How will collaborative consumption change the world: Airbnb, Uber. Who’s next?
The outcome of sharing economy is inevitable challenges traditional market faces with the emergence of collaborative consumption. For example, Uber, a service that finds you a driver, has already caused taxi drivers’ mass protests in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and London. The idea of such services — to share what you have with other people and get paid for it — alters our understanding of the contemporary economy.
The conception of owning things itself is not relevant anymore
Numerous research has demonstrated that the generation of so known “millennials”, people, who are around 30–35 now, rarely buys houses, even more rarely — cars. As a matter of fact, they never buy something expensive — except for Apple products, for sure.
These people are quite often called “the generation of renters”. The contemporary young have reconsidered the concept of success. If before a successful person owned a private house and a car, now success is more linked with the investments into experience and impressions: traveling, extreme sports, startups.
Young people intentionally abandon the idea of buying real property and even furniture, they would rather rent it. The idea is that people do not want wealth and stable status anymore, but a flexible schedule and financial as well as geographical independence instead.
By 2008–2009 crisis, we had a lot of stuff that had become dusty because it had been kept in our attics and garages for too long: bikes and household appliances, gadgets and dresses, cars and houses — once we paid a fortune for these things and now they are just kept for nothing.
And just after two years, in 2011, “Time” magazine included sharing economy in the list of top ten ideas that will revolutionize the system of consumption.
Economy of trust
“The allure of the collaborative consumption model is its financial stability based on human relationships, generosity and trust” — Jonathan Gillton, the co-founder and executive manager of Roost service, believes. The Roost service enables people to share parking spaces and places to keep their belongings.
Some spare square meters of the road by your house can be turned into a source of income if you offer it on Parking Panda. DogVacay gives you the chance to make a penthouse apartment for a dog from the spare room where nobody lives. Are you a passionate adventurer, but recently you had a baby? You can rent your tent for $10 per day using the Rentoid service. Is there an out-of-use drill in your garage? Get 10$ more on SnapGoods. With the Liquid service, you will earn 20$ more, just offer your old bike to the tourists who come to your country.
Let’s meet… without the agent
During last four years at least 100 private companies, offering owners to make a profit of the property they possess without the need of extra payment, have been set up. Yet Uber and Airbnb have brought consumption to a brand new level. These innovative companies have offered reasonably priced solutions for consumers who save as well as unique sources of income for people who want to earn more or are looking for a flexible work schedule. Their commission is: Uber — 20%, Airbnb — 6–12%, depending on the cost of the order.
Until the very last moment, private taxi companies had a monopoly in a transportation industry. Yet there are hundreds and hundreds of ordinary drivers, who go the same way as you do and who can pick you up and drive for a lower price. Why not? Uber helped a lot of people transform their personal vehicles from a financial burden into a source of income.
Everyone who has a car can download Uber, get registered and collect. The product is a high-quality drive, the passenger pays the driver directly. Since the emerge of the application, taxi drivers have been leaving private firms and have started to work on their own.
Why bother buying a house in a picturesque location if a place to spend your vacation in can be easily found on Airbnb? There is no need for a buying an estate overseas renter to overpay. The site offers a platform that helps establish a contact between the host and the guest, so the guest pays the host directly.
Airbnb and Uber provide access to estates and cars. The fact that these companies faced with resistance and pressure of those, who are used to making hay of licensing, does not surprise at all. Municipalities have been hectically creating the laws limiting short-term rentals from private traders. In some countries car rentals that do not have a license are brought to responsibility. Not to mention potential problems concerning taxation.
Economists have not decided yet whether the sharing economy is beneficial or not.
They are to find the answer whether there is a surplus value, or new services are taking the place of already existing businesses. Either is correct. There is always a threat to the economy, as the consumer does not buy a new car. However, in a long-term perspective, everybody wins. Last year Airbnb hired researchers to find out the influence of their services on San Francisco. The result was astonishing: because Airbnb offers cheaper rentals than hotels do, guests lived in a rented estate longer and, consequently, spent more money in the city: on average, $1100, while tourists, living in hotels, spent $840. 14% of respondents stated that they would have never come to San Franсisco but for Airbnb.
The most valuable thing we have… is not a thing
Airbnb and Uber’s experience inspired to expand the horizons of sharing economy. In 2014 the company APM Agentuur entered the market.
APM Agentuur has given value to something that was not valued before — people’s time and attention, and they pay people real money for it. “Advertising Pays Me” is APM Agentuur’s slogan.
As a matter of fact, advertisers pay now as well, but they pay agents like search engines, website owners, TV channels, radio stations, etc. Anywhere there is a crowd, there is advertising. That is why it causes rejection and negative emotions, by all manner of means people try to avoid advertising. Still, it is nothing but “mission impossible”, and, by the age of 65, an average person has seen 2 million of commercials only, not to mention banners, posters and other forms of advertising.
APM Agentuur stands for the idea that this would be over and advertising funds would be allocated without agents, among people who see ads. Besides, it is a must that advertising is targeted. That is why we have created a platform that is bound to become a place where the advertiser and the consumer meet.
This is how APMboard looks like. Users get to their account 90% of the cost which the advertisers pays for the display of their ads.
Any good or service needs advertising. We found about the things we have now by virtue of advertising.
The passenger pays the driver, the renter pays the owner, the advertiser pays the viewer — these are examples of fair relationships that make our life easier.