Having already revolutionized the travel and home rental market, Airbnb, the Silicon Valley accommodation company recently valued at $30 billion, is now tentatively making moves to enter the music space.
Officially launching today, Airbnb is rolling out a bespoke program of "Music Experiences," including exclusive access to sold out shows and intimate live performances, in 13 cities around the world. London, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Barcelona, Nairobi, Cape Town, Detroit, Miami, Paris, Havana, Tokyo, Florence and Seoul are the first cities where travelers can sign up for the experiences -- at a price -- with more expected to follow.
"Music is an incredible way to bring people together," said Airbnb's CEO Brian Chesky in a statement. "Through the platform, we're able to support up-and-coming and local artists by connecting people to their events and bringing their music to even more fans around the world." Chesky also promised customers access to "special pop-up gigs, underground music sessions" and the chance to meet "local artists and performers."
The Music Experiences offering is part of Airbnb's global Trips platform, which debuted last fall and saw the business grow beyond simply accommodation by providing travelers a range of bookable local events and insider recommendations in popular tourist destinations. Trips initially launched in 12 global cities, with plans for around 40 more to be added by the end of this year.
London-based live music brand Sofar Sounds is partnering with Airbnb on its inaugural music offering, with around 100 specially-tailored music-related experiences and live shows currently listed on the platform.
Notable highlights include Motor City Rocks, a two-day-long insider's guide to Detroit's music scene led by guitarist Kenny Olson, who's previously played with Kid Rock, Aerosmith, Metallica and Paul Rodgers (priced around $380); Grime Scout, a three-day immersion in London's underground music scene (approx. $230); and the chance to go vinyl hunting in Tokyo and record your own soundtrack with a local producer (approx. $200).
"Sofar Sounds, like Airbnb, is all about global community; the magic that happens when people come together around the universal things that really matter, like music," said Rafe Offer, co-founder of Sofar Sounds, which has staged shows by Bastille, Hozier, James Bay, George Ezra, Leon Bridges and Karen O, among others, since launching in 2010. "We're excited to welcome Airbnb travelers into that community, allowing them to discover and get closer to the best music experiences that cities have to offer, every night."
Performing at the East London launch of the Music Experiences program was multiple Brit-winning singer Emeli Sandé and British indie pop band Clean Cut Kid.