Online Art Sales Reach $3.75 Billion in 2016

If you sell art online, you might be encouraged by some online art sales statistics reported in the 2017 Hiscox Online Art Trade Report. Hiscox is an international provider of specialized insurance to small businesses and property owners.

According to the Hiscox report, online art sales reached an estimated $3.75 billion in 2016, up 15 percent from 2015. This gives the online art market an 8.4 percent share of the overall art market (up from 7.4 percent in 2015).

The online art market is predicted to reach $9.14 billion by 2022.

“For those who say the online art market has had its day, it hasn’t even had it’s morning yet. It’s still waking up,” says Robert Read, head of art and private clients at Hiscox.

 

Cover art: Insecticide 13 by Mat Collishaw (photogravure etching, 2009), purchased through an online platform by Hiscox in 2017.

 

Key Findings

Most online sales are for works priced below $5,000. In the 2017 survey, 79 percent of online art buyers said they spend less than $5,000 per piece. This is up from 67 percent in 2015.

People who have purchased art online once continue to buy art online. About 65 percent of previous online art buyers purchased more than one artwork in 2016.

Fully 91 percent of online art buyers surveyed said the quality of art available is one of the most important elements in their decision to buy art online. They reject the notion that the online art market is a dumping ground for works that can’t be sold offline.

Some art lovers continue to be hesitant about buying art online. Some fear the physical art will look different from the online image. Or, buyers worry that the condition of the artwork might be different from what was anticipated.  About 73 percent of the hesitant buyers surveyed said they would like to speak to a human expert before making a decision to buy art online. Others would be interested in reviews and feedback from previous clients. Shipping options and return policies also matter.

Instagram has overtaken Facebook as the preferred social media platform for promoting and discovering art. Fifty-seven percent of art galleries said Instagram is the most effective in terms of raising awareness. About 35 percent of galleries said Instagram is driving direct sales, compared to only 7 percent of respondents who mentioned Facebook.

About $720 million in online art sales in 2016 came through online auctions by Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Heritage Auctions. This represents about 19 percent of online art sales.

For most traditional galleries, e-commerce isn’t  a major sales channel. About 59% said online purchases account for less than 5 percent of their sales. The 18 percent of galleries that derive most of the sales from direct online sales deal in collectibles such as watches, design, furniture, and photography.

About 49 percent of galleries who sell art online do so through a third-party e-commerce platform.

Some online art platforms (29 percent) have either established a brick-and-mortar gallery space or are thinking about doing so.

What’s Next?

The report predicts online auctions will become a key battlefield this year. Virtually every online art platform has started to offer an online auction services.

To help further grow the market, online art platforms will seek ways to build trust with current and potential buyers. Expect them to offer buyers more background information the artist and the object. They may also boost the educational experience by producing more informative and interesting content.

Methodology and More Information

The 2017 Hiscox Online Art Trade report is based on a survey of 758 art buyers from ArtTactic’s client mailing list and a survey of 132 galleries and dealers representing a wide range of art and collectibles. The report also includes insights from one-to-one interviews and online surveys of key staff at online art platforms.

In the free, downloadable report you can also find profiles and ranking of the Top 25 Online Art Platforms.

To further educate both art buyers and artists, Hiscox publishes informative posts on Online Art Market Insights.

 

Professional Photographers Optimistic About 2015

Dozens of insights about what professional photographers and photography enthusiasts hope to accomplish in 2015 are featured in PhotoShelter’s new guide, “The Photographer’s Outlook on 2015.”

The report summarizes responses from almost 7,500 professional photographers and enthusiasts worldwide. It discusses their top business goals and challenges and their plans for marketing their work, using social media, and attending industry events.

According to the survey, 65 percent of the photographers feel positive about their prospects this year, with 52 percent expecting to get most of their revenue from new clients. When asked about their primary sources of revenue, 65 percent of photographers said they get most of their revenue from commissioned assignments and 11 percent get most of their revenue from in-person sales. Only 5 percent got most of their revenue from print sales online and only 5 percent got most of the revenue from stock photo sales. The highest source of revenues for the other 14 percent  included personal-use downloads (3 percent), commissioned video work (3 percent), gallery shows and events (2 percent), workshops and seminars (2 percent), and other (4 percent).

