We’ve asked Airbnb if it can comment, although it recently acknowledged that it produced a documentary, Gay Chorus Deep South, that will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. It’s also involved in a documentary series for Apple TV+, Home. Policy and comms executive Chris Lehane added that the company is considering streaming movies and shows through both its app and other platforms, although he stressed that this was “very much in the R&D phase.”
Such an approach wouldn’t be surprising. Airbnb has been gradually expanding its role in trips, selling customers on Experiences in addition to restaurant reservations and plans for transportation. It even considered creating its own flight-booking service and acquiring Skyscanner to make that happen, a Reuters source said. This would represent the logical conclusion — Airbnb could sell you on exotic destinations and profit every step of the way.
This also echoes an increasingly familiar strategy in the tech world where companies turn to original programming to bolster their core businesses. While Airbnb isn’t likely hoping to create the next blockbuster TV show or Oscar-winning movie, it might just thrive if would-be travelers are interested in what it has to offer. It wouldn’t depend quite so heavily on rentals for its financial success.