Airbnb has achieved strong growth since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic – but data suggests listings on the site have a shelf life.
Second quarter 2023 financial results for Airbnb include revenue of $2.5 billion – which represents 18% year-on-year growth. Net income was $650 million, while free cash flow reached $900 million, growing 13% year-on-year.
Airbnb said it had focused on making hosting mainstream by raising awareness and making it easier to use its tools. The result? More active listings than in any previous quarter in the company’s history at more than 7 million.
Interestingly, Airbnb said several initiatives had been implemented in increasing affordability, which had led to hosts lowering their prices. Great for guests – but perhaps hosts are being forced to drop their nightly rates due to the number of listings.
In relation to strategic priorities, the Airbnb press release included this: “We’ve spent the last few years perfecting our core services. Today, it’s strong and more profitable than ever. But we’re not stopping there. We have some big ideas for where to take Airbnb next, and we’re building the foundational capabilities for new products and services that we plan to launch in the years to come.”
One idea might involve keeping hosts on the site for longer. A graph released by data experts AirDNA in November 2022 suggests listings on Airbnb have an average shelf life. Overall growth in listings remains strong – but has dipped a little since summer 2022. And if you look at the graph, listings based on the year they appeared mostly drop over time. For example, at one point, the 2017 cohort featured more than a million listings but in September 2022, that had dropped to around 300,000.
The question is, where are these listings heading? Are the properties being sold or used for long-term rental? Have they owners moved them to different platforms? Or are more experienced hosts switching to direct bookings?