Sotheby's Leans Heavily on Online Auctions for Better-Than-Expected 2020 Revenue

The first time virtual sales have topped 10%.

By
Arts 
2,132 Hypes 3 Comments

International auction house Sotheby’s has announced its revenue for 2020 so far, recording $2.5 billion USD in sales to the end of July. While this amount is 25% down from the same period last year, it also represents a better-than-expected resilience to the disruption caused by COVID-19 and subsequent government measures.

One of the driving forces behind this performance was the increase of online sales across the year. With over 180 online sales, and volume up by 540%, Sotheby’s brought in over $285 million USD through this channel, representing the first time that online sales have made up over 10% of total sales.

Announcing the results, Sotheby’s CEO Charles Stewart said, “Our team successfully took the circumstances of the past several months and turned them into opportunities, which advanced numerous initiatives that will likely change our business forever.”

As well as the success of virtual sales, Sotheby’s also introduced new buy-now initiatives such as the Sotheby’s Gallery Network. These new revenue streams are an important part of Sotheby’s strategy to attract new and younger art collectors.

Alongside the new initiatives, Sotheby’s also held two live global auctions, although activity was restricted below the top tier evening sales due to a lack of supply rather than smaller buyer demand. Overall, the average lot value for digital and live sales over $20,000 USD, more than doubling since 2019. “Although driven by necessity, it’s clear that our clients’ interest and confidence in technology has fundamentally changed,” said Stewart.

In other art news, Steve McQueen’s Tate retrospective is due to reopen this week.

Read Full Article

What to Read Next

Sony Reveals You Can't Play PlayStation 5 Games With a PS4 Controller
Gaming

Sony Reveals You Can't Play PlayStation 5 Games With a PS4 Controller

“Not all PlayStation officially licensed or third-party peripherals/accessories may work on PS5.”

Virgin Galactic Unveils Mach 3 Aircraft for High-Speed Commercial Flights
Tech

Virgin Galactic Unveils Mach 3 Aircraft for High-Speed Commercial Flights

Partnering with Rolls Royce, the team behind Concorde.

Benny The Butcher and DJ Drama Drop 'Gangsta Grillz X BSF Da Respected Sopranos' Album
Music

Benny The Butcher and DJ Drama Drop 'Gangsta Grillz X BSF Da Respected Sopranos' Album

Another new release from the Black Soprano Family.


Prince and Brain Dead Link up for Vibrant Court-Ready Capsule
Fashion

Prince and Brain Dead Link up for Vibrant Court-Ready Capsule

Emphasizing retro-inspired prints, bold logos and hi-tech fabrics.

Converse Japan Delivers Closer Look at Quake, Resistor and Sponge Silhouettes
Footwear

Converse Japan Delivers Closer Look at Quake, Resistor and Sponge Silhouettes

Trail sneakers updated with outdoor-friendly Cordura fabrics.

JAY-Z Shares Three Rare Cuts on TIDAL
Music

JAY-Z Shares Three Rare Cuts on TIDAL

One with Blue Ivy and two with Memphis Bleek and Sauce Money.

More ▾
 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Gain access to exclusive interviews with industry creatives, think pieces, trend forecasts, guides and more.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Help us serve you better

We appreciate your support in allowing HYPEBEAST ads, where we can share contents from the latest fashion, to those culturally relevant. In adding HYPEBEAST to your ad blocker's whitelist, ads on our sites will show while you continue to browse.