Online Art Sales in the US Industry Market Research Report from IBISWorld Has Been Updated

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The market for online art sales has been growing in line with strong demand from overseas markets and increasing access to internet-based retail outlets. For this reason, industry research firm IBISWorld has updated a report on the Online Art Sales industry in its growing industry report collection.

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Affluent customers kept the industry afloat while brick-and-mortar stores suffered

Some say a picture is worth a thousand words. The Online Art Sales industry has been growing in line with strong demand from overseas markets and increasing access to internet-based retail outlets. According to IBISWorld Industry Analyst Farrell McKenna, "Brick-and-mortar art dealers experienced growth in line with the economy during the past five years, but online-based art sales have been robust." In the five years to 2015, the industry is expected to grow strongly.

One factor contributing to the strength of the online art market stems from the nature of its customer base. The goods sold though the largest auction houses, including Sotheby's and Christie's, are targeted toward high-end consumers. Therefore, demand for these goods tends to remain constant regardless of the economic climate. Also, the trade-weighted index, which measures the value of the US dollar relative to foreign currencies, has driven art sales to newly industrialized countries. Consumers in those regions have found themselves with greater levels of disposable income in recent years, thus providing a financial basis upon which to invest in soft commodities, such as original works of art. Last, online art dealers operate within the larger industrial realm of e-commerce (IBISWorld report 45411a), which has exhibited double-digit growth during the five years to 2015. Like a rising tide raising all ships, worldwide consumer demand for online shopping has benefited online art dealers.

IBISWorld analysis reveals that the market for online art sales exhibits a medium level of concentration. The top four firms collectively hold a substantial percentage of the overall market for online art sales, with Christie's International accounting for the vast majority of that sum. The major companies in this industry are established auction houses that made a foray into the world of e-commerce during the past decade. These firms are the exception to the industry's norm of small-scale, niche, owner-operated businesses. As the industry remains in a phase of strong growth, concentration will likely decrease somewhat as the entry of new businesses dilutes the market share of the current major companies.

The Online Art Sales industry will continue to benefit from an affluent and global customer base through the five years to 2020. Revenue is forecast to grow significantly, but the double-digit gains exhibited during the previous period will eventually moderate into more stable growth. "Customers abroad will continue to provide a substantial share of revenue, but foreign competitors will begin challenging domestic sales as the value of the dollar strengthens considerably," says McKenna. Other factors supporting growth include continued advances in technological innovation and expanding access to art-focused e-tailers.

For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Online Art Sales in the US industry report page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

This industry primarily retails or auctions original and limited-edition artwork. Industry players purchase artwork from artists, individual owners and other dealers for resale or auction to consumers with little or no further development of the product. Sales of reproductions are excluded.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit or call 1-800-330-3772.

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