Need a Lyft?: The Market for Ride-Sharing Apps

So you’ve heard about Uber’s latest round of VC funding or Lyft’s expansion into a new city, (or the latest scandal Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has caused), and you want to know more about the market for ride-sharing apps and the companies running them. With 93% of millennials saying they plan to continue using Uber despite the company’s recent bad press, these companies aren’t going anywhere.

Lippincott Library subscribes to databases that offer statistics, information about VC funding, market share, and user demographics for the companies operating in this market. As you search, note that databases often use different terminology to describe this market. Try searching ride-sharingride-hailing, car-sharing, and sharing economy to find information about this market.

PrivCo offers excellent coverage of Uber, Lyft, and other ride-sharing companies. Their company profiles include a company description, company financials, sources of funding, a list of investors, competitors in that market, and news and analysis about the company. While it can be tough to find financial information on startup companies like Uber and Lyft, PrivCo offers relatively comprehensive financial information for each company it profiles. (Note: You will need to set up an account based on your Penn email to access PrivCo.)

eMarketer also provides great coverage of Uber and other ride-sharing companies, offering a variety of statistics, narrative reports, and news stories. From a report on “What Lyft’s Funding, and Uber’s Struggles, Mean for the Sharing Economy” to statistics on why consumers use ride-sharing services or which apps they use most often,  eMarketer is a good resource to use. Try searching Uber,  Lyft, ride sharing, and ride hailing to find more information.

Thomson ONE has some useful analyst reports on Lyft, Uber, and other ride-sharing apps. To find these reports, click “Screening & Analysis” and then “Research”. Search for ride-sharing or ride-hailing in “Title”, or search for sharing in “Title”  and then click the And drop down menu to  add another search row and search Lyft or Uber in “Title/Text”.

If you want to dig into each company’s market share, use Market Share Reporter. Search ride hailing to find statistical tables  including “Ride-Hailing Industry, 2014“, “Ride-Hailing Apps in China“, as well as “Business Travel Transportation, 2014-2015” which includes market share data for Uber and Lyft.

IBIS World has industry reports on “Taxi and Limousine Services in the US” and on “Limousine and Town Car Services” that mention how Uber and Lyft are affecting these industries. You can find these reports by searching Uber, Lyft, and ride-sharing. While ride-sharing companies only comprise an estimated 6% of these markets, 6% of a nearly $11 billion market is nothing to sneeze at.

Mintel Oxygen also offers great coverage of consumer markets and products, including the market for ride-sharing apps. Try searching UberLyft, and ride sharing to find reports on the way ride-sharing apps have affected insurance companies, car rental and travel companies, and driven digital trends and new business models.

Feel free to contact Lippincott’s business research librarians with questions about researching this or any other market or industry!

Flappy Bird and Splashy Fish: Researching the Mobile Gaming Industry

In February, 2014, Dong Ngoyen removed his hugely successful mobile app, Flappy Bird, from the Internet claiming that he was concerned that the game was too addictive (Flappy Bird’s Demise: 10 Things to Know About the Game’s Rise, Fall).

Whatever Ngoyen’s motives, the removal of Flappy Bird caused hundreds of copycat games with names such as Flappy Bat, Splashy Fish, and Flappy Miley to spring up.  Apparently, making a mobile gaming app is fairly easy. Researching the industry is not very difficult, either.

The mobile gaming industry develops and publishes gaming apps for smartphones and mobile devices. Apps are typically sold in a special “app store” that can be accessed through the device. As a new and very specific industry, the Mobile Gaming Industry doesn’t have its own NAICS code or even standardized natural language indexing.

Mobile game(s), mobile gaming, mobile apps, smartphone gaming, and the more general digital games, are terms used by various sources. Finding stories about individual games when you know the name is no problem. For example, search Dow Jones Factiva for flappy bird in the lead paragraph (lp=flappy bird) to retrieve thousands of published items. Searching standard sources for industry information will often retrieve a general report on mobile apps that will have a subsection dealing with gaming. Continue reading