The Online Art Trade Report 2019: Overview

Ugne Nagrockaite

The Hiscox online art trade report 2019 reveals continued growth in online art sales reaching 4,6 Billion dollars in 2018. With an increasing number of newcomers and active millennial art buyers online art market foresees future growth.

Here are 5 key findings:

1. Growing social media sector importance

Social media posts seem to influence online art buyers a great  deal. Instagram proved to be the most favoured by art lovers among other social media platforms. 67% of all respondents claim that posts by artists and their studio had the biggest influence when buying a work of art, while this is the case to 73% of people under 35 years old.

2. Blockchain struggle

Blockchain has been lately introduced as a solution to variety of transparency related problems in different sectors. Art market sees provenance tracking and ownership-registry as areas that need major improvement. According to data, half of the online platforms expressed their view that blockchain technology is likely to succeed as means of registering the ownership. However, lack of proper traction among the blockchain providers around authentication and title registry, indicates that the art market has slowed down in adopting blockchain technology.

3. Millennials become active buyers

Millennials have become increasingly active in buying art online. 79% of millennial art buyers said they had bought piece of art online more than once. Also, 23% of them claimed they had never purchased an artwork in a physical space, such as an auction or a gallery. The number of purchases by younger generation is growing continuously proving that the online art market plays an important role in educating and introducing new generations of buyers to art collecting.

4. New players emerging in online art market

Surveys show growing online buyers confidence in buying art online. Online spending habits, in general are benefiting the online art trade. New art buyers are also more engaged, 70% of them said they had bought art online more than once.

6. Niche tokenization platforms appearing

Art market is witnessing emergence of practices that aim to ‘democratise’ art investment. In today’s market the vast majority of people don’t have the money to invest in artwork by blue-chip and established artists. However, ‘asset tokenisation’ could change this, as it allows for fractional (partial) ownership in an underlying asset ‒ which is piece of art. This type of investment was more favoured by the younger generation respondents (aged 35 and below) as roughly half of them claimed they would consider it.

Token: A token represents an asset or utility that a company has and they usually give it away to their investors during a public sale.

Read the full report:–2019.pdf