At first glance, Emilia Rossi has more reason than most 34-year-olds to own her own car.
She lives in Melbourne’s uber-hip downtown Docklands district where she and her partner juggle four online businesses between them. She’s ambitious, highly-motivated and embracing a high-tech world that’s allowing her to “create a living doing the things she loves most”.
Yet, at the beginning of 2016 Emilia sold her once-cherished Audi A1 she used to visit clients and escape the city stresses – and hasn’t missed it for one second.
The travel-loving “digital nomad” says that’s all down the benefits of the nbn™ network, and the Access Economy, the online phenomenon sweeping the nation.
Put simply, the Access Economy refers to the rapidly emerging area of business, driven by increasing access to fast broadband that allows people to temporarily consume goods and services, rather than buying them outright.
In Emilia’s case, that means a fervent reliance on app-based services such as Uber X, and GoGet for transport, and a host of others she uses to run her online consultancy business Digital Cactus, a wedding marketplace site Capriess, and her lifestyle blog emiliarossi.com.au, which doubles as an outlet for her own jewellery line.
“I’m living proof [of the Access Economy benefits], says Emilia proudly.
Emilia says selling the car in favour of using Uber and GoGet has also helped her save for a trip to Europe this year.
“I’m actually making more money by not having car, and I like the fact I’m making a little less of a footprint in the environment as a result, says Emilia, who also uses UberEats and Deliver for home food deliveries, and Trip Advisor and Airbnb to save on hotel bills.
“Whether it’s sustainable, I’m not sure, but so far it’s been a Godsend; I really love it.”
Consumer psychologist Adam Ferrier says the rise of the Access Economy is really a story around ease and convenience, and facilitating a need we’ve had for a long time.
“All the Access Economy has done is make it easier for people to do what they’ve always wanted to do, which is only pay for what they use, and not pay for the whole thing,” says Adam, who also the Chief Strategy Officer and part owner of independent global creative media agency Cummins & Partners.
“Faster internet on the nbn™ network helps deliver on that, especially the need for more seamless connectivity, making it easier for us to access goods and services when and how we need to.”
“The Access Economy embraces technology to put the provider of goods and services in direct relationship with the consumer.
“It thereby reduces the need or role of intermediaries in this relationship.”
Whereas once that neighbourhood dog walker might have needed to rely on agencies or leaflets to contract them with new jobs, now they can easily manage themselves.
They can also use the internet to expand their reach to more distant suburbs.
Research from the Telsyte Digital Consumer Study 2017 shows that over six million Australians have already tapped into the Access Economy.
The Telsyte study found that two million Australians are turning to ride sharing applications to get from one location to the next. These services, such as Uber and GoGet, have increased by an incredible 82 per cent in the last 12 months. More than half of these people are tapping in to these services at least once a month.
More than three million Australians have also embraced accommodation rental websites such as Airbnb and TripAdvisor.
The sharing phenomenon is not just popular with one specific age group. Telsyte’s data shows that 35 – 44-year-olds are the keenest when it comes to sharing accommodation, however not by much. Everyone from age 16 to 65 and beyond is also getting in on the trend.
When it comes to ridesharing, the younger generations have been the fastest to jump on this new wave, perhaps because they are more likely to be out late and in need of a lift home. The most popular demographic for ride sharers is 16 – 24.
“The Access Economy basically is making it easier for people to have alternative ways of consuming products and services,” adds Adam, who believes the burgeoning economy is just getting started.
“Go online on and look at how many options there are already; it might surprise you.”
More than 3.8 million Australian homes and businesses have access to the nbn™ network, with the rollout scheduled to be complete by 2020.
Click here to find out more about the Access Economy.
This is a sponsored post by the nbn™ network. All opinions expressed by the author are authentic and written in their own words.