Shared, Collaborative and On Demand: The New Digital Economy

Shared, Collaborative and On Demand: The New Digital Economy

The sharing economy and on-demand services are weaving their way into the lives of (some) Americans, raising difficult issues around jobs, regulation and the potential emergence of a new digital divide. This report offers a detailed examination of three different services that exemplify the shared, collaborative and on-demand economy: ride-hailing apps, home-sharing platforms and crowdfunding services.

Key findings

Ride-hailing users’ attitudes toward these services are strongly positive; users are in near-universal agreement that ride-hailing saves them time and stress, and that these services offer good jobs for people who prioritize flexible working hours. Also, frequent ride-hailing users are less likely than other Americans to own a car – but also rely heavily on a range of other transit options.

Around one-in-ten Americans have used a home-sharing site such as Airbnb or HomeAway to stay in someone’s home for a period of time – and these services appeal to a relatively broad age spectrum in comparison with ride-hailing apps.

Most crowdfunding donors have made relatively modest contributions to a handful of projects. Contributions to help an individual in need – often a friend or family member – are the most common type of crowdfunding donation.

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