Cover-PhotoShelter-2015-photographers-outlook

This is the third consecutive year PhotoShelter conducted the survey. Compared to the 2014 survey, The Photographer’s Outlook on 2015 reveals:

  • 64 percent of enthusiasts aspire to one day earn a majority of their living from photography (down 10% from last year).
  • The number of professionals who use Instagram as their number-one social-media platform was up 150 percent.
  • The number of professionals who expect to make most of their revenue from new clients increased by 30 percent.

“We’re thrilled to release The Photographer’s Outlook survey for the third year running,” says PhotoShelter CEO, Andrew Fingerman. “We’re encouraged to learn that a majority of professionals and enthusiasts are optimistic about 2015. But as the survey revealed, we know that photographers are most challenged to find new clients. We’re committed to continue educating the community on how to market themselves more effectively and reach the clients they want.”

The Photographer’s Outlook on 2015 survey was emailed in November 2014 to the PhotoShelter community, which includes users of PhotoShelter products, as well as members of the photography community at large who receive PhotoShelter’s monthly newsletters. Of the 7,408 photographers who responded, 69 percent were male and 31 percent were female.

The professional photographers (those who said they earned more than 50 percent of their income from photography) received a different set of questions than enthusiasts. The results of the two groups are reported separately.

The top specialty among enthusiasts is landscape/cityscape photography (19%). Among professionals, the top specialty is portrait photography (15%).

PhotoShelter is a world leader in photography portfolio websites and sales and marketing tools for photographers. “The Photographer’s Outlook on 2015” is the latest in PhotoShelter’s ongoing series of free business guides for photographers and marketing professionals. PhotoShelter’s library includes 40+ educational guides including topics such as creating a successful photography portfolio, email marketing, and starting a photography business.

LINKS

The Photographer’s Outlook for 2015

PhotoShelter

 

Adobe Releases Report on The New Creatives

TheNewCreativesLogo-pixAdobe’s report on “The New Creatives” is filled with interesting statistics about how creative professionals view their work and their future. Unveiled at the Cannes Lions festival for creative communications professionals, the report is based on a U.S. survey of more than 1,000 creative professionals and 500 students in creative disciplines. The survey included insights into the attitudes and beliefs of graphic designers, web designers, photographers, illustrators, videographers and other creatives who are employed full-time, self-employed.

First, let’s look at the key findings that Adobe highlighted in their press release. Then, let’s call attention to some other noteworthy stats in the full Slideshare presentation below.

From the press release 

Seventy-four percent of creative professionals view mobile technology as transforming the face of creativity and design, with seven in 10 reporting they create specifically for mobile devices,

An overwhelming majority (77%) of creatives believe change within the industry is happening rapidly, with two-thirds expecting their role will be significantly different within three years.

New technologies such as mobile are driving this change: A strong majority (87%) of those who create mobile content believe doing so has had a positive impact on their work.

While creatives still rely on pen and paper for ideation (28%) and brainstorming (36%), nearly half use their mobile devices to capture inspiration on- the-go and 42 percent say they use mobile to create content anywhere. Thirty percent of creatives also expressed a desire to create more on tablets, surpassing desktop computers.

Creatives identified app development and 3D modeling as the skills that will be most in-demand over the next 12 months.

“Creatives are going mobile, and this means a sea change for the creative process,” said David Wadhwani, senior vice president and general manager, Digital Media, Adobe. “The study shows that creatives are very interested in using mobile for idea generation and suggests we will see mobile use in the creation process significantly increase in the years ahead. This underscores that mobile devices can be an important part of the creative process when integrated with existing desktop workflows.”

Creatives are feeling optimistic and highly valued. Ninety-six percent of creative professionals are happy in their careers and 88 percent believe their best days are ahead of them. Eighty-eight percent believe they have a strong influence on their organizations and clients, and 46 percent say they have significantly more impact than they did two years ago. A striking 93 percent believe the value of their contributions is recognized by their companies or clients.

Despite their optimism, creatives have worries, pointing to the need to “create more, at a faster speed than ever” as their top concern.

