HISCOX Online Report 2020: online-продажи art. Part 1
ARTinvestment.RU   08 июля 2020

Specialized report online-рынку art was delayed for several months, but showed unexpected numbers

Traditionally, the HISCOX report Online Report, produced by analyst firm ArtTactic, came out in March of each year — but in 2020 was delayed significantly from-за pandemic. By and large, data on sales of art online for 2019 were gathered before, but after quarantine they had significantly complement the binding to the new realities and forecasts of market participants. In the spring, as we remember, a sober assessment of what is happening could not give one. Published July 7, 2020 the report can be divided into three parts: analysis of last year (in other words, what online-рынок art approached pandemic), the current situation in the market and forecasting. Similarly we proceed, today I offer the reader AI first material in explanation of the report HISCOX / ArtTactic.

According to the report, in recent years, the growth of online-продаж art objects and collectibles slowed dramatically: from 24.1 % in 2015 to 4% in 2019. At the same time the market over the past year increased its annual turnover in 2019 amounted to $4,82 billion, compared of $4.64 billion in 2018. And here the attentive reader will say: we remember that the market for online-продаж last year fell, where did the growth?

Indeed, from material AI on online-продажам version of the report Art Basel Art Market Report 2020, that global sales of art and Antiques decreased by 5 % between 2018 and 2019. The key word here — Antiques: ArtTactic does not account for it in the HISCOX report Online Report, but adds collectibles (by the way, are increasingly included in the combined auction of art today. — AI.). In-вторых, ArtTactic notes that the persistent ignoring of the digital sphere for the most part sellers art-рынка in recent years, which contributed to the inhibition online-продаж in 2019. By adding a third factor leading to the discrepancy of the figures: being the first fair, Art Basel had its own reasons to adjust the methodology used for the report, so that the Internet-продажи art did not look for galleries and collectors fairs more attractive.

table 1. Online-продажи art and Antiques / collecting versions of Art Basel & UBS and ArtTactic, 2013-2019









the Volume of online-продаж art and Antiques, (ArtBasel & UBS), bln $








the Volume of online-продаж art and collectibles, (ArtTactic), bln $








Return to online-платформам for the sale of art. For their study, ArtTactic interviewed 44 virtual seller, including the major auction houses, galleries, and aggregators online-торговли. In 2019, they showed an uneven sales growth: for example, sales of Heritage auction fell by 0.5 %, the same indicators Internet-торгов Sotheby's grew by 55 %. Overall,the volume of online-продаж three leading auction houses — Sotheby's, Christie's and Phillips — has increased from $636 million in 2015 to $1.0 billion in 2019 (total increase of 58 %, or 12.1 % CAGR — compound annual growth).

Sales of art and collectibles online in 2019 as follows:

• visual art — 32 %;

• other collectibles — 25 %;

• jewelry and watches — 23 %;

• decorative arts — 12 %;

• furniture — 8 %.

In 2019, the share of visual art accounted for 32 % of online-продаж art and collectibles, with a significant growth in the segment of "other collectibles" (coins, stamps, rare books, maps, autographs, memorabilia) — sales of the latter amounted to 25 % in monetary terms.

Among the traditional auction houses such as Christie's, Sotheby's and Phillips, in 2019 the share of visual art accounted for about half of sales (in average 51 % for all three houses). This figure is significantly higher than values in other categories (watches & jewelry — 25 %, other collectibles — 15 %, decorative-прикладное art — 8% and furniture — 2 %). For comparison, Heritage Auction, the world's largest online-аукционный house, realized more than 90 % of its online-продаж in 2019 in the segment "other collectibles" and only a small proportion (3 %) — in the segment of fine art. Because the traditional auction houses seek to diversify its customer base and attract younger collectors, ArtTactic expects future sales of collectibles will increase significantly in volume.

In the General statistics of the platforms for the sale of art objects and collectibles, aggregators online-аукционов (such as Invaluable and LiveAuctioneer), and "pure" online-аукционов (such as Catawiki) sales of fine art averaged only 19.5% of the total sales. Second place is occupied by jewelry and watches (25 %), the third — "other collectibles" (30 %).

31 of the 44 surveyed online-платформ fine arts in 2019 was the most popular category of sales, and for 13 companies (42 %) it was more than 90 % of sales in value terms. With 18 of the 31 online-продавцов (58 %) had an annual income of less than $5 million, which suggests that online-продажи fine art more fragmented and distributed to a larger number of small online-платформ.

table 2. Annual income online-продавцов art, 2019

Annual return, $

< $0.5 million

$0,5–1 million

$1-5 million

$5-10 million

$10-50 million

$50-200 million

$200-400 million

the Proportion of the total number of sellers, %








the crisis caused by the restriction of-за pandemic, greatly accelerated the development of online-продаж: from February to may 2020 Sotheby's not only increased the number of units sold in the Internet lots at 131 %, but — more importantly — showed an increase in average prices for itemsart by 74% compared to the year 2019. Sale Christie's, Sotheby's and Phillips in the first six months of 2020 has brought a total of $370 million, more than five times higher than in the same period of 2019. At the same time, the auction house Heritage announced only about a 10 % increase in online-продаж in the first five months of this year.

63% of respondents online-платформ expect that the current sellers of the non-public market art — galleries and dealers — will become a major online-игроками, having mastered digital technology. In recent months a lot of technology development — from online-кабинетов to view art to sites created using virtual reality. However, some major galleries such as David Zwirner and Hauser & Wirth, brought the concept of online-галерей to another level, offering small galleries and art-ярмаркам the opportunity to exhibit and sell on their platforms and thus becoming intermediaries in the Commission online-продаж.

the Vast majority (67 %) online-продавцов art believe that in the next five years online-рынке art will be dominated by a few global players. And, although the ten largest global art-платформ accounts for about 68% of the total online-продаж art, almost half of respondents (48 %) admit the possibility of market entry of new strong players. For its part ArtTactic believes that the tough market conditions imposed by the consequences of the pandemic, will provoke the unification of the strong players, including "physical" auction house is interested in strengthening presence on the Internet.

Review AI: the report once again proves that art-рынок not only was not ready for a pandemic, but had deliberately slowed the growth of technology in recent years, including through formal reporting to the stakeholders. The calculations — is an amazing thing: it is necessary to add to the art Antiques — and total sales will decrease, to take away the Antiques and add designer sneakers from KAWS (the main product in the new generation) — will grow. In fact, Art Basel and other major fairs were held hostage to the excessive positioning of the fair format as uncontested: today they actually compete with themselves, trying to fill online-кабинеты collectors, which for years kept away from technology. The main question raised by the purchaser in years past, — where do you buy art? — remained in 2019 is unchanged: the outflow collectors on the black market with physical sites of the leading auction houses due to the irreversible "of Breccia" and other geopolitical factors did not affect their activity on the online-площадках these auctions. The last remark. Among sellers of art online observed exactly the same situation as on the physical grounds: the majority of companies is small, or extremely high sales volume as "middle class" significantly sags and has a downward trend.

the second part of the article we will talk about the forecasts of market players online-продаж for the second half — 2020.

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