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Sotheby’s NFT Sales: Art, Auction, And Apes

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“NFT”is a unique type of asset in the art as well as technology world. In 2021, a digital art collection of 101 cartoon apes was sold for USD24.4 million, setting a record high at Sotheby’s online auction.

 This case first briefly introduces the auction industry and Sotheby’s, including both its online and offline contemporary art sales. Students will gain an appreciation of how NFT can disrupt and challenge traditional markets.  It also exhibits the projects Sotheby’s undertook to bridge the gap between the burgeoning market of NFTs and the physical collectible market. Then it describes how an NFT was sold, as well as the costs and risks involved. Finally, it brings about the “what's next” question for auction houses like Sotheby’s, marketers, art collectors and all stakeholders at the intersection of art and technology.

Learning Objective:

  1. To examine the factors and risks in bringing in new technology in a traditional industry  
  2. To conduct environmental analysis for a company in a niche industry.
  3. To understand cross-industrial complications that Sotheby’s ought to manage.
  4. To analyze both internal and external impacts to Sotheby’s after the introduction of NFT
  5. To explore how NFT can disrupt traditional business models and  its market potentials

Year of Publication: 2022
Ref. No.: 22/728C
Discipline: Marketing, Strategy & General Management
Industry: Commercial Services
Country: Global
Company: Sotheby's
Languages: English
Pages of Text: 11