While traditionally sharing has been an activity between friends and family, the sharing of items as a business model is not in fact a new concept. Previously, we have seen the rise and fall of the loaning of some physical items (i.e. movies on DVD).
However, with the introduction of new digital formats, alongside the rapid expansion of the online ecosystem, the sharing of not just physical goods, but also skills and talent, has grown exponentially. Today, the Sharing Economy includes numerous and varied service offerings and business models.
Sharing Economy Market Development
A new market study from Juniper Research has found that the sharing economy is now primed to experience substantial growth, as players in more established sectors -- such as transport and residential or commercial space -- press their first mover advantage.
The market study findings have resulted in a forecast that the sharing economy will reach $40.2 billion in 2022, in terms of platform provider revenues -- that's up from $18.6 billion in 2017.
Since Juniper’s previous research, some of the biggest names in the sharing economy -- including Uber and Lyft -- have seen much greater financial returns from driver operations than expected.
The research noted that the proportion taken by these platforms is now around 30 percent per journey, as providers capitalize on an established driver network.
In addition, uptake of many leading sharing services has increased considerably, with listings on shared space provider Airbnb growing from 2 million at the end of 2015, to 3 million this year.
According to the Juniper assessment, the residential or commercial space and transport sectors will continue to dominate the sharing industry.
However, the research found that there is increased pressure on companies such as TaskRabbit in the shared services sector, as more flexible start-ups and listing sites gain traction and, ultimately, market share.
The research identified corporate space as the next high-growth sector in the sharing economy; an area which has developed rapidly and somewhat under the radar.
Outlook for High-Growth Business Models
"The sharing of corporate space via platforms such as WeWork and PivotDesk is the next growth area of the sharing economy, with entire floors of office blocks kitted out and primed for office sharing," said Lauren Foye, senior analyst at Juniper Research.
Substantial investment is also underway, with Softbank investing $3 billion in WeWork in February 2017, anticipating sustained growth in the flexible rental of high-spec, modern office properties.
Consequently, Juniper found that the rapidly emerging sector will deliver substantial returns of over $10 billion by 2022.