The future of microstock is bright - Dreamstime
I have read a lot of blog posts in the last year and a half since I started doing microstock about how the industry has seen it's better days and it is all down hill from here.
From my perspective it is doing just fine. Sure I may not make as much as the first group of photographers that signed up to DT so many years ago but I am making money and my sales and revenue to continue to grown steadily. My daily and monthly sales go up and down but I have had nothing but upward growth from quarter to quarter.
Microstock is just like any media industry such as music, books, magazines, newspapers, web design, etc. Each media type has gone through ups and downs but still exist and people are making money.
Your expectations are also important. For example there are literally tens of thousands of people who make their living in the music industry. They do not care about the record industry complaints that iTunes is driving down profits because they are small time musicians that are local, niche, and independent but still manage to make a decent sum of money off of their art. Someone may look at them and say they are a failure since they do not have a big record deal and tour nationally but they are satisfied with their position and make enough money to get by or to supplement another income. It is all about perspective and expectations.
I for one will continue to submit images and try to become a better photographer/graphic designer and hopefully make some money in the process. Will I ever get rich doing this? No, but I should be able to make enough money to pay for new camera equipment every few years and take a vacation every now and then. That would make me happy.
Photo credits: Mvogel.
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