The New Digital Economy – Sharing and Collaboration
The festive season is over but Christmas spirit is still in the air. We hope that you have had a joyous end to the year shared love and warmth with your family. Sharing, collaborating and helping someone in need is very human. The new digital economy reshapes some aspects of the way we go about our lives, and commercial online services, sharing and crowdfunding platforms have an impact on our day-to-day life.
A national Pew Research Centre survey amongst 4,787 American adults – a study of the scope and impact of the shared, collaborative and on-demand economy – finds that 72% of Americans have ever used shared or on-demand services. The most active categories of users include college graduates, those with relatively high household incomes and those under the age of 45. At the same time, almost a quarter of survey participants were unfamiliar with terms related to the digital economy, such as “crowdfunding”, “sharing economy” or “gig economy”.
The report also offers the examination of the three different kinds of services typical to the shared digital economy including ride-hailing apps, home-sharing platforms and crowdfunding services.
Ride-hailing services, such as Uber or Lyft, appeal heavily to younger adults with relatively high levels of income and educational attainment in urban areas. The average age of the ride-hailing app user in the US is 33. The overall attitude toward this kind of services is positive: 86% of ride-hailing users feel that these services save their time and stress and are less likely to own a car. Some 3% of the Americans use these ride-hailing apps on a daily basis.
The second type of services include home-sharing platforms. Around one-in-ten Americans have used a home-sharing site such as Airbnb or HomeAway to stay in someone else’s home for some period of time. Americans aged between 35-45 are twice as likely to use home-sharing sites as those aged 18-24, with the median age of home-sharing users in the US standing at 42. 37% of people view these services as a good option for group travelling, as well as those who don’t mind sharing an apartment with strangers.
Crowdfunding sites are probably the most rapidly emerging phenomenon in the new digital economy. Around one-in-five American adults have contributed to an online fundraising project sites such as Kickstarter or GoFundMe. The overwhelming majority of crowdfunding users (around 87%) have also contributed to a number of projects. The average amount of donation on these kinds of platforms ranges between $50 and $101.
Overall, 68% of crowdfunding donors contribute to a project to help an individual facing some kind of misfortune or hardship. 34% of crowdfunding donors have contributed to a project to fund a new product or invention. 32% have contributed to a project for a school. 30% to a project for a musician or other creative artist. 10% to a project for a new restaurant or other type of business. Men and women also take a different approach to crowdfunding campaigns: women are more likely to contribute to help those in need or support social initiatives, whereas men are more likely to fund new business ideas or inventions.
Giving away to help those in need is getting much easier to do in the digital economy age. Sharing and collaboration transforms our approach to co-living in a digital society bringing more transparency and trust to our day-to-day life.
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