Airbnb Experiments With Smaller Concerts In Non-Traditional Venues — And It’s Taking Off

Airbnb Experiments With Smaller Concerts In Non-Traditional Venues -- And It's Taking Off
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Can Airbnb Concerts truly revolutionize the live concert industry?

Need to find an affordable place to stay while you’re in town?  How about the chance to attend an intimate music gig as well?  Now you see where Airbnb’s business model is heading.

Last week, the online marketplace and hospitality service rolled out Airbnb Concerts.  The online marketplace’s music service initially existed as an offshoot of its Trips platform.  The company’s previous foray into the tours market, dubbed ‘Music Experiences,’ let users experience semi-private gigs coupled with a cheap place to stay.

Airbnb Concerts will let music fans experience intimate music events in unconventional venues across the United States.  Since the launch of its ‘Music Experiences’ service on its Trips platform last year, the company’s bookings have quickly grown.  The company now offers around 100 concerts around the world per month with a relatively small audience.

The basic idea is to bring strangers together in faraway lands.  On average, 50 to 100 fans attend these prestigious, semi-private events.  Airbnb’s Head of Music, James Beshara, expects the number of venues to skyrocket to 20,000 concerts per month at the end of this year.

So, why go to a big, impersonal show with hundreds or thousands of other people, in a city you don’t know?  Airbnb thinks you’ll enjoy this more interpersonal experience.

Speaking with Billboard, Beshara said,

“It’s been really exciting to see it organically grow and take off.  I think music fans around the world are craving this type of format and intimate connection with artists.”

Beshara explained that the company’s Airbnb Concerts service has the potential to upend the live concert industry.

Five years from now, I think more people will experience music in intimate settings like this than they are experiencing in arenas, and stadiums and festivals.  That’s how big of an opportunity I think this is and hopefully, we’re a substantial part of that.

Lambasting traditional concert venue offerings, Beshara explained that Airbnb Concerts stands “in stark contrast to being at a music festival with 100,000 people and being 5,000 ft back, just staring at a big 50 ft screen.”

“That’s not a connection.  That’s not what attracted you or me to music and that’s not what attracted the artist to music.”

Several established artists have already partnered with the company’s new music service, including Vance Joy, Grace Weber, and Arizona.  Local as well as upcoming artists have also signed up for Airbnb Concerts.

In terms of pricing, tickets for Airbnb gigs cost around $20 to $35.  The company explained that artists could earn between $150 and $1,000 per show.  Similar to its past ‘Music Experiences’ model, Airbnb only charges a 20% fee for each booking.  The company vets and approves each performance prior to appearing on its website.

Airbnb Concerts is now available in 25 major cities across the globe, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, Tokyo, London, Amsterdam, Paris, and Sydney, among other locations.  By the end of this year, the company hopes to expand its service between 50 and 100 cities.

Remaining excitedly optimistic on the music service’s success, Beshara said,

“As a music lover, it’s not just a great way to experience live music.  It’s one of the best ways.”


Featured image by Airbnb

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