Over the past year, the humble magazine has undergone a resurgence as digital companies from Net-a-Porter to CNET have branched out into branded print magazines. Now, in the wake of its recent rebranding, Airbnb is launching its own travel quarterly.
Named Pineapple in honor of the colonial symbol of hospitality, Airbnb's 128-page magazine will make its official debut this Friday at the company's international conference, Airbnb Open, in San Francisco. Airbnb will distribute 18,000 copies of the first issue to hosts across the globe. In addition, a "limited number" of copies will be sold at bookstores, newsstands and boutiques in North America and Europe for $12 apiece (or 11 euros).
According Airbnb CEO Jonathan Mildenhall, Pineapple "will combine the emotional and practical sides of traveling by giving a comprehensive guide to neighborhoods and cities, as well as capturing the sense of belonging that comes from a memorable trip." Each issue will focus on three different cities, with San Francisco, London and Seoul making up the first trio. (As The New York Times pointed out, all three cities' governments have been especially supportive of the Airbnb model.)
In the winter 2014 issue, readers will find a guide to London neighborhoods straight from the locals (at least one of whom happens to own a house listed on Airbnb), a culinary tour of Seoul (penned by a pair of food writers staying at an Airbnb) and a photo essay documenting a cycling trip around the Bay Area (which, of course, included a night in an Airbnb cabin).
The launch issue is not ad-supported; when asked whether ads were in the magazine's future, an Airbnb executive told the Times that the company is currently exploring "ways of scaling this idea going forward." Airbnb's former head of communications and marketing, Christopher Lukezic, is the magazine's publisher.
The editorial side, comprised mostly of freelancers, is led by editor in chief Alex Tieghi-Walker, formerly an editor at the LVMH-owned luxury lifestyle site Nowness and contributor to magazines including Condé Nast Traveler and Wallpaper.