31 Dec 2008 Microstock in 2008
2008 was a turning point for microstock. The market matured, gained respect and moved further away from its hobbyist & community origins towards serious business. Some observations:
Microstock in Context
The way people speak about microstock changed in the course of 2008. As the idea of different images being suitable for different markets took hold, microstock grew in acceptance and we saw many traditional stock photographers enter the microstock market.
Rising Quality, Volume and Prices
Microstock agencies saw rising quality as digital photography technology improved, more hobbyists became professionals and more traditional stock photographers entered the market. iStockphoto introduced a tiered structure based on quality.
The Business of Microstock
2008 saw a shakeout in agencies as both microstock and traditional agencies failed during the year. There were also new agencies and new ideas launched, and no shortage of mergers, merger-like partnerships (CanStockPhoto & Fotosearch) and deals to eliminate threats.
Maturing Microstock Market
The release of financial information ended any debate about microstock being a serious business. New ventures arose providing microstockers with tools, analysis, keywording services and uploading services.
The new-look microstock market is shaping up to provide a very exciting 2009.