Airbnb is looking to book a place in the streaming media business. The company best known for its controversial marketplace of on-demand accommodations is now plotting a foray into becoming a production studio, according to a report in Reuters.
Tons of companies in Silicon Valley have taken to producing marketing features and print magazines as an exercise in branding, but Airbnb is reportedly looking to take this a step further.
The company already has a glossy magazine published by Hearst, and according to the Reuters report, that effort will be central to the company’s media plans going forward.
Video seems to be the next playground for big companies flush with cash that want to differentiate themselves in the market. Apple has a streaming service it intends to launch, Amazon already does, and Walmart has one, too.
With its built-in user base of 500 million travelers, the company told Reuters that it already has partners that want to partner on productions.
Airbnb has already made one series for Apple. It’s a documentary series called “Home” that features quirky homes from around the world and the owners that built them. It’s also got another documentary production in the works, “Gay Chorus Deep South,” which records the travels of San Francisco’s Gay Men’s Chorus as it takes a trip through the “Deep South,” Reuters reported.
“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.”
If nothing else, the Airbnb shows could raise the visibility of the service among a new audience that’s reluctant to book time in strangers’ homes.