I remember joining iStockPhoto.com in 2002. At the time it was a wonderful place to download stock photos cheaply. You used to be able to get any resolution for 50 cents per download. After Getty bought the site a few years ago, the prices have been steadily rising, and in 2008 the pricing will be getting even more expensive.
In 2008, prices will rise all across the board. Small photos will now be over $3 per download (on average), credits packages will be more expensive to buy ($1 will no longer equal 1 credit unless you buy $600 worth). Getty has been steadily pushing prices up – the whole royalty-free microstock business has been eroding their core profits for years – so these price jumps seem to be their way of fighting back.
What do these price increases mean? I think many people looking for stock will start turning more and more to Flickr and Creative Commons. I know I will be.
I’ve actually been thinking about putting together a photo coop – a private pool of photos with a dozen or so other photographers/designers – where we could use each other’s photos/illustrations for free. Would any designers out there be interested?