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Artnet Drives Further Digitalization of Art Market

Strong Monthly Visitor Growth at Artnet News

Revenue Increase in 2019 Despite Generally Weak Auction Market

BERLIN, GERMANY and NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / June 30, 2020 / Berlin-based Artnet AG, the leading provider of art market data and online-only fine art auctions, projects an accelerated digitalization and a growing acceptance of online transactions in the art market. "The current economic downturn is accelerating the digital transformation of the market which we have advanced since our founding three decades ago," said Jacob Pabst, CEO of Artnet AG. "The crucial roles that the Internet and e-commerce currently play will lead to fundamental changes in consumer behavior and leverage Artnet's strengths as the market leader in the online art market."

In May, sales at Artnet Auctions doubled year-over-year to $4 million, setting a new monthly record. Artnet Auctions, founded in 2008, is Artnet's online-only transaction platform for fine art auctions. Given the widespread lockdown, Artnet Auctions became one of the few remaining options for buying and selling works of art as traditional brick-and-mortar auctions were canceled due to the pandemic.

As in the auction business, the digital dissemination of information, which Artnet has promoted for many years, gathers momentum. The news platform Artnet News has become the primary source of information for the art market, generating more traffic than all other art publications combined. Artnet News has established itself as the leading source of exclusive information and news in the art world, thereby strengthening the entire Artnet brand. Last year, the average number of visitors to Artnet increased by 20% to 3.6 million per month overall. In the current financial year, 4.8 million visitors came to Artnet per month between January and the end of May.

The Gallery Network enables member galleries to promote artists and artworks to Artnet's global online audience. A sound e-commerce strategy is essential for galleries that are currently dependent on the Internet due to the lockdown. "We are seeing increased interest from galleries wanting to take advantage of online opportunities," said Artnet CEO Pabst.

The Price Database, the most comprehensive online archive for auction results and the core of Artnet, provides price transparency, orientation and reliable information to the art market ever since its founding in 1989. The Price Database, whose wealth of data is also the basis of Artnet News' reporting, remains an indispensable research tool for art market participants with currently some 14 million illustrated auction results.

In the 2019 financial year, Artnet grew total revenue by 1% to $21.9 million year-over-year, despite the weak international art market. According to the Artnet Price Database, the total annual auction sales value for fine art declined globally by 11% to $13.1 billion, also affecting Artnet. Artnet's overall revenue growth resulted from the high demand for advertising space on Artnet News. Advertising revenue overall increased by 20% to $5.4 million in 2019, as compared to the previous year. For the first time, advertising became Artnet's second-largest revenue source after Price Database subscriptions. However, declining revenues in the Gallery Network and Artnet Auctions segments slowed the overall growth. Accordingly, the operating income of $197k for 2019 was lower than expected.

In the first quarter of 2020, Artnet's total revenue decreased slightly by 2% year-on-year to $5.14 million due to the onset of the economic downturn and the market panic in March. As stated in the 2019 annual report, Artnet expects a slight revenue decline in the 2020 financial year due to reduced advertisers' budgets in light of the global recession. Overall, Artnet predicts revenues in a range of $20.0 million to $21.0 million for 2020. "We are tackling the crisis from a position of strength," said Artnet CEO Jacob Pabst. "As a leading online provider of information, analysis and auctions for fine art, Artnet is in an ideal position to benefit from the growing importance of e-commerce in the art market."

The 2019 annual report is available at http://www.artnet.com/investor-relations/annual-reports

The report for the first quarter of 2020 is available at http://www.artnet.com/investor-relations/quarterly-reports

For further information, please contact: press@artnet.com

About Artnet
Artnet is the leading resource for buying, selling, and researching art online. Founded in 1989, Artnet's suite of industry-leading products has revolutionized the way people collect art today. The Price Database contains approximately 14 million auction results from 1,800 auction houses dating back to 1985, providing an unparalleled level of transparency to the art market. The Gallery Network platform connects leading galleries with collectors from around the world, offering the most comprehensive overview of artworks for sale. Artnet Auctions was the first dedicated online marketplace for fine art, providing a seamless and efficient collecting experience for both buyers and sellers. Artnet News covers the events, trends, and people shaping the global art market with up-to-the-minute analysis and expert commentary.

Artnet AG is listed in the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, the segment with the highest transparency standards.

SOURCE: artnet AG via EQS Newswire

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