Hiscox has released its Online Art Trade Report for 2018, and it makes for interesting reading. The market is slowing and maturing; online art platforms are continuing to consolidate; and Instagram casts a long shadow over art consumers.
Key points are:
- Online sales are up 12%, but growth is slowing.
- Sales were estimated at $4.22bn in 2017, up 12% on the previous year. This is a reduction in growth from 2016 (15%) and 2015 (24%).
- While the three main auction houses for art saw general sales increase by 25%, online-specific sales increased by only 16%.
- However, the average price of a work increased by 25% Y-o-Y, with the average now exceeding $5k. Almost three quarters of buyers (74%) purchased more than one item, and buyers are also broadening the range of what they want to buy.
- 63% of art buyers choose Instagram as their platform of choice. Everything else trails it. MoMA has the highest number fo followers for a gallery (3.5m).
- 60% of platform owners believe that cryptocurrency payments will become standard within a few years, even though only 6% of art platforms offer such facilities.
- In the list of the top 25 online art websites, Christie's comes top for another year, followed by Artsy - which could dominate next year.
- The report also asked 20-35 year olds for their specific views on buying art online; the majority of this group had only owned one work to date, with their average spend being under $1k. However, 59% will buy more over the next year.
It's an excellent report; well-designed, full of tidbits and thoroughly researched. Grab it here (PDF).