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The digitalisation of the art market

What is the role of the Internet for the art market today?
Thank you very much for this question. I think digital tools that the internet brought today have, I would say, five main benefits for the art market. And I would start by saying that, first of all, the internet democratised access to the art market, not only for collectors, but also for art enthusiasts. So the availability of information and the global reach to information is, I think, a key benefit of the internet for the art market. Secondly, I would say that it really increased– I mean, it’s linked to, of course, the first element I just raised, it’s also transparency.
It’s the main potential that internet brings today to the art market, but also the main obstacle, in the sense that the art market is built on secrecy and exclusivity. So transparency on one hand really could be an amazing potential, but the traditional players of the online market has to adopt and endorse transparency for it to work for a future generation of collectors. Another point that the internet enables is that it increases sales in a context where gallery attendance is declining. And in this urban busy environment, people are attending less and less commercial gallery shows. And people are leading busy lives, so internet is becoming more and more an important channel for sales for traditional actors of the art market.
Also, I would say the internet allow galleries and auction houses and other actors to attract, educate, and build relationships with a new generation of collectors who are tech savvy, who love to get information online, and who are curious. So it’s a new tool to reach them. And lastly, I would add that internet, of course, is an important marketing and communication channel, and it enhances visibility of artists and artworks that these actors work with. And it definitely provides a very efficient communication tool to reach global audiences.

Listen to this interview, where Anlam De Coster, from Reiber & Partners, answers the question: “What is the role of the Internet for the art market today?”

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Culture in the Digital Age

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