Study Finds Art Sales Correlate with Popularity in Google Hits

A new economic study by Aysin Tekindor, PhD candidate at Washington State University’s School of Economic Sciences, shows an interesting correlation between hit popularity and art price. The following is taken directly from the study:

“We use the logarithm of Google hits as an independent variable. A positive sign for the Google hit would show that popularity of an artist is important for the resulting price at auction market for famous artists. This conjecture is confirmed with highest significance levels (1%) with a factor of 0.38 which means that 1% increase in popularity (Google hits) results in a price increase of 38%.” (Tekindor 2012)

While the findings of this study are preliminary, its detailed data is hard to ignore. Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” has recently held an interesting place within popular culture (appearances in the Simpsons, being widely distributed as an internet meme, cameos on South Park, etc). With the information this study suggest its no wonder the piece had a record breaking sale (at auction) earlier this year. Given the price point of the aforementioned work, one has to wonder how important exposure is in influencing its own value.

HyperAllergic article here.

Pacific Standard Article here.

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