Hiscox Online Art Trade Report

Hiscox and ArtTactic report

01 Jan 2018

“For those who say the online art market has had its day – it hasn’t even had its morning yet, it’s still waking up.”


The long-awaited consolidation in the online art market has yet to happen, with the notable exception of the marriage and subsequent separation of Paddle 8 and Auctionata. We all know it’s going to happen – even our survey of those managing the online platforms shows that a massive 71% expect more consolidation – we just don’t know when and who is going to end up on top.

So, what do we know? The online art market has continued to grow strongly (up 15% to $3.75 billion) against the backdrop of a slowly-increasing global art market.

The established global brands in the art market such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s are starting to dominate The Hiscox Online Art Platform Ranking and appear to be getting to grips with the challenge of transforming a bricks-and-mortar business into a multimedia business.

The dealers continue to struggle online; maybe they are making enough elsewhere. None of us know in the gloriously-opaque art market, but my bet is that the temptation to bury your head in the sand when you are not tech savvy is all too great.

Finally when it comes to social media, Instagram is now very clearly the medium of choice.

We continue to monitor these developments and I hope you enjoy this year’s report.

Robert Read

Head of Art and Private Clients, Hiscox

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