The Hiscox Online Art Trade Report, produced in association with ArtTactic, is becoming an important barometer of how the online art market is developing, as well as an attempt to forecast what the future holds.
In its first 2013 report, Hiscox wrote: “In recent years, technology has disrupted businesses in the music, film and book industry, and it is likely to have a significant impact on the art market too … The real challenge is how the traditional art market engages both with their existing client base and a potential new audience that increasingly wants the option to conduct their business online.”
The 2015 report opens with the following:
The figures speak for themselves. The evolution of online art sales mean that the value of the global online art market has risen from just under $1 billion in 2013 to an estimated $2.64 billion this year. Based on that growth trajectory, we estimate it to be worth $6.3 billion in 2019; no mean feat.
The report highlights the following findings in its Executive Summary:
- Online art market reaches $2.64 billion.
- Investment return is a strong motivation for online art buyers.
- The trend for ‘click-and-buy’ art is gathering steam.
- The bulk of online transactions take place below £10,000.
- Online art buying is becoming an omni-channel experience.
- Social media is likely to play an important role in driving future online sales.
Acknowledging the immaturity of a sometimes over-hyped market which has rapidly growing numbers of venture capital-fuelled art market startups every month, Hiscox warns:
However, there are too many players in the online art market, as one would expect at this stage of the development cycle, and it is still unclear who the winners will be. We will have to wait for a couple more years of mergers, acquisitions, thrills and spills to see who emerges on top.
- The Hiscox Online Art Trade Report (ArtTactic.com)
In recent years Mary Meeker’s annual internet trends report for Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers (@KPCB) has become ‘an event’ in the technology world. This year’s report was published today at the inaugural Re/code Code Conference. Packed – as usual – with a bewildering range of statistics and graphics, the report is required reading (or more likely skimming) for any technology company developing internet-based services.
Some trends and statistics from the report: Continue reading
An important message in the Hiscox Online Art Trade Report 2014 is that although the online art market shows continued growth, systemic barriers exist which could risk the market’s future potential.
Hiscox’s analysis (based on research carried out by ArtTactic) suggests the online art market may be undergoing a sudden evolutionary shift similar to that which traditional retail experienced in 2005 – a year considered to be a ‘tipping point’ in the development of retail e-commerce. The growth of the online art market, forecast to rise from $1.57 billion in 2013 to $3.76 billion in 2018, is being driven by a number of factors: the maturity of the web (including the mobile web), increased buyer confidence in making high value online purchases, and high levels of venture capital in sales platforms (Hiscox list $80m worth of investment across a range of online platforms in 2013-14). Continue reading
AXA Art recently published the results of its 2013 international survey of art collectors as Collecting in the Digital Age available for download from the AXA Art website. The report’s foreword by Dr. Ulrich Guntram, CEO AXA ART Group, describes their motivation for carrying out the survey:
We felt at home within the collectors’ community – until the Internet started to change their habits. We became curious and conducted several dozen long, face-to-face interviews with collectors. The issues which emerged from these dialogues – whilst still hypothetical – were used as the basis for a worldwide online survey. It became evident that the worldwide community of collectors is changing, and that such change is partly driven by the Internet.
Among the report’s findings are:
- Close to half of collectors are self-employed or entrepreneurs, whereas only 25% are employees
- Collectors “often live in childless relationships”
- Paintings are at the top of the popularity list of collectables while young collectors prefer new works of art
- “Gut instinct” is the main collecting strategy
In terms of how the internet has changed the respondents’ approach to art collecting, there is a mixed response:
The 2014 TEFAF Art Market Report, compiled by Dr Clare McAndrew and published this week by the European Fine Art Foundation to coincide with TEFAF Maastricht contains some eye-catching statistics and projections.
Section 2.4 (p27-28) of the report covers online sales, noting the impact the web has had on art sales in 2013:
Previous studies conducted by Arts Economics for TEFAF have observed that the art market was relatively slow in recognizing the potential of the internet as a means both of selling and of enlarging its client base. This is now beginning to change rapidly, both for the auction sector and for dealers.
Key findings from the report include: Continue reading
Citing data from the Mei Moses World All Art Index, Saturday’s New York Times poured cold water on the “hyperbolic enthusiasm” of auctioneers and dealers following a slew of record-breaking results in recent weeks. James B. Stewart, writing for the NYT’s ‘Common Sense’ column highlights some interesting indicators:
… the market for fine art declined 3.3 percent in 2012, and gained 2.2 percent through November , even with the recent record-setting sales […] By comparison, the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index gained 13.4 percent in 2012 and is up more than 27 percent so far this year.
Some sectors of the market are performing above average – postwar, contemporary art and traditional Chinese art, buoyed by increasing numbers of wealthy Chinese collectors.
Mr. Moses said his data indicated that traditional Chinese art had gained a compounded annualized rate of return for the 10 years ending in 2012 of 15.5 percent. Postwar and contemporary art gained 11.6 percent. By contrast, old master paintings gained only 3.3 percent and American paintings just 1 percent. And the overall index gained 7.4 percent.
The Art Market Technology Directory provides an index of companies offering technology services and solutions to the art world. The Directory lists
- Company name
- Website address
- Twitter account
Companies are listed under the following categories:
- Collections management
- Market Information and Data
- Online Auctions
- Sales Platforms
- Social Networks
Further fields and categories are in preparation for future updates.
Is your site or service listed? We welcome reports of errors or omissions in the directory. Use the form on the Directory page to send us feedback.
Browse the Art Market Technology Directory.