Millennials are Purchasing Artwork and Utilizing Social Media to Find Their Pieces

by | 4 minute read

Mil­len­ni­als are much more inter­est­ed in art than pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions, and social media may be dri­ving their attrac­tion to it, accord­ing to a new study con­duct­ed by Park West Gallery, one of the world's largest pri­vate art gal­leries.

Mil­len­ni­als are almost twice as like­ly as baby boomers to say they both know some­thing about art (63% to 34%), and almost uni­ver­sal­ly agree that they appre­ci­ate art, the research found. In fact, four out of five mil­len­ni­als said that art was impor­tant to them, the high­est per­cent­age of any age group.

"Some peo­ple believe that mil­len­ni­als are tied to their smart­phones, and there­fore might be less inter­est­ed in the fine arts. In fact, just the oppo­site appears to be true: there's a gen­er­a­tional shift in which younger peo­ple are more attract­ed to art than old­er gen­er­a­tions," said Albert Scaglione, founder and CEO of Park West Gallery. "Dur­ing the auc­tions we hold around the world, we see more young peo­ple every day, and we wit­ness the per­son­al con­nec­tion that peo­ple of all ages have to art. Art was always cre­at­ed to inspire, and peo­ple today are crav­ing that inspi­ra­tion as much as ever."

Accord­ing to Audi­enceS­CAN, near­ly 50% of Fine Art/Framing Shop­pers own iPhones while 40.5% own Androids, and 14.5% wear smart­watch­es. Being glued to these phones isn't a bad thing for adver­tis­ers. This audi­ence is 68% more like­ly than oth­er adults to view adver­tis­ing on their mobiles apps as use­ful to them.

The study also found that social media is dri­ving addi­tion­al inter­est in art among all demo­graph­ics, espe­cial­ly mil­len­ni­als, allow­ing peo­ple to find and inter­act with art in new ways. Some of the oth­er key find­ings include:

  • 53% of peo­ple say they have inter­act­ed with art on social media
  • 55% say that social media plays an impor­tant role in dis­cov­er­ing new art
  • 54% say social media enhances the way they expe­ri­ence art
  • 79% of mil­len­ni­als say social media allows them to inter­act with art in new and inter­est­ing ways, ver­sus 61% and 37% of Gen X and baby boomers, respec­tive­ly
  • 65% of mil­len­ni­als say they buy art­work with the inten­tion of shar­ing it with oth­ers on social media, ver­sus 45% and 25% of Gen X and baby boomers, respec­tive­ly.

Fine Art/Framing Shop­pers are active on Face­book (83.1%), YouTube (71.7%), Insta­gram (54.5%) and Twit­ter (48.8%), accord­ing to Audi­enceS­CAN. There, they can view not only art, but also adver­tise­ments that they're 86% more like­ly than oth­er adults to view as use­ful to them.

The inter­net and social media have become pow­er­ful tools to learn about and dis­cov­er art, but when it comes to buy­ing, most Amer­i­cans (87%) still want to see it in per­son before pur­chase. While the inter­net is the most pop­u­lar method to learn about art, retails stores (33%), street fairs (29%) and art auc­tions (12%) are still the most pop­u­lar ways to buy it.

"New tools are giv­ing peo­ple excit­ing new ways to learn about and expe­ri­ence art. Col­lec­tions are no longer just on our walls but in our pock­ets," said Jason Bet­teridge, an auc­tion­eer at Park West Gallery. "But while social media is a part of our future, we can't lose the in-per­son con­nec­tion."

While the vast major­i­ty of Amer­i­cans (91%) like art, most still view it as a lux­u­ry, and eco­nom­ic con­cerns still pre­vent some from pur­chas­ing. Although most Amer­i­cans have pur­chased at least one piece of art, the major­i­ty (57%) of Amer­i­cans would not con­sid­er buy­ing art­work that costs more than $500.

Dig­i­tal adver­tise­ments are a great way to reach Fine Art/Framing Shop­pers. Accord­ing to Audi­enceS­CAN, last year, 58.9% of this audi­ence took action after receiv­ing an email adver­tise­ment and 54.2% react­ed to ads they saw on their mobile smart­phone apps or ads that were received via text mes­sage. They're also 38% more like­ly than oth­er adults to click on text link ads on web­sites. TV is also an effec­tive way to get this con­sumer group's atten­tion since 70.8% of them took action after see­ing a TV com­mer­cial last year.

Audi­enceS­CAN data is avail­able for your appli­ca­tions and dash­boards through the Sales­Fu­el API. Media com­pa­nies and agen­cies can access Audi­enceS­CAN data through the Audi­enceS­CAN Reports in AdMall.

Rachel Cagle

Rachel Cagle

Rachel is a Research Ana­lyst, spe­cial­iz­ing in audi­ence intel­li­gence, at Sales­Fu­el. She also helps to main­tain the major accounts and co-op intel­li­gence data­bas­es. As the hold­er of a Bach­e­lors degree in Eng­lish from The Ohio State Uni­ver­si­ty, Rachel helps the rest of the Sales­Fu­el team with their writ­ing needs.