Creatives also recognize the need to diversify their skills. Eighty percent of respondents believe they must learn new tools and techniques and three quarters say that creatives are increasingly working across multiple mediums and disciplines.

When asked what motivates them most, creatives ranked doing great work (54%) and learning new things (52%) higher than financial rewards (37%).

The survey also exposed new insight into where creatives get their sparks of inspiration. Twice as many view digital sources such as social media (36%) as well as websites and online advertising (33%) as the most influential sources of inspiration over more traditional influences such as fashion and architecture. Creatives are also turning to professional online communities, noting inspiration and collaboration and sharing as the top reasons for participating.

While still mostly trusting their gut (79%) to make decisions, creatives view the impact of technology and digital analytics positively: 75 percent note that technology gives them more control over their professional destiny, and 70 percent feel empowered by analytics.

Creative students share similar views to pros. Students majoring in creative disciplines echoed many of the same trends as professional creatives. Ninety-six percent of students have a positive outlook on their choice of a future creative career, and they recognize that new technologies (31%) and the impact of social media (23%) are some of the driving forces changing the industry. They have also embraced mobile: 79 percent of students have created mobile content. Students’ top interests in online creative communities are job prospecting (30%) and learning new skills (21%).


Other Statistics Worth Noting
Here are a few of the statistics that caught my eye as I read through the report:

  • 70% of creatives believe they need to become skilled in more than discipline.
  • 84% said being passionate about their work mattered. 53% said it was extremely important; 31% said it was very important.

More than 70% of respondents also said it was important to

  • have complete creative freedom
  • stay true to my creative vision despite pressures
  • be proficient in multiple disciplines
  • be able to create from anywhere
  • collaborate effectively with others

About The New Creatives Report

The data points referenced above come from a study commissioned by Adobe, produced by research firm Edelman Berland and conducted as an online survey among a total of 1,048 US creative professionals and 535 students of creative disciplines. Data was collected May 12-21, 2014 by Edelman Berland. The margin of error at the 95% confidence level for the Pro sample is +/- 3.1% and +/- 4.2% for the student sample.

LINKS

Adobe: The New Creatives Report

Adobe: The New Creatives Report-Student Findings

 

Christie’s Says Online Services Expand the Base of Art Buyers

ARTISTS. Two news releases Christie’s posted online this year show how rapidly the online marketplace for art is expanding, even at the upper echelons.

Christie's_Logo2In 2006, Christie’s was the first art business to launch online participation in live auctions. Over the past five years particularly, they have seen dramatic increases in the volume of lots purchased via its Christie’s LIVE platform. Christie’s launched their e-commerce platform in 2011 and has held 70 online art auctions.

A Record Year for Art Sales in 2013

In a January 22 press release, Christie’s reported that 2013 was a record-breaking year for art sales. Christie’s art sales topped $7.1 billion in 2013, a 16% increase from 2012.They attributed these gains partly to the expanding buyer base made possible by greater online accessibility.

While the $20.8 million that came from on-line only sales seems miniscule compared to the $5.9 million from live auctions and $1.19 billion in private sales, Christie’s regards their online sales as a key driver of  attracting new buyers and increasing global accessibility to authenticated art and luxury goods.

“With 16% sales growth and 30% new buyers coming in 2013, Christie’s has succeeded again by focusing on the art and connecting it to the ever-increasing audience of enthusiasts and collectors,” said Christie’s CEO Steven P. Murphy. “We continue to see a surge in interest across categories and across the globe, fueled in large part by the online platform enabling greater connectivity between buyers, sellers and the objects of their pursuit. Our continuing goal is to provide more to our clients and to convene new clients to enjoy art, be it through auctions, exhibitions. or online.”

Plans to Expand Their Digital Engagement

In a May 6 press release, Christie’s announced plans to invest about $20 million in improving their online services. Technological and digital advancements will include infrastructure improvements, an enhanced client-service experience, and creative content and media endeavors.

Statistics included in the release show why Christie’s is eager to expand their digital presence.   

In 2013, Christies.com experienced a 19 percent increase in visitors. The site attracted 20.6 million unique visitors from more than 100 countries. The number of mobile viewers was up 42 percent in 2013.

