Airbnb wants to start competing with hotels with a new premium service

airbnb premium aquarium de paris shark 009
The Shark Aquarium/Airbnb
Airbnb has always been known as the hotel alternative, but now, it seems as though the short-term rental service wants to get into direct competition with the giants of the hospitality industry. Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported that the San Francisco-based company is “close to launching a new service that will match guests with quality-inspected home and apartment rentals.”

According to Bloomberg, the new product offering would be geared toward more affluent guests — or at least, those willing to pay more. While Airbnb has seen plenty of adoption among younger travelers who are happy to give up a few amenities for the promise of inexpensive lodging, the service also wants to appeal to folks who are more accustomed to fancier hotels.

Apparently, this appeal will begin with a pilot program set to begin any day now. A select group of hosts has reportedly been contacted to take part in the trial and Airbnb is said to be sending inspectors into chosen properties to make sure that they satisfy a rigorous list of quality checkpoints. If the inspection goes well and the home is determined satisfactory (or really, exceptional), the hosts would be eligible for a special featured section of Airbnb’s website and mobile app.

While Airbnb certainly emphasizes the open community nature of its platform, it is also now making a more concerted effort to offer a premium service. Bloomberg reports this new initiative is known internally as “Select,” but an official public-facing name has not yet been agreed upon. That said, Bloomberg reports this new section could be ready to roll by the end of the year. We reached out to Airbnb for comment and will update this piece with any new information.

Bloomberg’s sources note that “offering a premium selection of rentals may help Airbnb lure older and wealthier travelers, who’ve been hesitant to book on the home-sharing platform because they believe it’s less polished than a luxury hotel room.” Considering that Airbnb gets a cut of all bookings, the more expensive the properties are, the better.

Outdoors

For $5,000, Airbnb will take you around the world in 80 days. Airfare included

Airbnb's new Adventures allow travelers can book a mix of accommodations, food, and experiences in what Airbnb calls "bucket list" worthy trips, including a round-the-world trip for just $5,000
Movies & TV

Prime-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite TV series currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Home Theater

New TV? Here's where to go to watch the best 4K content available

Searching for content for your new 4K UHD TV? Look no further. We have every major source of the best 4K content, along with the cost, hardware requirements, and features that make each service worth a look.
Music

Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which service is the streaming king?

Apple Music is giving Spotify a run for its money, but which service is best for you? In our Apple Music vs. Spotify showdown, we compare and contrast all we know about the two streaming music services.
How-To

You can delete Snapchat messages in a snap with these simple tips

If you've ever sent a message to someone and wish you could delete it, Snapchat has a feature you'll like. Yes, it lets you delete messages you've already sent. There are some limitations, though. Here's how to delete Snapchat messages.
Mobile

T-Mobile and Sprint may sell $6 billion in assets to win merger approval

T-Mobile and Sprint are getting closer to merging. After a few failed attempts, the two companies announced their merger at the start of 2018. The new T-Mobile could be better positioned to take on the likes of Verizon and AT&T.
Mobile

Report: Samsung will launch the Galaxy Note 10 on August 7 in New York

According to a new report, Samsung will launch the Galaxy Note 10 at an event on August 7 in New York City. The news lines up with last year's event, which took place on August 9, and was also in New York.
Mobile

Google may speed up the rollout of RCS Chat by taking over for carriers

What is RCS messaging? It's the successor to today's text messaging. It offers features like real-time audio, read receipts, and encryption, but adoption so far has been slow. Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 may launch on August 7, according to report

The Samsung Galaxy S10 range was only just revealed, but Samsung is already working on the next big release. Not much is known about the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 just yet, but we do have a few details.
Deals

Apple drops price cuts on refurbished MacBooks, iPads, and iPhones

Apple's online storefront has some decent discounts if you know where to look. Assuming you're okay with buying refurbished, Apple has some pretty solid savings on iPads, MacBooks, Mac Minis, iPhones, Apple Watches, and more.
Deals

Apple offers big discounts on refurbished iPad Mini 4 and iPad Pro 10.5-inch

Apple is clearing out some of its stock of refurbished iPads, offering discounts of up to $180 off various models. You can buy these with confidence: they include a new battery, outer shell, and the same one-year warranty as a brand-new…
Deals

Best smartphone deals for June 2019: iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, and LG

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $900.
Deals

Need a new tablet? Here are the best Apple iPad deals for June 2019

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for June 2019.
Deals

Stay fit and save cash with our top 10 affordable Fitbit alternatives

As much as we love Fitbits, they're rather expensive. If all you want is a simple activity tracker, however, then check out these great cheap Fitbit alternatives. With offerings from brands like Garmin, you don't need to pay full price.