magazine is the fruit of a partnership with Hearst’s chief content officer Joanna Coles, who has been working on the venture for the past 18 months,” writes John Glenday in The Drum. Speaking to an audience of Airbnb hosts, Coles said “What it does, unlike any other magazine out there, is that it taps into the expertise of you guys. Everything in it is sourced from hosts and regular travelers.”
The coffee table title features content from hosts, and also serves as an in-depth travel guide and a vehicle to support Airbnb’s new Trips holiday booking service.
“Yes, it’s meant to be entertaining, aspirational, and informative but, most of all, it’s supposed to help Airbnb and its host community, sell the actual experiences it showcases in its pages. Airbnb’s decision to work with an established publisher of consumer magazines such as Hearst is a clear sign that it’s taking a somewhat more mainstream approach to marketing its new Trips and Places product,” writes Deanna Ting in Skift.
“And although it might be argued that the majority of Airbnb users, hosts and guests alike, are more likely to turn to digital platforms, especially social media, for their travel information and inspiration, it’s refreshing to see Airbnb pursuing this more old-school approach to content marketing through print,” Ting continues.
Much like the in-flight magazines of the airline industry, Airbnb Magazine serves as an in-room title for hosts, offering an expanded travel experience without leaving their brand. It’s a great vision for the digital company and should do well considering the solid backing of the publishing pros at Hearst. We hope to see it in a room near us soon!