There is a huge difference between manufactured products that have increased productivity (computers, printers and peripherals, silicon chips), information services that improved consumer and business efficiency (Google) and internet-based digital products and services which do not increase the GDP. It’s not just Candy Crush. It’s pretty much all of the current darlings of the sharing economy.
Here’s my take on these media darlings:
UBER: a few guys get rich with their idea; drivers wear out their own cars, pay their own gas and insurance to make $13 an hour; and, full time taxi cab drivers are making less money.
AIRBnB: a few guys get rich with their idea; renters and homeowners make some extra money (good) while taking on risks (fire, theft, accidents, lawsuits); the hotel industry loses profits and in turn cut back on staff.
EBAY: a few guys get rich with their idea; flea marketers have a better way to sell the stuff they find in garage sales; the money comes from shoppers looking for bargains, which means less revenue for traditional stores.
AMAZON: basically the same as EBAY, except flea marketers are replaced by businesses who are forced to sell at huge discounts. (One of my friends has a large organic coffee company. He says that he has to sell on Amazon to keep his name in front of the public, but his margins are razor thin, compared to traditional retail. Bezos is the only one killing it, not manufacturers.)
FACEBOOK, TWITTER, PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM, etc: a few guys get rich with their idea; advertising revenue flows to these social media sites instead of traditional media companies (print, radio and TV); less interest in great creative for ads (data driven marketing is the new thing), so less revenue for creatives, ad agencies, production companies, etc.
Even Forbes provides a similar analysis of the macroeconomic effects of the sharing economy arguing that Uber will lower GDP.