The sharing economy - what is it worth?

The sharing economy, which continues to grow, is attracting political debate in the US.

As reported here earlier this year, PWC is one business that has set out to estimate the potential economic value of the sharing economy (it arrived at a global worth of $335billion by 2025). Now a number of other organisations have been writing about the sharing economy and other new business models that have emerged out of digital technology.

Digital technology has facilitated the development and success of a number of new business models.  Online review sites, location based GPS and digital background checks have all encouraged the growth of peer-to-peer sharing/business models.

According to a new report by ING, the European sharing economy will double over the next twelve months.  Turkey, Spain and the UK are leading the move into the sharing economy in Europe. Cars and holiday accommodation are the most frequently shared items.  Sharers are most likely to be under 35 years old and are benefitting on average by €2,500 per year.

Disrupted business models

We’ve explored disruption on this blog recently using Steven Sinofsky's model of disruption as an insight into the future of book publishing.  Sinofsky’s fourth stage of disruption describes 'complete re-imagination' of a sector – the type of disruption created and harnessed by such businesses as AirBnB or Uber.  Disruption can also come in the shape of unexpected competitors.  In the UK Amazon has announced its intention of moving into the financial services sector by offering loans to small businesses.

Is the sharing economy all good?

But what are the downsides of all this sharing?  This article in Time Magazine acknowledges the benefits of the sharing economy, but also refers to articles published in Washington Monthly that suggest that Millennials embrace sharing as much out of economic necessity created by a lack of high quality jobs as for any other reasons. High numbers of millennials are taking on temporary roles that form part of the gig economy and embracing sharing as a way to save – or make – money.

The sharing economy is also attracting political debate ahead of the next Presidential election with the Democratic Party reported as being uncertain of its attitude to some aspects of the sharing economy.

Addition source: ITProPortal.