“The global audience for art is increasing, museum attendance has increased again, and the art market is continuing to grow. This is in part driven by digital accessibility of art and imagery”, said Murphy in a panel discussion at Atlantic Ideas Live in New York. “Not long ago, our New York sales catalog would be viewed by a few thousand catalog subscribers four weeks before the sale. Now more than a million visitors view the works online.”

“This online accessibility combined with ever increasing visitor numbers to our public exhibitions has shifted the dynamic,” observed Murphy.  “This has also fundamentally impacted the value of the original object itself, as the experience of standing in front of the picturInfoGraphicImage.bmpe and owning it has become even more powerful.”

In the press release Christie’s confirmed that 48 percent of all client registrations are now facilitated digitally. Plus, 45 percent of buyers in online-only sales in 2013 were new to Christie’s. One in five buyers in the online-only sales is under the age of 45.

About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is the world’s leading art business. Christie’s offers about 450 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including fine and decorative arts, jewelry, photographs, collectibles, and wine. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. 

LINKS

Press Release: Christie’s Announces New $20 Million Investment as Digital Engagement Drives Growth in the Art Market

Press Release: Expanding Buyer Base Drives Record Year at Christie’s

Infographic: Expanding Buyer Base Drives Record Year at Christie’s

 

 

Study Reveals People Believe Buying Art Is Intimidating and Expensive

UGalleryLogoA new study conducted by Toluna Research Group on behalf of the online art gallery UGallery reveals that nearly 70 percent of people have never purchased artwork for their home. Almost 50 percent of these people cite cost as the barrier.

Key findings from the study include:

  • It’s Too Exclusive. 67 percent have never purchased art, underscoring the perceived barriers to art access.
  • It’s Too Expensive. 48 percent cite cost as the primary obstacle to buying art.
  • It’s Too Intimidating. 20 percent found buying art from a gallery to be the most intimidating shopping experience of all, more so than shopping for real estate or a car.

When asked what would make them comfortable buying art, 36 percent said an “easy, money-back return policy,” 30 percent want to better understand the background of the artist, and 25 percent cite a “virtual way to look at the art on their walls.”

UgalleryArtWall

Millennials, the ‘touchscreen generation,’ were understandably more inclined to browse online, as they prefer online sites for all shopping experiences, as opposed to the traditional in-person sale. Per the data, 30 percent seek virtual methods for experiencing art before committing to a purchase. They were also four times more likely to buy art online.

These factors may explain the growth of online art galleries. According to to the Deloitte and ArtTactic “2013 Art and Finance Report,” online art is booming, with over 300 web-based art ventures having launched in recent years. According to the Hiscox 2013 Online Art Trade Report, “At least 71 percent of art collectors have now purchased artwork online.”

“Many people think art – particularly original art – is prohibitively expensive because they hear about the multi-million dollar auction results or get blinded by the number of zeros on the wall of their local galleries,” said Stephen Tanenbaum, President and co-founder of UGallery. “Online galleries have the ability to offer a wide range of artwork and prices, with original art that’s actually affordable.”

UGallery is a curated online art gallery that sells original, one-of-a-kind artworks from emerging and mid-career artists. Founders Stephen Tanenbaum, Alex Farkas, and Greg Rosborough came together in 2006 to create a revolutionary approach to online art sales that democratizes the entire art buying process. Clients can browse the collection by price, medium, style, size, color, or artist and give any piece a week-long test run in their home risk-free.

LINKS

UGallery

About UGallery

Artist FAQs

 

 

JWT Lists 100 Things to Watch in 2014

The global marketing-communications agency JWT has released its annual list of 100 Things to Watch for the year ahead. The list spotlights developments around major events such as the Winter Olympics in Sochi and the FIFA World Cup in Brazil and across sectors such as technology, television, food, spirits, retail, health care, and the arts.

Many items on the list illustrate some of the 10 broader cultural shifts that JWT identified in their 2014 trends report. Some those trends included: the end of anonymity, the movement toward mindful living, the appeal of imperfection, the remixing of tradition, immersive experiences, and the continuing shift to more visual communications.

Many items on the 100 Things to Watch list will interest creative professionals. Here are few items that caught my eye.

