Airbnb To Launch Magazine

One of the world’s most iconic tech startups is reaching for a traditional medium as it seeks to build brand awareness and loyalty. Over the weekend, Airbnb, the room-sharing app that allows homeowners and renters to host paying guests, announced plans to launch a new custom publication called Airbnb Magazine.

Previewed by Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky at the company’s Open conference in Los Angeles, the magazine is being produced in collaboration with Hearst Magazines. The project is spearheaded by Hearst chief creative officer Joanna Coles.

The magazine will feature stories from Airbnb hosts and travelers, focusing on different cities around the world.

The first 28-page issue focuses on Los Angeles, and includes ads from Airbnb Open conference partners Delta Air Lines, American Express, and the film "La La Land."

Airbnb Magazine launched with one issue distributed immediately and will continue with two annual full-size issues next year. The magazine will be distributed to hosts, as well as other travel-related venues.



This is actually Airbnb’s second foray into print.

The company previously took a stab at publishing with Pineapple, a special-issue publication that offered longer-form essays and features focused on a few big cities.

The launch of the new magazine comes amid Airbnb’s ongoing efforts to placate regulators and activists concerned over the company’s unpaid taxes and its alleged impacts on cities, including rising house prices and housing shortages.

Also over the weekend, Airbnb revealed it is in the process of negotiating tax agreements with 700 additional cities around the world, which would allow the app to continue functioning in return for paying hotel taxes to city government. The company already has about 200 such agreements around the world.

In late October, Airbnb suffered a major setback when New York State banned short-term rentals of less than 30 days, but vowed to appeal the law.

Airbnb also introduced a new product, “Trips,” that aims to provide travelers with fuller experiences by allowing them to hire guides and arrange tours,  thus promising to contribute more money to local tourist economies as well.

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