Published on 11 October 2023, the ART+TECH Report | Digital Art Coll3cting examines the rapidly evolving world of web3, its impact on the art market and the concept of art collecting. It takes an in-depth look at the buying behaviour and collector motivations of art lovers and digital art collectors.
Image above: 4er Portrait ART+TECH Report Kerstin Gold, Johanna Neuschäffer, Kristina Gold, Anne Schwanz, Images: Banz & Bowinkel
Web3 and blockchain technology have the potential to change the art industry in many ways. They influence the way art is created, owned and experienced, and offer new opportunities for artists and collectors. It seems beyond doubt that this will lead to new forms of art collecting and a new diversity of collectors in the art market.
The ART+TECH Report is an independent initiative by Kerstin Gold, Kristina Leipold, Johanna Neuschäffer and Anne Schwanz. The four Berlin art market players with different functions share a strong interest in forward-looking scenarios for the art ecosystem: “We believe that it is urgent for the traditional art market to get a better understanding of where the future of digital art is heading. By making this report available to all interested parties, the ART+TECH Report aims to provide an independent and unbiased data base and create a common understanding from an art market perspective.”
In June and July 2023, 300 international art and NFT collectors were asked in an online survey about their personal experiences of buying and collecting digital art. The sample included a variety of age groups and collector profiles. Those among the respondents who identified as male or female split into 55% and 39% respectively, while 6% preferred not to provide any information.
The results of the ART+TECH study show that there are clear differences between digital art and NFTs in general. But also that the web3 is indeed having an impact on collecting habits that will eventually affect the traditional art market:
‣ 83% of respondents consider digital art to be as important as traditional art forms, and 55% believe that its importance has increased in the last year. Digital ownership combined with blockchain technology has finally anchored digital art in the official art canon, giving it the importance and merit it undoubtedly deserves. (see Keyleaning 01)
‣ According to the data, there has been a significant increase in generative and Blockchain-based art. More than half (55%) of collectors primarily collect generative art, followed by 48% who focus on blockchain-based art, which also indicates that artists are increasingly recognising blockchain as a creative medium. (see KL 02)
‣ Digital art collecting remained relatively unaffected by the crypto market downturn, with 56% of collectors maintaining or even increasing their NFT art purchases. For 48%, the perceived value of their art collection has not been affected at all by the volatility of cryptocurrencies. (see KL 03)
‣ Web3 rules and roles define how digital art is collected and purchased, challenging traditional art market paradigms. Open marketplaces (35%) and artist purchases (30%) are the preferred ways to buy digital art. And traditional roles are beginning to blur as artists collect (43%), collectors curate (35%) and communities shape artists’ careers and market demand. (see KL 04)
‣ Fractional art collecting is slowly gaining traction, with 21% already using it. While investment-related motivations were minimal, the idea of collective ownership emerging as a new form of collecting was the main driving force for 1/3 of fractional art collectors. (see KL 12)
The report also contains:
➔ A profile of a digital art collector
➔ Insights into the digital art buying process
➔ Preference for logs
➔ Main motivations for collecting digital art
➔ Main factors to buy more digital art
➔ 13 main findings
➔ Conclusion: Coll3cting Digital Art is Different