Art Incubators. Museums and other arts organizations are launching in-house incubators that explore the intersection of art and technology and stimulate creative thinking.

Community-Supported Everything. Now that communities have recognized the benefits of supporting local farmers, consumers’ interest in supporting local businesses is spreading to other categories, including art and design.

Digital Art. According to JWT, “Art that relies on digital technology, from GIFs to websites and beyond, is coming into its own…While the art world continues to grapple with details related to ownership, the auction house Phillips held its first digital art auction in 2013 in partnership with Tumblr. Another is planned for 2014.

Estimated Reading Times. Online publishers have started posting estimated reading times next to their articles. 

Glanceable UI. Interfaces will use symbols and visuals to tell impatient consumers just what they need to know. For example, the dating app TInder swaps lengthy profiles for images that users can swipe through. 

Photoshop for All. The popularity of selfies and the pressure to look good in social media has led to the development of easy-to-use tools to make photo subjects look their best. JWT points to apps such as Facetune that let users white teeth or remove acne or Layrs, which allows users to move photo subjects into different backgrounds.

Speaking Visually. According to the report, “At a time when consumers are shifting to a visual vocabulary that relies on photos, emojis, video snippets, and other imagery, brands will communicate with images more than words.” JWT believes that in the digital world and offline, visual cues will complement or replace text on everything from packaging and menus to instruction manuals.

Survival of the Focused. JWT analysts observe that people who can shut out distractions and focus on what’s most important will be both healthier and more successful. They observe that all the multitasking we’ve been doing has made us “frazzled, jittery, and unable to do any one thing particularly well.”

Other items on the list include 3D printer retail hubs, “techno-paranoia,” telepresence robots, unconventional models, cocktails on tap, sports mashups, makeup salons, equal rights for men, edible packaging, verified reviewers, divorce parties, digital grieving, tablet-first TV, and “beacons” that allow retailers to precisely track shopper’ mobile phones and send highly targeted content tied to their location and shopping habits.

This is the eighth year JWT has published a “Things to Watch” list as a complement to their annual trends forecast. Things that JWT has spotlighted on past lists include drones, crowdsourced learning, variable pricing, mobile money, and crowdfunding.  JWT Intelligence focuses on identifying shifts in consumer lifestyles and preferences that can be leveraged for business gain.

If you read the JWT list at the beginning of each year, you will notice dozens of different ways the trends and “things to watch” are taking shape throughout the year. You can use the ideas in the report to help refine or promote your own creative-services business.

LINKS

JWT: 100 Things to Watch in 2014

JWT: Ten Trends for 2014 and Beyond

 

 

 

 

JWT Report Describes Ten Trends That Will Influence Consumer Behavior in 2014

JWT Intelligence has released its ninth annual forecast of ten key trends that will significantly affect how consumers think and behave in 2014.

If you look at similar reports from previous years, it’s clear that JWT has remarkably keen insight into how our preferences and lifestyles continue to evolve. You will also notice that some of the trends identified in this report are outgrowths of trends that have been spotted in past JWT reports (such as “embracing analog” and appreciating physical objects.

According to JWT’s Ann Mack, “In this year’s report, we see how consumers are both welcoming and resisting technology’s growing omnipresence in our lives. For many, technology serves as a gateway to opportunity and an enabler of hyper-efficient lifestyles, but those who are most immersed are starting to question its effect on their lives and their privacy.”

Among other trends, the JWT forecast discusses

  • the growth of immersive experiences
  • the accelerating shift to a visual vocabulary
  • the new appeal of imperfection
  • the rise of telepathic technology
  • the remixing of cherished traditions with new ideas
  • the appeal of mindful living

The authors of the report noted that “Trends don’t happen in isolation. They tend to intersect and work in tandem with each other.”

 

You don’t have to be a brand owner to appreciate the insights in JWT’s Trend Reports. As a freelance writer, I use the reports to help me find timely and relevant story ideas and angles. Photographers, designers, and copywriters, can use the information in these reports to either create new services or tweak how they market their services.

LINKS

Executive Summary: 10 Trends for 2014 and Beyond

YouTube: 10 Trends for 2014

JWT Report: 10 Trends for 2014 and Beyond

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