In Artsy’s survey, the number of artworks that collectors reported purchasing annually rose dramatically by budget. Collectors spending less than $5,000 annually on art reported buying an average of 2 works per year, while collectors spending $250,000 or more reported buying an average of 17 artworks per year, with 43% of these collectors buying more than 20 artworks per year (to calculate the average, this bucket was assumed to max out at 40 artworks).
Ten percent of collectors who have purchased art online in the past reported purchasing an above-average 10 or more artworks per year, compared to just 3% of collectors who have not purchased art online. Collectors in the latter group were found to be 36% more likely to purchase just 1–2 artworks per year than online art collectors.
These results suggest that online art collectors are more likely than art collectors as a whole to increase the volume of their purchases as their budgets grow, rather than simply buying the same number of artworks at higher price points. As a result, online art collectors have a more diffuse impact on the art ecosystem, and may be more difficult to service for individual galleries and auction houses than collectors who purchase single, high-value works.
Collector experience level and potential long-term value
Most survey respondents were relatively new to the art market. Less than 50% of survey respondents have been collecting for 10 years or more, and 18% of current buyers said they have been collecting for 2 years or less. Thirty-two percent of respondents who actively collect online were under 35 years old—a key demographic for the art market, which currently needs to attract new buyers to support its artists, galleries, and auction houses.