Article and Features

Why the Art World Needs Benchmarks for Online Performance – A New Tool for Industry Insiders and Insights From Pace

The Online Top 100 is the newest tool tracking the online performance of the art world.
Gallery installation view

As the art world becomes increasingly digitalized and the online market continues to expand – increasing by 7% in 2021 to an estimated $13.3 billion according to the 2022 Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report – all actors in the field have increased their engagement in digital marketing and invested more in building a strong online presence. But success is nothing without a way to measure it. 
To serve this purpose, Artland has introduced The Online Top 100: the newest, essential data tool for industry insiders, ranking the best online performing contemporary art galleries and fairs based on an objective assessment of their digital footprint.

Combining extrapolated data relating to web traffic, social media performance, and backlink quantity and quality of over 4000 contemporary art galleries and fairs worldwide, The Online Top 100 aims to set unprecedented benchmarks for high digital performance. Updated monthly, the list is the result of third-party data processing, which makes it an entirely objective, impartial, and trustworthy tool in the industry.

All the key players in the art world that continually seek to improve their online strategy and build a strong online presence can benefit from The Online Top 100 as a unique market research tool to measure and evaluate their business’s current capabilities within the industry and identify new opportunities or areas for improvement.

” Our digital strategy has always been focused on storytelling and amplifying our artists’ voices through very
specific content.”

Christiana Ine-Kimba Boyle, Director of Online Sales at Pace

In conversation with Pace’s Director of Online Sales, Christiana Ine-Kimba Boyle

To get unique insights on how can a gallery get inspired and motivated to build a strong digital strategy, our editors had the pleasure to talk with Pace’s Director of Online Sales, Christiana Ine-Kimba Boyle, and discuss the art world’s progressive shift online, the importance of monitoring its online trends and developments, and the gallery’s success. 

With its nine locations worldwide and an over six-decade history, Pace is a leading international art gallery representing some of the most influential contemporary artists and estates from the 20th century, as well as one of the art world’s best performing online players.


With an outstanding 67 score, Pace takes the 6th spot in Artland’s Online Top 100 list this month. Congratulations! How would you describe the gallery’s digital strategy and what do you think is its biggest strength? 

Our digital strategy has always been focused on storytelling and amplifying our artists’ voices through very specific content. Our biggest strength naturally manifests from this strategy–– that being the development of unique and exclusive content for our artists, which helps provide a personal line connection with our audiences.

The Online Top 100 list ranks contemporary art galleries based on data from three main areas: web traffic, backlinks, and social media performance. Do you focus on these factors equally, or do you prioritize any of them over the others? 

We certainly focus on all three but prioritize web traffic and social media performance most as it directly indicates our audience’s interest and response to the content we’re generating online.

In the last couple of years, the transition of the art system and its market to the digital realm has radically accelerated. Have you adjusted the way you used to think and nurture the gallery’s online presence to these swift changes? If yes, how? 

We’ve most certainly realigned our market strategy with the radical surge of the digital realm. The development of our Web3 platform, Pace Verso, is the biggest indicator of us embracing this market shift.

Looking ahead, what are Pace’s main objectives and expectations when it comes to digital strategy and online growth?

As much of our online strategy is heavily informed by our artists’ needs, and many of our advanced studio practice artists continue to experiment with blockchain technology, our focus will continue to shift towards further development within the Web3 space.

The Online Top 100 list aims to set benchmarks for high digital performance in the contemporary art world. Do you think it’s important for the industry to have a market research tool that also provides a source of inspiration and motivation through healthy competitive analysis? 

Absolutely, and I am noticing many of the annual art market reports we look to have begun to incorporate data analysis about digital engagement and the market effect.

What is one piece of advice you would give to galleries that seek to improve their digital footprint and rise up in the Online Top 100 by targeting and generating audience engagement, ultimately enhancing their online presence? 

My advice would be to focus on the artist’s needs by bolstering their voice first and using that to inform how you’ll market to your audience, not the other way around. In my experience, we’ve been most successful following that ​approach.

Relevant sources to learn more

Read more on Artland Magazine
Meet the Next Gen Collectors: Who Are They and How Are They Changing the Art Market?
Interview with Mary Rozell, Global Head UBS Art Collection

Other relevant sources
Explore the latest Online Top 100 list and learn more about how the score works
Pace – Gallery website
Pace Verso, Pace’s platform for minting, exhibiting, and collecting NFTs

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