Airbnb, the home rental company that connects travelers with apartments is planning to start its own video streaming service. There have been talks about the company’s intentions of creating mini-series and documentaries about travel and shows featuring Airbnb hosts and guests for marketing purposes since some time now. The company has already worked on a show called “Home” which will be available to stream on Apple TV. The executives at Airbnb are hopeful that original video content, through its own Airbnb video streaming service will boost its brand image and show it in a good light in the eyes of people who are apprehensive about staying at a stranger’s place while traveling.
“We’re very much in the R&D phase here. It’s not just limited to video. It could be audible. It could be physical,” Airbnb spokesperson Chris Lehane, told Reuters. “The more we put content out there, the more you’re going to bring people to the platform,” he added. The room-booking platform is not just used by nomads. Last year, the company reported that bookings through Airbnb Work tripled. Valued at nearly $30 billion, the company is set to launch its IPO next year.
However, this is not Airbnb’s first step into the media landscape. The company has previously collaborated with global publisher Hearst and created the Airbnb magazine. Content, both written and video has proved to a lucrative marketing tactic. Small and goliaths alike, have invested in content. Apple TV Plus was recently launched and Disney Plus is expected to launch in the coming months. Hence, its own Airbnb video streaming service seems like the next step in its endeavor of being an end-to-end travel platform.
Airbnb wants to distinguish itself from other booking platforms like Expedia. It has extended its features beyond just booking. It added restaurant reservations features and launched the trips initiative that let Airbnb hosts offer experiences like cooking classes and tour guides. It wants to be referred to as a lifestyle brand. Considering the amount of digital content that people consume daily, offering original content to woo people to travel more and use Airbnb when they do, seems like a good step.