Art Market & Digital: the terms to know

    Art Market & Digital: the terms to know

    The digitalization of the art market has determined the need to create a new online art vocabulary useful to help Artists, Collectors and Professionals to orient themselves in the world of Art 3.0. 

    So here is a glossary that encapsulates the terms mainly used in the online art world.

    Online Art Marketplace

    As a result of the pandemic, the online art market grew in the first half of 2020 to $5.9 billion. This segment accounts for about 8% of the overall art market, which totaled $64.1 billion, according to UBS and Art Basel’s Art Market Report. 

    One of the biggest advantages of the online art market is its ability to reach a large number of users and therefore:

    • Create an international network of artists, professionals and galleries around the world.
    • Increase the opportunities for buying and selling artwork. 


    A Brick-and-Click is a gallery with a physical location and an online presence. Because of the lockdown, galleries have experienced a deep crisis, with some famous closures, such as the latest one announced by Metro Pictures in New York, which is ceasing operations after 40 years. But on the other hand, online sales have increased from 10% in 2019 to 37% in the first half of 2020.

    Thanks to new digital tools, many galleries have managed to change their business model, using online and offering collectors the opportunity to discover and purchase artworks from the comfort of their homes.


    Metadata is data that describes other data. In the context of the art world, metadata is information about artworks and artists that is used to identify and describe them. For example, the size of the artwork, the date of an exhibition, and the price all fall into the category of metadata.

    In a market that is often defined as not very transparent, the presence of metadata represents a guarantee for collectors who want to know as much information as possible about the history of the artist and the work for a more conscious and secure online purchase. 

    Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

    Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process that affects the visibility of a website or page in organic (non-sponsored) search results

    SEO makes an artist or art professional’s website more visible on search engines, which increases their chances of promoting and selling art. 

    Online Buyer

    An Online Buyer is a collector or potential buyer who purchases art online, either through a digital platform or directly from a gallery or auction house website.

    The emergence of a new generation of Millennial collectors has led to a rapid increase in the online art market. According to a survey conducted by US Trust, Millennials are currently the fastest growing segment of art collectors and just this year over 92% of Millennial collectors have purchased art through the use of sales platforms and Instagram. 

    Augmented Reality

    Augmented reality, more commonly known as AR, is a technology that allows you to enjoy art in a completely new, interactive and authentic way.

    Features such as augmented reality help fans visit exhibitions and art fairs by having unique experiences and collectors learn more about the works they are interested in, potentially increasing the possibility of purchase. 

    Blockchain Technology

    Blockchain finds a place in the art system and market as a tool to support issues around provenance, price manipulation, traceability, and lack of transparency of information about artworks. 

    Among the platforms that use the Blockchain in an innovative way Art Rights, a single smart, simple and cheap solution to manage, certify and protect artworks in support of artists, collectors and operators in the sector.

    Discover Art Rights

    And are you ready for the online art market?

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