Once Upon a Time at Airbnb

PINEAPPLE_magazineWhen Airbnb launched its print magazine last fall, we applauded. To us, the reasons for branding out with this kind of content were self-evident and confirmed what we were seeing among other digital-first companies launching print titles.

While it’s evident to us, apparently it’s still surprising to a lot of folks, according to Fipps’s Amy Duffin.

“The launch of apartment rental website Airbnb’s print magazine in November left many wondering why the already hugely successful international brand had decided to move beyond its online roots,” she writes in Fipp.

So she asked publisher Christopher Lukezic and got some straightforward answers about the value of print to his company in this age of marketing storytelling.  For Airbnb and their Pineapple magazine, print makes absolute sense as a medium.

“This is Airbnb’s first real step in to the realm of storytelling. Our community is 20 million strong; there are so many stories to be told by members of this community. This isn’t a magazine about homes, it’s about the connections that our community makes in the environments where they live or travel. For us, print was the perfect medium to tell these stories,” says Lukezic.

“Building a loyal following of readers requires a commitment to producing high quality content that has strong editorial integrity,” Lukezic continues. “This is something a lot of brands haven’t yet mastered when they enter the realm of content, but I think that is changing rapidly.”

Asked what he would say to those who assert that “print is dead,” Lukezic calls it a “complete misnomer.”

“Print is changing, that’s for sure. The desire for physical magazines and books will always remain. Without being too precious, print is still the best medium for telling stories in words and photographs.”

We believe that too, as more and more brands look to print to expand their readership and build fresh brand awareness. Whether it’s a B2B like Skift Magazine or a B2C like The Standard Hotel, businesses are launching print magazines as a reflection of how their readers want to engage with their world.

Publishers who find that sweet spot are well on their way to a happily ever after.