Artnet can’t seem to get much love from the New York Times. A few weeks ago the newspaper used Artnet’s data to focus on artists whose prices were declining–surely not why the database shared the information with the reporters. Today, the Times concedes that Artnet is driving significant business through its online sales but still can’t seem to be happy for the company:
Over the last year and half, Mr. Sledge has collected almost exclusively online, buying nine pieces at an average of about $4,000 each at online-only auctions through Artnet, the art market information company. Artnet tried and failed to become one of the pioneers of online sales in 1999, suspending those auctions two years later after it lost millions of dollars and decided that the market wasn’t ready. But it got back into the business in 2008, and after less than three years, the auctions now account for 14 percent of the company’s income.
The glamorous, newsmaking sales of Sotheby’s and Christie’s these are not. The average price of an artwork won through an Artnet auction is about $6,800 now, up from $5,600 last year, which wouldn’t come close to paying the commission on most high-end auction sales.
A Resurgence in Art Buying Over the Web (New York Times)