/“Sharing economy” booms

“Sharing economy” booms

Dusseldorf (dpa) – Almost 40 per cent of Germans made use of aspects of the so-called sharing economy last year, whether in accommodation or transport, according to a survey conducted by PwC and published on Wednesday.

The sharing of accommodation, music, cars, machinery and services had become an essential aspect of the digital lifestyle in Germany as elsewhere, with turnover in the country topping 24 billion euros (25 billion dollars) this year, said PwC analyst Nikolas Beutin.

PwC predicted the trend would continue to grow, with companies like Car2Go, Spotify and AirBnB profiting, as the survey of 2,000 respondents showed. The sharing economy has the “potential to replace ownership by temporary use of products and services,” said Beutin.

The most popular services used in the sharing economy were streaming services like Spotify and Soundcloud. But temporary accommodation, like that provided by CouchSurfing and AirBnB, and transport options offered by Uber, Car2Go and cycle rental companies, is also significant. The trend is increasingly towards professional providers, according to PwC.

The sharing economy is being used primarily by consumers with a higher level of education aged from 18 to 39, with the main advantage being seen in better value for money. Another major factor is environmental, with sharing seen as reducing the burden on the world’s resources. But users of the sharing economy did express concerns regarding liability in the event of damage and the possibility of poor quality services.