A few weeks ago, Art Basel and UBS released their annual Art Market report, focusing on the key industry developments of 2016.
Read some of the highlights below:
• The top three markets of the US, UK and China once again cemented their dominant position in the global art market in 2016, accounting for 81% of total sales by value.
• The volume of sales (number of transactions) in the global art market declined by 5% year-on-year to reach 36.1 million.
• Sales in the UK dropped 12% year-on-year to reach $12.0 billion, although this was due in part to the decline in the Pound. The level of sales reached in the UK in 2016 was 18% lower than ten years previously.
• China’s total sales dropped 2% annually reaching a total of $11.5 billion, accounting for 20% of global sales by value and maintaining third place in the global ranks.
• Online sales have become an important method of dealers reaching new customers, with over half (56%) of the online sales generated by dealers made to new clients that had never been to their gallery or met them in person. Online sales advanced 4% year-on-year, a relatively strong result in the context of the generally declining market.
• Online third-party (or “3P”) platforms or auction consolidators have become a critical part of the link to e-commerce for many traditional auction houses.
• While the future of some companies is uncertain and growth has been
slower than anticipated, but the online sector remains a relatively bright spot
in the otherwise declining art market.