As the Battle for the Online Art World Sharpens, How the Players Are Adapting: Page 3 of 3
As the Battle for the Online Art World Sharpens, How the Players Are Adapting
Many, like Edward Greenacre from London’s Rokeby Gallery, who has sold works for up to $5,000 through both Paddle8 and Art.sy, continue to assess the platforms. “At this early stage we are still learning from experience,” he notes. “Whether the market for online platforms will become saturated or if users will show brand loyalty to certain platforms is yet to be seen.”
As dealers attempt to decide, platforms compete for them as much as for visitors and collectors. Art.sy, for example, offers gallery partners a free iPad application for presenting artwork to clients. (Similar programs cost much as $3,500 per year.) It also provides a page on its website devoted to analytics. “In the long term, it should become like a Bloomberg terminal for the art world,” Cwilich explains. “You can see where an artwork is being viewed around the world and by how many users. As you can imagine, this would be very helpful if a dealer had to decide whether to take a Warhol show to Hong Kong, Basel, or Miami Beach.”
While substantial profits and a loyal global audience remain the goals for most sites, investors are finding other ways to measure success in the present. “Investors like to see traction, either in the form of traffic or the number of registered users,” Frankel says. “I like to see traction rather than revenue early on. We need to know that there are customers for what you’re selling.”
This article appears in the December 2012 issue of Art+Auction.
UPDATE: A previous version of this article stated that 20x200 has sold over 20,000 prints and brought in $7 million in revenue. In fact, the company has sold over 200,000 and brought in $15 million.