The Wall Street Journal goes public with the poorly kept secret that Amazon plans to offer gallery works through its site. The gallerists quoted in the story suggest Amazon is doing little more than online art sites like Artnet or Artsy that allow dealers to reach a wider audience through Amazon’s online store:
Amazon is set to debut the site with works from roughly 100 small galleries across the U.S., say gallery owners briefed on Amazon’s plans. In recent weeks, the Seattle company has held cocktail receptions in its hometown, San Francisco, New York and other cities to invite galleries to take part in the new program. […]Gallery owners who were briefed on the plans said Amazon will charge a tiered commission based on an art piece’s price, generally from 5% to 20%, with higher-priced works subject to lower commissions. It is charging wine sellers about a 15% commission, according to wineries involved in that program. Shipping logistics will fall to the galleries, and the art section won’t be a part of Amazon’s Prime two-day delivery program, said these gallery owners.