Marriott International US home rental platform
The world’s biggest hotel operator, Marriott International, announced that it’s going to offer accommodation in 2,000 high end homes in 100 markets across the US, Europe and Latin America from next week.
This obviously signals a move to compete at Airbnb’s top end and marks one of the first major hotel companies to create a US home-rental platform. Guests will be able to book via the Marriott website whilst earning and spending points on other brands within the group.
Interestingly enough, Airbnb also announced that it was entering into a deal with property developer RXR to convert ten floors of the Rockefeller Centre in New York into “high end apartment-style suites”. Customers will book using Airbnb’s platform.
I think that it’s interesting to see both groups targeting the same kind of accommodation, but I have to say that if a downturn is coming I’d rather have exposure to Airbnb which doesn’t own most of its properties and is therefore less exposed to weakening real estate prices.
The second thing I wanted to mention today was Spotify hitting the 100m paying subscriber mark.
It’s come a long way since it started just over ten years ago and competition is intensifying from the likes of Amazon, Apple, YouTube and Tidal.
The company’s not staying still, either, as it signed a deal last month with Samsung to pre-install the app on its devices and it’s also been buying up podcast firms like Parcast, Gimlet and Anchor because Spotify’s founder Daniel Ek believes that, in future, up to 20% of all listening on Spotify will be non-music content.
It also launched in India recently and has big hopes for the future although this has been tarnished at least for the short term because negotiations have failed with India’s oldest record label, meaning that 120,000 songs from Indian artists and Bollywood film soundtracks will be pulled from the platform.