We are building the world’s leading distributed art gallery, and our mission is to empower fine artists to succeed in business. In this 2022 Winter Update, we wanted to share how we’ve been working towards accomplishing that vision.
We’re excited to share a lot of updates with you about what we’re doing at Kicky and what our vision is for next year.
As an artist, you are dedicated to your craft, and you are passionate about what you do. But, just like anyone else in any other profession, you deserve to be fairly compensated for what you do. Not only is there no shame in caring about money, you should care about money. So let’s kick off with that!
We’ve completely revamped every aspect of our pricing structure from top to bottom to ensure that you as our artists always win.
We’re excited to announce the introduction of Dynamic Pricing to Kicky!
Our plan has always been to leverage data to automatically help artists find the best price for their art. We can feed our algorithms lots of info, like how often people are visiting your profile pages, how many people are renting, joining the waitlist, and scanning QR codes. Then, there’s adjacent info, like how well other pieces by the same artist are doing, what the artist’s reputation is, and even ethereal information, such as what type of devices people who are interested in your art use when they visit your artwork page and whether that tends to correspond to a higher value.
It’s your choice whether to use Dynamic Pricing or not, and if you do choose to use it, we have built several features to give you fine-tuned control. First, you set a base purchase price and a base rental price. We recommend starting out with a rental price of 1/48th of your purchase price.
With Dynamic Pricing enabled, the base prices will automatically adjust up or down based on what our algorithms determine will give your art the best chance at selling for a good value.
If you’re worried that your art may be sold too low, you can set a minimum threshold that your art will never go below. If you hate money and want to set a maximum price, you can optionally set that, too.
With dynamic pricing, finding the right price for your art has never been easier, and as you progress as an artist and demand grows, the price of your artwork automatically goes up too.
Kicky is a gallery, but unlike other galleries, Kicky is a distributed gallery. Your art doesn’t sit uselessly on the wall in a showroom, where it can’t be enjoyed by anyone and it isn’t making any money for you. We put your art to work. The gallery is the whole city, with patrons enjoying art, and artists earning money before it finds its forever-home.
We know that not everyone who wants original art on their wall necessarily wants to permanently purchase it. Younger generations prefer access over ownership, which has spurred the success of Netflix, Rent the Runway, Uber, and Airbnb. Businesses, too, have a hard time making a huge initial investment in art while decorating, and then find that they’re stuck with those choices years later if they do want to redecorate.
To bring access to even more patrons and to help ensure even more art is put to work each month, we’re introducing the Host Commission program.
Now, patrons who rent art are rewarded with a commission when an artwork that they are hosting sells. On average, if a host rents an artwork for a year before it sells, their commission will completely cover their rental subscription fees, which means they got to rent the art for free for a year, while supporting the artist in being paid for a year, and building the value of the artwork during that time thanks to Dynamic Pricing. If an artwork sells in less than a year, then the host can actually make a profit!
We have been experimenting with the tiered model. This meant that your art was automatically grouped into a pricing tier based on the minimum sale price you set. If you set your price to $2,000, it would rent for $90/mo, but if you lowered your price by a single dollar, it would rent for $30/mo. This made pricing awkward for both patrons and artists, and it also didn’t play well with our plan to introduce Dynamic Pricing.
Moving forward, we are eliminating tiered prices completely. Each artwork has the freedom to be set at the best price for it.
After almost a year of development, we’ve now launched the beta version of kicky.com, which is ready for both business and consumer patrons to visit and rent art. We will continue to make improvements and add new features every week, but we’ve reached the minimal set of features needed to start advertising online.
We just launched our first advertising campaign this holiday season, promoting a 10% discount on art rentals via multiple channels including Google, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Email.
We will continue to pour energy into promoting your art in the coming year. You’re still in control, but we’re here to help you sell your art and put it in front of the right people.
