Katya Kazakina confirms that Phaidon Press has bought Artspace.com. Her report focuses on the value of Artspace’s mailing list. According to data leaked to ArtNews last week, Artspace’s mailing list was it’s most effective traffic and sales driver. The list had 244,000 email addresses (150,000 validated) almost six months ago but was showing no growth and some erosion. Response rates were also below levels generally considered healthy in web marketing:
Companies can make money online by expanding their customer base or by offering more exclusive and expensive artworks, said Clayton Press, who teaches art, commerce and technology at New York University.
Artspace has the base: its mailing list includes 150,000 active art collectors, Catherine Levene, co-founder and chief executive officer of the Internet startup, said. […] There’s purchasing power behind the lists. NYU’s Press estimates that there are 150,000 to 200,000 collectors globally who spend more than $50,000 year on contemporary art. […]
Artspace gained access to about half of its list by acquiring the VIP Art Fair in 2013. VIP started selling art online in 2011 with 138 participants from 30 countries, including top international galleries Gagosian, David Zwirner, White Cube and Hauser & Wirth.
VIP’s list had contact information for about 75,000 people, including important clients of galleries, according to Jonas Almgren, a VIP co-founder and investor.
“That list included pretty much all the major high-end collectors at the time, people in the U.S., Russia, Europe, South America and Asia,” said Almgren. “For Artspace the database was the main appeal.”