Different types of business models related to platform economy, by projectpluseu.

One of the first tasks carried out in the PLUS project, (lead by Dimmons — UOC Team) has been to investigate and articulate the different types of business models related to the platforms in terms of legal structures, ownership, governance, data and technological policies, growth model and social and economic impact.

The methodology is based on the statistical analysis of a sample of sixty cases present in the seven cities of PLUS project: Barcelona, Berlin, Bologna, Lisbon, London Paris and Tallinn through the “Star of Democratic Qualities of the Platform Economy”. In contrast to previous work, this research is focused on the four PLUS main areas (Networked hospitality business, Taxi services, Urban food delivery and On-demand home services and care) and has an international scope.

The results show that Platform Economy as a diverse and dynamic field. In light of this, the aim of this report is more related to mapping a plural ‘galaxy’ than drafting a clear line of delimitation as to what each model of the Platform Economy is, and what it is not. Each of the cases studied results from varied combinations of elements rather than a few established boundaries or formulas.

The conclusions show that different business models in the Platform Economy coexist. Moreover, from the more extractivist models to the more cooperative ones, the governance of the platform plays a major role in their characterisation. The analysis also shows that as the nature of the Platform Economy business models respond to a constantly changing environment, so too does the different labour models of platforms. It then becomes interesting to analyse what implications this has on the juridical recognition and working conditions of platform workers. At the same time, the results of this investigation highlight the interconnection among governance, economic model and data and technological policies. In this regard, alternative platforms based on digital commons and cooperativistic values are the most democratic.

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For more details, please contact:

Mariadele Di Blasio (mariadele.diblasio2@unibo.it), PLUS Project Coordination. University of Bologna.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 822638.The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsi­ble for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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