We’re refactoring our business model to ensure that we can support all these new benefits, and pay our own bills too. We’re committed to a commission structure that makes sure that the artist always wins, so we’re pleased to announce that for art sales, our commission moving forward will be just 40%, among the lowest commissions in the industry. For art that sells while it’s hosted by a patron, the patron’s commission will come out of our take, not the artist’s, so the host commission is 20%, Kicky’s commission is 20%, and the artist’s take doesn’t change; it’s still 60%.
On the rental side, there is no industry standard to compare art rentals to. Because we are creating a new category (the distributed gallery), we received advice that to be in line with traditional galleries, we should take 100% of rental fees for ourselves. We do think this would still be a good deal for artists since we’d be helping them increase exposure and value and still offering a super competitive sale commission. However, our mission is to empower fine artists to succeed in business. We want to make sure that artists are seeing regular monthly income and getting an incredible benefit from listing their art on Kicky, so we have set our commission on art rental subscriptions to 50%.
On the note of empowering fine artists to succeed in business, we are building an exciting cornucopia of tools, services, and other benefits that are laser-focused on helping artists succeed.
As we have been talking to artists, we keep hearing common themes around the software you pay for, the people you hire to help you get your job done, and the things you need to succeed. Our goal with the Kicky Premium Membership is that you’ll be able to eliminate costs across the board, and instead, pay a single monthly membership fee for the services that are tailor fit for your needs. This program is an optional add-on to the great benefits of using Kicky that artists are already able to enjoy for free.
Many artists have told us that they’re paying monthly for various software tools that are essential for their business needs, yet the software can be over complicated and isn’t designed for the needs of artists. We are listening and building out a suite of tools to help, including artist storefronts, inventory management, CRM features (email, subscriptions, social posting, customer funnel tracking, etc.), commission bidding tools, and messaging. Most of this isn’t built yet, but we’ll be listening hard to what features you want and focusing on the most-wanted items first!
Even with the support of all these software tools, it’s hard to go it alone. That’s why the Premium Membership will include monthly consultations with one of our Artist Advisors who are there to help you with anything related to art – even if it has nothing to do with Kicky! We will also be inviting Premium Members to community events and forums, giving you a chance to hear from experts and from each other and strategize the best way to succeed in business.
Premium Membership will also include a number of services either free or discounted, such as studio art photography, art storage, art packaging, full-service inventory management, framing, and of course delivery and installation. As with the software side, we’ll be adding these features throughout the year based on what artists find most useful, so don’t be bashful with your wish-lists.
The Premium Membership will be launching in April of 2023 and will cost $250/mo. Until then, all artists are automatically able to participate in the beta pilot of the program for free!
If it sounds like we’re trying to do it all, you’re kind of right. However, we recognize that we’ll never be able to offer the best quality when it comes to certain things. That’s why we’re launching a directory of vetted professionals from various industries who specialize in helping artists. This includes lawyers, bookkeepers, accountants, logistics coordinators, event planners, framers, art critics, and more. We’ve negotiated special rates with each of these professionals so you know you’re getting a fair price, and we’re proud to say that every artist using the Kicky platform will have full access to this directory.
We’ve been working hard on Kicky, Inc. the company, too. Since launching this year, we’ve been accepted into two startup accelerators. First, we joined Ocean Programs, an accelerator based in Cincinnati, Ohio, finishing in May with a demo day where we pitched Kicky to investors. We are now participating in another accelerator called Praxis. We’ll be pitching Kicky again in San Francisco next summer, where we’ll be announcing a seed round that will enable us to move far and grow fast.
Both accelerators came with private investment from Venture Capital groups, but we also opened up Kicky for anyone to invest in through WeFunder. Our WeFunder raise is still open today, and this will likely be the last chance for individuals to invest in Kicky unless we have an IPO some day, which would be many years away if it ever does happen.
We are so grateful for the opportunity to serve you and the artist community as a whole. Please feel free to email me at or call me at if you ever have any questions or comments.
Happy holidays from Kicky, we’re looking forward to an amazing new year with you!