Skift Take

The year sharing economy went legitimate. It is already happening, with Uber taming down its against-the-machine rhetoric, and Airbnb beginning to think beyond renting room and house shares.

Early in January we released our big report, “14 Global Trends That Will Define Travel in 2014,” outlining the major trends that will define travel this year.

Below is one of the trends we see as playing out over 2014 and beyond.
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2013 was the year when Uber and Airbnb and the disruptive sharing economy brands went mainstream, but 2014 will be the year they go legit, and New York and California will be where the action is.

As they go legit, they’ll be shedding the “sharing” tag as they focus on collaborative consumption, which more accurately describes these companies’ smart use of resources through equally smart technology.

For years, this new breed of companies has operated with disregard for municipal and state regulations, but they now know that to go from buzzed-about company to a real business they need to get government on board. They’ve created industry groups like Peers and hired top-tier lobbyists in Washington, D.C., as well as California and New York. For Uber and its competitors, cooperation has paid off in California, where there are now statewide rules, and in New York City, where an e-hail pilot program is likely to turn permanent.

For apartment-share companies like Airbnb, the road to legitimacy is bumpier. We will see it turn over user information with states for tax purposes, but it will need to help hosts make peace with landlords and condo boards in its biggest markets, and reach an agreement with states and municipalities over the laws that limit short-term rentals.

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Check out the 2014 trends below in the presentation, or download them for deeper read. Either way, share them if you like them and think others can benefit from them.

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Tags: airbnb, sharing economy, uber

Photo credit: Limousine driver Florian Bucea checks his Uber service in Chicago. Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune/MCT

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