A panel discussion looking at how the internet enables art and business, with Carter Cleveland (Artsy), Susannah Wilson (Artnet News), Christopher Vroom (Artspace) and Aditya Julka (Paddle8). Moderated by Michaela de Pury.
Outline the key components and features of your companies:
Aditya: We started as a gallery listing model. But that model wasn’t easy to scale. Billions of dollars in transactions were needed to support costs. An auction model is now more scaleable.
Chris: At Artspace we have a curated e-commerce platform. We are the only 100% transactional platform out there. Controlling the transaction is the most effective way to serve the customer effectively.
Carter: A lot of art buying today already involves the use of digital technology. We offer an interplay between offline and online. Every household with disposable income has the potential to purchase art.
We are already being used in education, and want to be the place you go to find art.
The genome is one of the reasons we have a really high time on site. It’s how we drive recommendations and it is critical in the long term.
Susannah: Art.net started 25 years ago. It has it's advantages and challenges. When we started, Artnet was looking to increase the transparency of a notoriously closed industry.
How do the charity auctions work as a business model?
Chris: Charity auctions made sense to strengthen the relationships with institutions.
Aditya: It’s a big part of our platform and not only supports relationships with the institutions but helps with customer acquisition.
How do you want to handle the large competition like Sothebys, Amazon and Ebay?
Susannah: our sites are special and unique because we sell fine art.
Aditya: We see ourselves as complimentary to Sotheby's and Christies. We want to be the ultimate destination for people looking to sell at price points lower than what they deal with.
The brick and mortar set is basically three companies, how do you view that? What makes you believe you will be the number one company?
Chris: We are operating in a very large space. Multiple big companies can emerge. Serving the customer most effectively is ultimately how we will create most value.
Carter: Our approach has been very different. We focused more on creating a listings platform. LinkedIn is similar to us strategically. Once you create a network you can build a lot of valuable businesses on top of it. That is similar to how we look at our strategy long term.
Aditya: There is an enormous amount of data being generated each day that is important. We can then use that to guide customers views in the future. Creating an easy avenue for people to make transactions at the lower end of the art market will open up a huge market that is currently not very liquid.
Susannah: Artnet is a data company at its heart. That’s a huge part of how we plan to build our company.