KQED's The Movement to Kill the Phrase ‘Sharing Economy’ points out an issue that has many perplexed, including us. This is what do we call what continues to be commonly called the "sharing economy""?
As the article points out, there's broad agreement that most of the sharing economy companies - Uber, Airbnb, etc. - have nothing to do with sharing.
The article references the Harvard Business Review's The Sharing Economy Isn’t About Sharing at All which makes the point that the sharing economy is really about paying for access to an asset or service.
We've long felt the term "sharing economy" was a misnomer. Back in 2012 we suggested "rental economy" was a more accurate descriptor. But, needless to say, this was not popular with sharing economy supporters at that time (nor today).
So the what do we call this segment of the economy?
We use a combination of "gig economy" and "on-demand economy".
We define the "gig economy" broadly and include all economic activity done by independent workers (freelancers, contractors, self-employed, temps, etc.).
We define the "on-demand economy" as economic activity generated by independent workers who secure work via online work intermediation platforms such as Uber, Lyft, Fiverr, etc. Under our naming convention, the on-demand economy is a subset of the gig economy.
While this seems like a trivial issue, it's not.
A lack of a consistent, commonly used set of terms for this type of economic activity leads to much confusion.
So we collectively need to decide on a set of terms and common definitions. Unfortunately, we don't see this happening anytime soon.