The digitalization of the art market
5 relevant factors that are having a great influence on the digitization process
We enter a new year and coinciding with the beginning of a new decade, we make clear the already proven digital transformation of any latent market. The art market is not far behind. With a very growing dominance of millennial and Z generations over this sector, the art world is in full reform and is preparing to abandon tradition and embrace the (forced) changes imposed by the new wave of customers.
Born from the digital revolution, young millennial people feel free to surf the web. Such is their domain that they have already moved it to any field and it is expected that by 2020 the online transaction in the art market will triple its percentage with respect to the previous year.
According to the report of Art Basel 2019 provided by Clare McAndrew, new generations have shot between 45 and 70% the use of online art platforms, compared to 37% of frequent buyers of more mature ages, becoming, at the same time, in half of the percentage of the High Net Worth Individual (HNWI), those buyers able to spend more than 1M dollars on art.
Given this restructuring of the art market, we want to highlight 5 of the most relevant factors of technological news that are having a greater influence on this digitalization process:
The birth of online platforms for both the exhibition, purchase and use of art is growing like foam. Among the different business concepts is Meural, also known as the Spotify of art and it works as a very large gallery to which you have access through a subscription. The only physical possession for the client is a digital framework (with different models to choose from) through which you can access more than 30,000 works valued at more than 3 billion and display them in your home from a subscription (monthly, annual ... ). Apart from being able to contemplate and dispose of this extensive collection, the client also has access to complementary materials such as interviews and exclusive articles from the current world of art.
The Blockchain, which arrived in the art market in 2018 with Christie’s, has received nothing but good words since then. At the moment only benefits can be contemplated, such as the veracity in the authentication as in the origin of the pieces of art. In addition, it enables the agglutination of all types of data in a single file (such as cataloging details, prices, invoices, certificates ...). From this moment begins (although little by little) the redefinition of what it means to buy and sell art, taking into account that the factor of human error decreases considerably and, therefore, increases the confidence of the purchase of this type of products.
Virtual viewing rooms
Virtual galleries or ‘viewing rooms’ are becoming popular after the success that this type of progress has shown in which Gagosian is a pioneer. These are virtual spaces in which the galleries exhibit part of their collections to facilitate a first approach between works and customers. At the moment they do not go beyond and the direct purchase option is not yet available (it seems that the powerful still prefer to act in the old way and continue to prioritize direct customer service, even through a screen).
Digital marketing has acquired a leading role in the art market. Such is its relevance that the power of conversion of a work of art is already attributed to a very expensive work of art.
Social Networks and #hashtags
It is not a novelty that social networks have become the main means of communication in recent years. Hashtags are the new slogans through which multiple movements have been built and visibility has been given to certain lesser-known groups. Following the #metoo movement, art has seen a new market niche open that until then had not been valued, but on the contrary, had been forgotten throughout the history of art. Lesser known artists, with main relevance of the works of female creators, are becoming the most demanded by galleries, auction houses and museums. Even in some cases, such as that of the Baltimore Museum of Art, the only inclusion of paintings by women artists has been announced for this 2020, contrasting with some of the great classics that do not match the values demanded in this moment.