Sotheby's Wins a Webby for the 'Auction of the Future'

New York

S otheby’s innovative new auction format – dubbed the Auction of the Future – is now a 2021 Webby winner. The Webby Awards, a major international award honoring excellence on the internet, gave the Auction of the Future the top honor in the Video, Live Experiences (Branded) category.

In 2020, Sotheby’s introduced an innovative new way of experiencing our flagship auctions. State-of-the art technology was employed across three continents to provide near-zero latency streaming of the high definition broadcast and ensure near-zero latency for real-time bidding. Our multi-camera global livestreams redefined the auction house as we know it and offered our audience new ways to engage with art and objects.

After the first Auction of the Future experience, in June 2020, Chairman and auctioneer Oliver Barker said:
“Being on the rostrum tonight was like being at the epicentre of a cinematic production. We would never have envisioned, even a few months ago, that it would be possible to hold a series of flagship New York sales as an unprecedented live-streamed event, with banks of telephone- bidding colleagues beamed in from around the world. But, just as throughout its 276-year history, Sotheby’s was ready to pivot at a moment’s notice – and tonight we redefined the boundaries of what is possible.”

“There were a few highlights during the lavishly produced livestream, which was perhaps the slickest-looking live art event in history. Sotheby’s owner Patrick Drahi clearly knows the value of good video production”

Producing the Auction of the Future required unparalleled collaboration between Sotheby’s marketing, operations, IT and sales departments. It took a village – but the result is a groundbreaking new auction format that engages more bidders and viewers than ever before.

In 2021, Sotheby's continues to innovate, introducing auctions in an entirely new buying category: unique digital artworks known as NFTs. The Fungible Collection, a series of NFT artworks from artist PAK, sold at Sotheby's debut NFT partnership in April for a total of $17 million. Coming this June is Natively Digital: A Curated NFT Sale, a collection of remarkable, unique digital artworks co-curated with Robert Alice. The auction will showcase some of the earliest, raw NFTs built on pre-Ethereum chains alongside newer, complex NFTs that showcase cutting edge technical innovation.

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