Digital models in the art market


Skate’s Art Stock Index (SASI) recent changes reflect the increasing importance of digital models in the new art world.

The Skate’s Art Stock Index (SASI), established in 2005 tracks the performance of publicly listed global art industry companies. It has been used by the Tiroche DeLeon Collection for the past several years as one of the benchmarks for performance comparison. Recently, Skate’s has made some long-scheduled changes to SASI, which reflect the increasing importance of digital models in the new art world.

The Café Press, the US-listed e-commerce company, was replaced by the UK-listed Quarto, the world’s leading illustrated books publisher. The rebalanced Skate’s Art Stocks Index includes 17 companies from 9 countries, reaching a combined market capitalization of US$ 10.7 billion, the largest in the index’s 10-year history.

Etsy, Sotheby and Shutterstock represent two thirds of SASI by market value. Etsy is the top online marketplace firm, Sotheby’s is the leading auction business, and Shutterstock is the digital image and video licensing firm. In particular, Etsy has prevailed over eBay, Sotheby’s strategic digital partner, achieving superior valuation multiples as a pure play e-commerce business. However, it is important to note that eBay has performed very well over the last months, expanding into art and turning into a platform for live streaming auctions.

Using innovative technologies, these online e-commerce giants are revolutionizing the market, making art more accessible than ever to a global online audience with diverse interests and tastes.

                                         Skate's Art Stocks Index Constituents as of April 20, 2015

Source: Skate’s Art Stocks Monitor

More updates from the art market:

Despite the excellent performance of art prices, the global art industry stocks declined 5% in May. In particular, Etsy lost 44% of its value since the IPO earlier this year. At the other end of the spectrum stands Weng Fine Art, which was the best performer, with 19% monthly share price increase driven by investors’ enthusiasm around the long-anticipated online prints trading platform.

Seeking to regain market share lost to its arch-rival Christie’s, particularly in the coveted Contemporary auction market, Sotheby relaunched its finance business unit by increasing its cash availability to $1.3 billion in order to provide art-secured loans to its customers. This action helped Sotheby’s to more than double total revenue in Q1 2015 and to gain the trust of capital markets, which, according to Skate’s “are feeling increasingly more comfortable with the Sotheby’s new strategy”. 

          Art Industry is Underperforming. Skate's Art Stocks Index Vs.S&P 500 and Dax, since Dec 2011

Source: Skate's