Surveys Show the Sharing Economy isn’t Just for Millennials

Earlier this summer we looked a Pew Research Center survey that found that 39% of people had not heard the term “crowdfunding” while 73% were unaware of the “sharing economy.” In spite of that two recent surveys now show that more Americans are embracing the sharing economy and FinTech companies. On top of that it appears that it’s not just the younger generation that’s buying into in the revolution.

First a study conducted by Ipsos found that sharing economy services like Airbnb and Uber are growing in popularity. In fact approximately one-third of U.S. adults say that they plan to use such services during their summer vacations this year. The survey also discovered that nearly two-thirds (62%) of Americans are now familiar with Uber — up sharply from just 35% last year.

A report by Hitwise took a look at a number of sharing economy and FinTech sites and how popular they were within two different demographics. This particular survey divided subjects into what they called “digital natives” (those aged 18 to 34 — also commonly referred to as Millennials) and “digital migrants” (over 35 years old). As you might expect, overall the natives were found to participate more in the sharing economy. However there were a few notable exceptions.

The first surprising stat shows that digital migrants are actually more inclined to use home sharing or short-term rental sites than natives. Airbnb — perhaps the most popular short-term rental site — was found to be slightly more popular among digital migrants than natives. However migrants were as much as 9% more likely to frequent other sites such as Homeaway than Millennials were. On the other hand younger adults were 5% more likely to use the site Couchsurfing, which connects travelers with locals willing to host them.

Perhaps the most interesting finding in the study as it relates to FinTech was how crowdfunding and peer to peer lending  sites seem to differ when it comes to demographic. While Millennials were 33% more likely to visit the crowdfunding site Kickstarter (or 22% for the similar Indiegogo), older adults were more likely to visit peer to peer lending sites such as Lending Club. Overall digital migrants were 9% more likely to visit either Lending Club or Prosper than natives were.

It seems that, even if they might not know the terms they fall under, Americans are in fact not only aware of the sharing economy and FinTech companies but are also using their services. Additionally it’s encouraging to find that older adults are also willing to explore the opportunities of these new technologies and business models nearly as much as their younger counterparts are. As sharing economy brands continue to battle regulators and FinTech tries to get back on track, these surveys are certainly some welcomed good news and seem to promise that more positive growth is on the way.

Author

Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded DyerNews.com in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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