As the housing market continues to grow, the walls of new homes need some decoration. You decide you want a nice piece of art but where to start, what is your personal taste? Even if you know your preferences, you may find it rather difficult to describe them to find the type of art you are looking for. Now there is ARTO Gallery, the application that helps you find your perfect art match!
What is ARTO?
ARTO Gallery, launched in 2016 by Jonie Oostveen who was a former Director Business Development at Spotify, is a new way to discover and buy art from your mobile device. The app helps experts as well as non-experts to discover great paintings based on their personal preferences, while also giving artists a platform to sell and promote their artworks. The platform offers art of both independent artists and galleries but also partners with renowned museums (e.g. the Rijks Museum and the National Gallery of Art). Currently the platform has a database of 5.500 artists and more than 20.000 pieces, which is expected to grow to 50.000 by the end of the year.
How does it work?
Once you open the app, you will see your “Art Stream”. Customers participate as active “co-creators”(Tsekouras, lecture 2017) by indicating per artwork whether they like it or not through swiping it left or right. The more the customer swipes, the better ARTO Gallery understands their personal preferences. By using the Artificial Intelligent “Art Recommendation Engine” ARTO can recommend artworks from their database to the customer. Furthermore, it is possible to stream artwork to your TV to imagine how the piece would look in your room, ask questions to the artists and see similar artworks to the ones you liked. Artists pay for the service if a transaction takes place as ARTO Gallery charges the artists’ account a certain percentage of the value of artworks sold. For customers the platform is free of charge.
ARTO is the first two-sided personalized platform that connects art seekers to galleries and artists. The platform maximizes the joint profitability of both partners (Carson et al., 1999). On one side, art seekers are now enabled to find artworks they love more efficiently as their choice overload is reduced by personalized recommendations. Moreover, the invested effort is relatively low as using the application requires much less time than browsing gallery websites.
On the other side, galleries and artists have easy and low cost access to a new customer base, increasing their potential returns. Moreover, through this process ARTO Gallery allows the long tail of art to grow (Brynjolfsson et al., 2006) as more customers discover unfamiliar artwork styles while artists and galleries can adapt their supply to this.
Futhermore, I consider criterion for the feasibility of required reallocations (Carson et al., 1999) to be met. However, evaluating the institutional environment, I would say that legally there is the largest threat for platform abuse. One might want to sell copies of paintings as if it is original work (intellectual property issues), which may both harm the potential buyer as well as the reputation of ARTO Gallery as a platform. Nonetheless, ARTO Gallery addressed this by their notifications of copyright infringement. Moreover, artists are carefully screened before they are allowed to upload work on the platform. In addition, artists and galleries are always responsible for their own artworks and personal information may be handed over to legal institutions at all times.
I think the ARTO Gallery application is unique and considerably differs from its competition by offering personalized art recommendations. This feature makes it a great way to discover your personal taste and new artworks, while it offers a platform for art suppliers to expose their works. However, as the application is launched recently it is difficult to tell whether it will establish itself into the marketplace. I think first some marketing investments need to be done as the application is still quite unknown, but there is definitely potential!
Brynjolfsson, E., Hu, Y., and Smith, M.D. 2006. From Nichees to Riches: Anotomy of the Long Tail. Management Review 47(4) 67-71.
Carson, S. J., Devinney, T. M., Dowling, G. R., & John, G. (1999). Understanding institutional designs within marketing value systems. Journal of Marketing, 115-130
Arto Gallery.(2017, February 24). Our Company. Retrieved from Arto.Gallery
Artworldforum. (2017, February 24). press-arto-gallery. Retrieved from Artworldforum.com
Tsekouras, D. (2 February 2017), Lecture Customer Centric Digital Commerce, “Introduction to value co-creation”.