Artinfo.com doesn’t think much of the recent venture investments in Artspace and Paddle 8. Relying on Montage Finance’s recent report on art commerce sites, Artinfo declares only one meaningful player, 1stdibs.com:
What about the rest — all of those sites that try to sell prints or low-cost originals or even high-cost originals with gallery partnership? They are certainly appealing to visit, but they don’t actually sell enough to make money, in Hedges’s estimation. There is 1stdibs, which is profitable, and Paddle8, which Hedges described as “pretty” but thusfar unproven, but otherwise, “the other players I view as nothing more than glorified poster art companies.”
Still, quite a few people see an opening for art on the Internet, and sooner or later someone might get it right. As of now, the thought is stalled in hype mode, and no one is making (or losing) their fortunes on it.