Video: the sharing economy

(A2), B1, B2, (C1)

Today you can rent a room for the night in a stranger's house, pay for a seat in somebody's car, or borrow a tool from someone living near you in exchange for a small rental charge. These are all examples of the "sharing economy". In this short video, you will learn how the sharing economy is changing the way we consume products and services. Video time: 2 minutes 48 seconds. Activity time: 25 to 50 minutes


1 Before watching, think about these questions:
  • In what areas of business do we find examples of the sharing economy?
  • What is the public response to the sharing economy?
  • What are its benefits or advantages? 
  • What are the issues or disadvantages?
  • What should traditional companies do when faced with this new competition?

2  Now watch the video above and make notes on the questions in 1

3  Match the words on the left with those on the right. Watch the video again to check.

4   Now match the word combinations in 3 with these sentences 

a   After the big storm, 100,000 homes are without electricity.
b   Their sales have doubled in the last year.
c   Half their offices are empty.
d   They make their money from advertising.
e   It's cheaper to rent a room in a house than in a hotel.
f   Our local shop is a lot nearer than the supermarket.
g  People are worried, but there's no easy solution.
h  Their products aren't always in good condition.
i   People generally shop at the end of the month.
j   We bought our house but the running costs are very high.  

 The answers are below

Areas of business: automotive , hospitality, retail, entertainment and media, technologyPublic response: 44% of people are familiar with the sharing economy, and they are more and more excited.  20% have participated as users, 7% as providers. People are thinking differently about value: the impact on their wallet, their time and the planet
Benefits: more affordable , more convenient, better for the environment
Issues: inconsistent quality, trust is important but 69% are worried about trusting other people
Traditional companies: they have to adapt their market strategy, examine their assets and overheads and identify under-utilized resources

3   major disruption / booming business / business model / better affordability / greater convenience / unresolved concerns / quality inconsistent / purhcase behaviours / assets and overheads / under-utilized resources 

a  major disruption  b  booming business  c under-utilized resources  d  business model  e  better affordability  f  greater convenience  g  unresolved concerns  h  quality inconsistent  i  purchase behaviours  j  assets and overheads 


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