Hearst and Airbnb unveiled details about their new magazine today. Airbnbmag, which will be on newsstands on May 23, has been in the works for over a year — WWD first reported in 2015 that the publisher and the home- and apartment-renting start-up were in talks about partnering on print product to tap into the potentially lucrative market for travel-related advertising.
“Travelers around the world are constantly looking for new inspiration and insight — whether to uncover hidden gems and discover unique destinations or plan for their next trip,” Airbnb cofounder and chief executive officer Brian Chesky said. “Our community will provide the perfect lens for readers of Airbnbmag to discover the world, learn about new neighborhoods and hear great stories.”
For content, the magazine will draw on Airbnb’s vast trove of data from its user base to find trends and insights. The debut issue of the magazine, which will retail for $3.99, will include stories about hip travel spots such as Cuba, Austin, Tex., and Savannah, Ga.
“Airbnb is changing the way we travel, the way we connect and the way we see the world,” Hearst chief content officer Joanna Coles said. “People want to be adventurers, explorers and locals, not tourists. Airbnb is at the leading edge of travel and Airbnbmag is the future of travel media.”
Despite the start-up nature and hotel industry disruption of Airbnb, which was recently valued at $31 billion, some of the feature sections sound like fairly standard travel magazine staples such as “The Local,” meant to give an insider look into food, shopping and dining, “Roam,” which will spotlight destinations to inspire readers to plan new trips and “Belong,” stories of real life adventure.
But other content sounds more specifically tailored to Airbnb’s audience. “Stay,” a section that will highlight Airbnb properties and provide tips on making someone else’s home feel more homelike, and a column called “Not Yet Trending” will use Airbnb data to pinpoint a location that has recently spiked in popularity.
Writers for the first issue include Mark Bittman, the cookbook author and former New York Times food columnist, who contributed a piece on kitchen essentials to bring when staying at an Airbnb; Burning Man board member Chip Conley, who wrote about — what else? — summer music festivals, and Jeff Wilser, author of a book about Alexander Hamilton, wrote about the most popular of founding father’s New York. Additionally, astronaut Mark Kelly and Space X founder Elon Musk discuss space travel, and HBO’s “Insecure” actress and creator Issa Rae, talks about her travel inspiration.
A second issue is slated for September.