Insights derived from the survey outlined below must be taken primarily as anecdotal signs of hot, culturally specific sentiment. It would be nonsensical to consider interviewer-constructed, curtailed responses received by under a thousand respondents as some kind of undisputed truth when gauging the art world’s nearly incomprehensibly varied and expansive practices.
Respondents taste’s do although hint at more widely applicable considerations. The survey raises thought provoking questions about the future shape of Internet art sales across a variety of mediums:
“The proportion of art buyers making online purchases has fallen in the last year, and the increase of internet art sales has slowed for the second year running, a new report has found.
The survey also found that mobile purchases have continued to increase and take a bigger share of the market, and social media remains a key way for people to find new art. He proceeds:”Buying art is still hugely enjoyable and exciting (as well as sometimes frustrating) and the continuing influence of social media, especially Instagram, helps fuel the development of the market.”
Changing Sales | The report’s findings, which also evaluate the effects of cryptocurrencies and cybercrime, are based on feedback from 831 art buyers surveyed through Art Tactic’s client mailing list. Roughly 43% of art buyers purchased online in the past 12 months, down from 49% the previous year. Only 36% of the group bought art online in the last 12 months, compared to 44% the year earlier. According to the report, this suggests that the art market is”unable to convert hesitant, in addition to occasional online buyers, into repeat customers”. Hiscox notes that while the online art market grew by 20-25% between 2013 and 2015, the previous 24 months revealed signs of a downturn,”possibly as the industry struggles to broaden and grow its online customer base”. The market growth rate dropped to 15 percent in 2016 and 12 percent in 2017.
Tate’s Instagram accounts has 2 million followers. 90% of new art buyers stated that price transparency was a key feature when determining which online art sales to purchase from, making this a potential obstacle to increasing sales.
Threats | The report also finds over half of surveyed selling platforms had been the target of attempted cyber attacks within the previous 12 months. Around 15% stated that an attack was successful. Just over 40% of online art buyers are either concerned or very concerned about cyber crime if buying art online, and 82% said they would most likely buy from platforms they had prior knowledge of due to fear of cybercrime. Read concludes:”The art market is dominated by small- and midsize companies who have historically been at the tech-savvy, more complacent end of this scale. “These companies are vulnerable and our findings suggest that cyber criminals may be waking up to this, possibly seeing the art market as a target.” Arts Professional
The Medium Is The Message
Discussions reference art sales as they pertain to traditionally defined canvases, prints or typically smaller compositions. Similar to the construction of the most popular promotional tool employed, Instagram with it’s series of panels, a’gallery perspective’ is perfectly suited to these.
Here it might be argued that each phase of the process has been influenced. From concept, production to end-client delivery all portions necessarily either overtly or unconsciously account for the promotional restrictions that such a medium inherently entails. Meaning an artist who gains from utilization of the’gallery view’ sales channels may coordinate their efforts, however individually measured as ultimately positive or negative, in order to achieve the best outcome when their work is seen through this sort of platform.
A similar contention might be exponentially compounded for mixed media, larger three dimensional compositions, performance or any variety of visual art forms. If understanding the purpose of artistic creation to be unencumbered sharing or creation of novel interpretations, such a self-reflexive and influential delivery mechanism should perhaps cause some misgiving.
Who’s Buying & ?
Galleries and advisors were held as gatekeepers, the art world governments. The Tate’s some two million followers on social media prove it can still be argued that source reputation and influence may precede deference to private interpretations. At the minimum formal standing may function as a type of collective indicator of quality filtering for what’s an eclectically diverse or maybe commonly imperceptibly saturated field. And when seen as investment vehicles, this collective work evaluation retains a considerable impact.
An inconsistency arises though with bureaucratically structured gatekeepers now facing democratized, self-controlled and nearly truly decentralized purchasing capacities. Art transactions are possible directly between almost any gallery’s producing and consuming target markets.
Through internet channels independently each artist has the capability to reach comparatively unlimited audiences. Although their authority, expertise and or’formal’ stature might be diluted in the face of participant breadth in addition to presentation context. At this time galleries or advisors may retain an educated experience, discerning judgement and or appreciation far past the commonly grasped. Although a customer’s choice in selection could still be seen as a liberated one because of the multiple paths permitting ownership accomplishment.
Purchasers may decide to buy straight from an artist or upon expert influence. Do they value a makeup or did they purchase it because they thought it to be of value. The democratization of availability calls into question how value may now be collectively assigned.
Pricing transparency was indicated as the single biggest influential element. The security concerns and use of reputable channels is more or less subsumed into that metric. If the site, channel or medium was not safe nor secure then any’transparency’ in pricing could naturally be secondary and false.
Transparency implies open valuation and clear accounting, from origin to receipt. Yet to quantify price needs to be to defer to a collective or subjective interpretation. It’s the cost attainable during re-sell or that which is self-ascribed from attachment or belief. On its own, transparency may offer no steady universally extendable footing. Value ascribed stays as variable as the artwork itself, it’s derived from the eye of the beholder or marketplace [beholders].
Online or off, publicly accessible options loosely dictate artwork sales being formed from a place of educated value recommendation or as a facilitation of subjective interpretation. Objective gradations and statements of a composition’s worth cannot be equally nor officially applied to all.