What future for the (micro)stock photography?
With digital cameras now so available to anyone, and sales that account for millions of items worldwide, the number of people that start photography as hobby or profession is obviously increasing.
I don't think that with the oversupply of images there will be space for everybody in this crowded world.
Who is going to survive, then? The most fitted, you'll answer. Right. But who is 'fitted'? These are the professionals that can produce huge amount of images and manage to balance the expenses with consistent and four digits earnings monthly.
These people already do well in microstock nowadays, but in the near future I think they'll have to compete still harder for the share of market. The survivors will be the ones with 'teams' of helpers (assistants, co-photographers, keyworders, photoshop geeks) supporting the necessary mass production of quality images.
What about the individual photographers? Some will survive, but only those that will keep expenses down and will produce a lot of good images that sells. Note: I'm speaking of what seems to me the possible development in the future... it can be in the next two or five years. Or.... never? But somehow there will be a cut off of amateurs and hobbyst (maybe they will have a portal for themselves?) and the field will be dominated by professionals only.
What is the message here? Obvious: became a professional photographer as soon as you can ! :-)
If you want to remain a passionate hobbyst, I think there will be space also for you, but at another level of earning and recognition.