Best Streaming Service for Airbnb

The Best Streaming Service for Airbnb? Is Cable Necessary?

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Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO, Showtime, and many more – the list of streaming media services is seemingly endless now. As these services grow, the idea of cable television seems more and more antiquated. Millennials are cutting the cord, disconnecting from the expensive service that had been a household staple until now. Is cable still necessary or is it ideal to only set up streaming services for Airbnb rentals? Which is the best streaming device for your Airbnb?

Know Your Guests

Demographics are very important when it comes to making the tough decision of cutting cable out of your Airbnb listing. When it comes to cord-cutting, one such demographic is more important than all the others.

That demographic is age.

Do you host a lot of younger guests? To avoid discrimination, Airbnb doesn’t tell hosts a guest’s age, but most hosts can infer it based on profile photos and communication.

Millennials make up an overwhelming majority of Airbnb’s user base, so it is likely they will be frequenting your listing much more than baby boomers. Of course this depends on your listing’s location.

If your guests are almost exclusively 20 and 30-somethings, it’s safe to say you can probably drop your cable subscription without looking back.

Respecting our elders

With our listings in a peaceful mountain town, about 10-20% of our reservations are made by people in their 40s and 50s. In our experience, these guests expect cable. They typically want the ability to channel surf or they can’t be bothered to learn streaming apps

We know they use it because they will message or call us for a walkthrough of how to navigate our smart TV to get to the cable box input.

Yes, it’s in our welcome binder. No, they don’t read it.

We begrudgingly keep the expensive cable box in our listings for these situations, but is it worth the cost?

Save Your Ratings- You Might Need Cable in an Airbnb

Most hosts tend to receive the most subpar ratings from older guests, but cutting cable in an Airbnb would not deter them from booking.

Most guests, especially older ones, do not look at the amenities list. We constantly have guests arrive at the rustic cabins asking how to turn on the A/C that is not listed as an amenity in our cabins.

They wouldn’t realize we don’t offer cable in an Airbnb until it was far too late. And we fully believe they would leave terrible reviews as a result of their own lack of diligence. Older generations are used to staying in hotels, which always offer basic cable at a minimum.

Be sure to consider all of these factors before you pull the plug!

What Is the Best Streaming Service for Airbnb?

With so many options, it can be daunting to pick which streaming service is best for your Airbnb. You don’t have to pick just one, but as you add more and more apps you will quickly increase your monthly costs.

While we prefer Netflix at home, we find that Amazon Prime Video is the best option for vacation rentals because it allows for a huge selection of streaming content and Prime Video offers the ability for guests to rent movies or shows that aren’t available for free. You probably already have an Amazon Prime subscription, it is pretty much essential as an Airbnb host.

We also offer Netflix because we find that it is relatively inexpensive and we can cover 5 screens at a time with a single subscription! This really contributes to improving our Airbnb value ratings.

If we did decide to get rid of our cable subscription, we would probably consider offering Hulu because of its huge selection of cable TV shows available.

We find that these two are the best streaming services for our Airbnbs to adequately satisfy most guests’ entertainment desires while not breaking the bank. Often times guests will have their own subscriptions and our smart TV allows them to login to any app they desire.

Sometimes guests will ask what the HBO NOW login is. We simply tell them that we only provide Netflix and that’s all we advertised. It usually isn’t an issue for them.

What Is the Best Streaming Device for Your Airbnb?

Hands down, the best streaming device for Airbnb is the one that is built-in to your smart TV. Don’t have a smart TV? If you have no plans on upgrading anytime soon, that’s okay.

All the Streaming Services In One

We really love the Roku platform because it offers a ton of apps and just about every best streaming service for Airbnb imaginable. All of our smart TVs have Roku included, but if yours doesn’t, we recommend the Roku Ultra Streaming Media Player. Roku can also integrate with Alexa to add some very cool automation to your listing.

Get Smart

In addition to streaming services for Airbnb, you should also consider adding other smart home devices for Airbnb to your listing! These devices, as well as vacation rental management software, can be a huge help in running your vacation rental remotely.

About the Author Kevin Kelsey

Originally from Connecticut, Kevin moved to Los Angeles in 2013 and worked his way up to becoming an editor on award-winning reality TV shows. Kevin owns 4 short term rentals in Southern California and founded AirHost Academy to help other hosts improve their business.