What Does PWC Think Will Happen To The Sharing Economy in 2017?

It’s that time again; PWC have made their 10 annual predictions about the “sharing economy” – they are forecasting increased revenues, more “silver surfers” and a whole host of new opportunities…and threats.

“The overall trajectory for the sharing economy is upward”, they say, postulating that sharing economy transactions across 5 key sectors in Europe could grow by as much as 60%, to around €27 billion.

In the UK, the growth will also be around 60%, touching £8bn in revenues over the course of the year, meaning it will outperform the economy as a whole. Providers will bag 85% of all revenues, with platforms grabbing the remaining 15%.

But according to the consultancy firm, there “has never been a riskier time to be a sharing economy platform – this is mainly down to a backlash from regulators, with new legal rulings being put into place that will make it harder for new products and services to undercut their more traditional rivals. That said, the disruption of existing ways of doing things, says PWC, shows no signs of slowing down.

Trust “will remain the hot topic”, and 2017 will be the year “the sharing economy starts to get ahead of this agenda.” Platforms will “pro-actively implement self-regulation”, and this will be doubly significant as “the tax system will move increasingly into the spotlight.”

New sectors, beyond sharing economy favourites such as automotive and hospitality (that’ll be Airbnb and Uber, then), will come into play, particularly those where “cost pressures are mounting”, and intriguingly, PWC believe that “digital natives, the early adopters who powered the rise of the sharing economy, will start to take a back seat to the silver surfers”.

That’s right, the millennials think of it, build it, and market it, and the silver surfers say “thank you very much”. Respect your elders, founders, and they will give you an exit strategy in return, it seems.

What else? Corporates will start to embrace the sharing economy, we will see “innovation around the core model”, and significant investment in new models, statisticians will leverage new data capture techniques to “finally catch up with sharing” and hoteliers will try to find ways to prevent peer-to-peer rental stock outpacing hotel room supply again this year.

Watch this space, people, it’s only going to get more disruptive. The big question is, will sharing economy services start to embrace a poacher turned gamekeeper mentality, trying to protect the progress they have already made, or continue to push their lean and agile methodologies?

It should be fun finding out!

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