An estimated 10.8 million Australians are set to earn extra money from sharing economy services in the next 6 months, representing roughly 60% of the nation’s entire working population.
The data comes from RateSetter’s recent report titled the Sharing Economy Trust Index (SETI), a bi-annual report which collects data on Australia’s use of and attitudes towards the sharing economy.
Australia’s sharing economy has increased in size rapidly over the past half year, growing from $14.5 billion in July 2016 to over $15.1 billion at current estimates.
The market for peer-to-peer (P2P) services, for example, is projected to grow to a whopping $55bn by 2021 – nearly a fourfold increase in five years.
Related Article: How does peer-to-peer lending work?
This explosive growth of sharing services such as Uber and Airbnb – both in Australia and worldwide – is hard not to notice in our day-to-day lives. The latest SETI report found that Australians are now using sharing economy services in increasing numbers.
Nearly two-thirds of Aussies (65%) used a sharing economy service in the past 6 months. More than a third (38%) of Australians now spend at least $50/month on P2P goods or services, while nearly a quarter (22%) are earning the same amount each month.
— Sunrise (@sunriseon7) January 29, 2017
Sharing economy earners
By far the biggest earners from sharing services were single, independent adults, who earned a hefty $158/month on average.
The next highest-earning demographic was families with young children at $125/month. Young families also spent the most on sharing services compared to any other life stage ($134/month), with young couples and singles close behind.
Given the new technology upon which most sharing services are based, participation was understandably lowest among older Australians. Independent seniors were both the lowest earners and lowest spenders.
Popular sharing economy services
By far the most popular service was, unsurprisingly, online marketplaces. Platforms such as eBay, Gumtree, Carsales, and many more are utilised by 54% of Aussies to buy all sorts of goods from other private sellers.
The next most popular service is ride sharing (e.g. Uber), which just under a quarter of people (24%) had used recently.
Shared accommodation was also popular, having been used by 15% of working Australians.
Room to grow?
The SETI report attributes surging market growth to increased trust and confidence in sharing services across the board, with 68% of Aussies showing willingness to use all the sharing services which were surveyed.
In particular, willingness to use ride sharing services and online marketplaces saw the largest increases in the past 6 months.
More importantly, three quarters of Aussies intended to use a sharing service in the next 6 months, showing an increase in trust and planned usage. The biggest current and potential growth areas were accommodation and ride sharing, online outsourcing, and P2P lending.
Trust issues still hamper the sharing economy; the most common factor affecting trust was a perceived lack of personal safety, which half of all Aussies reported in the SETI survey. As the segment develops, however, increased regulatory measures and competition will likely continue drive up trust and confidence to unprecedented levels.
With over a quarter of respondents reporting significantly improved trust in the sharing economy, the future looks bright for both consumers and budding entrepreneurs.
To find out more about sharing economy services like peer-to-peer borrowing, check out Canstar’s guide to P2P lending.