Brands that are successful in the sharing economy space and exploring ways to strengthen their communities and tell their stories.
Uber recently launched ‘Arriving Now’ – an in-car magazine for Uber rides in New York. The first issue of Arriving Now coincided with Fashion Week New York in September, and is packed with “pro tips, hotspots, and exclusive details about upcoming promotions.”
Similarly, Airbnb, rolled out the first issue of its magazine Pineapple last winter. Pineapple is sold in bookstores and retailers across North America and Europe, and was made available to Airbnb hosts in the 30,000 cities and 192 countries where it operates.
Both companies have a strong user base. The exploration of print-magazines seems to be a way to further strengthen their USPs (especially in the case of Uber which has re-coded the taxi experience), and to create a platform for rich stories (in the case of Airbnb). And, as some point out – to experiment with an additional source of revenue.
The primary audience for the magazine is our community around the world who want to experience cities in new ways. It gets under the skin of cities in a way that people really desire these days.
The potential benefits of introducing a magazine are exciting. The concept has been around in the airline industry for both. It’s a natural next step for Uber and Airbnb, to help their communities explore their own city or cities they are traveling to. And it gives brands an avenue to reach Uber and Airbnb’s savvy much-coveted customer base.
While this is Uber’s first ever in-car magazines for customers, it isn’t the first time the company has ventured into content publishing. In March this year, Uber rolled out Momentum – a quarterly magazine for its drivers. An employee communication of sorts, Momentum contains articles on health & wellness, information about the new Uber-city Austin, as well as tips from a seasoned Uber driver.
But’s worth noting – that Airbnb hasn’t launched a second edition yet. This could imply the experiment didn’t meet expectations – especially considering Airbnb’s Pineapple was launched a year ago. It will be interesting to see how Arriving Now pans out for Uber.
This post is a part of our People’s Insights monthly brief for August & September, Innovation without Boundaries.