Saatchi Gallery Online

The Saatchi Gallery seems to be working hard to create a useful online resource for artists, with a new service popping up everytime I visit their website. I haven’t used the site much, but I did set up an artist profile when they first started morphing into an art portal.

An article in the Financial Times says “A poll of 2000 of the 70,000 artists on the site estimated that Saatchi Online is now responsible for annualized art sales of $130m (£64m). The figure is extrapolated from the $88,000 sales reported by 500 respondents for a single week in September.”

I’m not sure if that means that there has been $130 million in art sold on the site, or that the artists that have profiles on the Saatchi site sell $130 million in the real world. Either way, it’s an impressive number, even if it happened to be an optimistic estimate.

Are there artists out there that are actively using Saatchi online to sell art? It would be interesting to hear if it works.

Here’s some features and milestones that they have released or achieved recently (taken from the Saatchi Gallery newsletter)..

  • The website now regularly receives over 50 million hits daily (hits are not unique visitors).
  • Alexa, the leading research website company that tracks the top 50,000 sites on the internet shows that Saatchi Online has now entered the top 300 sites in the US. For comparative purposes the previously largest art information site ranks at 5833 and the world’s biggest museum site ranks at 7087.
  • The new section Saleroom opened last month to allow artists on the site to display artworks they wish to sell, with each work being given its own page for visitors to browse through. Buyers can then purchase directly from the artist, with no commission charged to either artist or the buyer. In its first ten days over 20,000 works were displayed for sale, ranging in price from $100 – $15,000 plus.
  • Thousands of Chinese artists and students are now using the Mandarin version of Saatchi Online since it was launched in May this year to allow the Chinese art world to have its own interactive site which functions in the same way as the English-speaking site.
  • Saatchi Online took an exhibition stand at Zoo art fair. Twenty artists chosen from the weekly Critic’s Picks on Saatchi Online’s daily magazine were invited to exhibit their work at the art fair in London. The work represented a range of work registered on Saatchi Online and all the work at the exhibition was for sale on a non-commission basis.
  • Our “Museums Around the World” section has enabled 3,000 institutions including the Museum of Modern Art New York, Tate UK, Metropolitan Museum of Art New York, the Louvre Paris, National Gallery, the Guggenheim and other major world museums to load and display their collection highlights and exhibition details on the website.
  • Our “Art Colleges Around the World” section has enabled over 3,000 universities, visual arts, performing arts, fashion and design colleges including Yale, Harvard, Oxford and Cambridge universities and the world’s leading art colleges to load up and display their prospectuses, student information and student art-work.

Sounds like they have been quite busy..

About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.

Comments

  1. I have just come to the same conclusion myself: that Saatchi Gallery is indeed trying to champion the cause of supporting the arts and artists trying to make some kind of remuneration for their work.

    Coincidentally, I was just this week named in the Saatchi Magazine as one of Nicholas Forrest’s Top Ten artists to be watched, out of the more than 60,000 at Saatchi Online.

    Due to the outside financing they have obtained, they are able to provide the Salesroom and artist galleries at no cost to us. I think they really are trying to make connections for artists the world over. Kudos to Saatchi.

  2. Having a marketing wiz with plenty of cash has to be a good thing for the project ;-)

    Anything that puts money in the artists’ pocket and allows them to create is a good thing. So if it’s helping artists, I hope it continues to grow and succeed.

    Lynda, have you sold any work through the site? I would like to hear from real artists, selling work through the site.

    Dion

  3. No, Dion, I haven’t sold anything through Saatchi yet, but I’ve just put my work in their Salesroom this week! Time will tell…

    Lynda

  4. Just wanted to add that there are other sites that do what Saatchi Gallery online does, and better! Check out http://www.artid.com. A good idea is for artists to take advantage of as many online venues as are available.

  5. I set up a profile but have not taken advantage of much of what they offer to artists. I think they are doing a great job in building excitement around the “Showdowns” and such.

    Their pace of development is fast. They are building lots of momentum. And to think they only getting started really. The art world needs their kind of approach to get more of the general public interested in following art and artists.

    Cheers,
    John

  6. Anonymous says:

    Saatchi-”The website now regularly receives over 50 million hits daily”. What a load of crap! The get hits because of all the annoying pop-up crap they use. This not the way to get customers. It is the practice of slimey, scammers, and looking at their web design, for a site that sells art. Their site design is pathetic and poorly thought out.

  7. I would have to say agree that the Saatchi website needs a complete reworking. I have just joined and one of the first annoying things is how they display the thumbnail of your picture. They (the software) streches or compresses your original art making it look grainy and destroying the integrity of it. Another thing is that there is a horrible internal artist search. You can only search by country and artist name! Are you kidding me. What about art style? Medium? Year?
    They could also improve the search by country search by adding state or province. I also feel that there should be some sort of screening process in place to weed out the many many weak artists that are showing redundant work. Only those that are breaking new ground should be shown.

  8. Anonymous says:

    That Saatchi Gallery Online site is awful. I can make heads or tails of that thing. there is so much crap on it in no particular order with type flashing all around. That site looks like it’s 15 years old.

  9. The Saatchi art site is very deceptive from a website design point of view. Not only do they use drop down ads, full screen ones I might add, they also have their competitions set up so that artists end up begging thousands of people daily to vote for them. That kind of traffic is deceptive if you ask me because it is not like the people are going to view the art they are just going to vote. I see “help me win ShowDown” type messages on myspace, livejournal, facebook, and every other site that I’m on daily. I don’t think their claims about gaining exposure for artists is overly true either. For example, The Saatchi art student site has a better traffic rank than the artist networking site http://www.myartspace.com, but if you search for ‘Sarah Maple’, the artist who won Saatchi’s New Sensation competition, on Google or Yahoo you will notice that her myartspace profile and interviews show up way before her content on Saatchi’s site even though myartspace does not have as good of traffic rank. From a webmaster standpoint it seems Saatchi’s art sites have influenced their traffic rank. And you know as well as I that the site would never have had the coverage had Saatchi’s name not been attached to it. It is shameful that a media mogul like Saatchi would allow such rubbish to have his name associated with it. How many works of art has Saatchi bought from those members?

  10. Hate to break it to you but Saatchi’s site, http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk, including STUART is a scam. There traffic ranking is very deceptive. Go to http://www.alexa.com and you will see that the largest group on the site based on country is India making up 16.5%. Most art sites and websites in general have the United States, United Kingdom and Germany as their three top countries for traffic. Saatchi has India, Thailand and Indonesia which all happen to have a market for pay-per-click services.

    So my guess is that the marketing brains behind Saatchi’s art site has paid some of those companies to visit the site in order to fudge their numbers. Need more proof about Saatchi’s little white lie? The United States and United Kingdom each make up less than 0.6% of the membership. Germany makes up 1.1%. Russia only makes up 1.2%. So that means most of the hubs of the international art world are hardly represented on the site. Anyone else think that is strange? When compared to other popular art sites?

    People have said it before and I will say it again, the only reason people put work on Saatchi’s site is because his name is on it. His site looks like it came from the mid 1990s. You tell me how a poorly designed site with an outdated look has become one of the top 300 websites in the world. Don’t bother. I know the answer. Millions of hands paid to visit and Saatchi’s huge bank account to pay them.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I like Saatchi’s website.

  12. I signed up for Stuart when I was a student because I thought it might be a good tool to get attention. However, now that I am no longer a student, I would love to cancel my account. BUT it seems absolutely impossible to do that. I have spend some hours to surf this maze-like site to find an impressum or webmaster or simply a button to unsubscribe to this service. Without success. These are mafia methods and I warn everyone to sign up to this.

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