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Broadband and Mobility

Sharing Economy Apps Disrupting Traditional Markets

The sharing economy is a phenomenon describing new business models built on the proliferation of smartphone and app use that are supported by shared resources from device owners. These business models are augmented by real-time data including location, instant gratification, on-demand pricing, and easy payment options. From sharing reviews through Yelp to sharing car rides using Uber, smartphone owners and app users have become suppliers of resources and participants of new business use cases that bring a new economic order to traditional industry sectors.

Parks Associates mobile research shows:

  • In 2016, 83% of U.S. broadband households, or more than 250 million consumers, owned and used a smartphone.
  • U.S. smartphone users spend an average of just under one hour each day messaging and over one hour on social media apps.
  • Over 20% of smartphone owners in U.S. broadband households use a ride hailing app, and 24% of U.S. millennials use mobile apps for services such as Uber and Lyft.

According to consumer data, only 32% of sharing economy app users indicate that their use of traditional services is not affected by their sharing app use. In the infographic below, we outline some of the market disruptions occurring because of the rise of these apps, specifically in five leading categories: ride hailing, space sharing, reselling, care services, and home services.

More detailed information on how sharing economy apps like Uber, Airbnb, and ThredUp are shaking up traditional markets can be found in Parks Associates’ recent industry report Disruptions from Sharing Economy Apps. To request a sample or purchase the report, contact Parks Associates.


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