Dan Duray takes a look at the online art sales space on Gallerist NY, including Paddle 8 (whose founders Alex Gilkes and Aditya Julka are pictured above.) He tries to quantify traffic for the sites using compete:
In the United States, the top country for all these sites, Artspace led on unique visitors with 42,795 unique visitors in November 2013, the latest traffic numbers available on the Web traffic site Compete. This was followed by Artsy, which hit 27,627 (its traffic possibly hindered by the fact it had to change its URL in early 2013 to Artsy.net, since its older, trendier URL Art.sy was technically based in Syria), and then Paddle8, which had numbers too low to be displayed on Compete. By comparison, the auction house Christie’s had 133,426 that month, and Sotheby’s had 60,128.
Duray also adds this line in the sand declaring 2014 the ‘moment of truth’ for online art sales.
“We look at the next year as the moment of truth,” said Sergey Skaterschikov, an investor and art market analyst who sits on the board of Paddle8, “which is basically going to confirm whether the business model is scalable to the numbers, the interest, or if it’s not. We’re really looking to get something like $50 million in turnover. We can’t disclose the numbers, but so far we believe they are on the right track.”
“Let’s see if consumers are ready to buy art in significant numbers online,” he added.
That leaves one question: can the traffic quoted above (which is probably not very accurate but still gives a sense of basic magnitude) support the business objectives below, namely, $50m in annual sales.