The Strategist

Why does Airbnb want to produce TV shows and movies?

04/25/2019 - 12:46

Airbnb is trying to stand out and increase number of customers on the eve of the company’s IPO scheduled for 2020. To do this, this rental service is ready to launch a creative studio.

Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine
Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine
Airbnb intends to expand its business and launch several TV shows of its own production, reports Reuters with reference to four sources familiar with the company's plans.

The main supporter of this idea is the company’s CEO, Brian Chesky. According to Reuters sources, he believes that creating your own creative content is very important for a brand, even if it is not always economically beneficial. Chesky wants to establish a studio based on Airbnb. The mood is: “Let's make a TV show, let's release films, because we want to be everything related to travel,” says one of the agency's interlocutors. Other claims that Chesky loves "big, catchy things."

Airbnb has been pondering over production or licensing mini-series or travel documentaries for at least the past three years, Reuters notes. The company considered both attracting third-party studios and creating its own production group.

According to Reuters, Airbnb has already participated in creation of several products. In particular, the company was working on a TV show to release it on the new Apple streaming platform. The show will be dedicated to unusual houses that can be rented on Airbnb, their guests and owners.

In addition, the service said last week that it produced a Gay Chorus Deep South documentary about a San Francisco gay choir tour in the southern United States. The premiere will be held at the Tribebek International Film Festival in New York next week. Aibnb funded the project, Reuters said in the company.

Airbnb plans to distribute its content both through an application (like other platforms, such as Netflix or preparing to launch Apple TV + and Disney +), and through other channels, Chris Lehane, director of service policy and communications, told Reuters. According to him, the company is still at the stage of research and development. “We are not limiting ourselves. This may be audio content. It could be something tangible,” Lehane said, but did not specify what he meant. “The more content you release, the more people you attract to the platform,” the director added.

According to Reuters, attracting an audience is extremely important for the service on the eve of the IPO, which is scheduled for 2020. In addition, Airbnb needs to stand out among the competitors, especially and Expedia. In March, Forbes estimated the company's capitalization at $ 31 billion.