Thinking about the decline and fall of the photostock market as well as the other ones, it comes to mind that insofar as the photo one is concerned, there is little doubt that the blame can be laid fairly confidently at the feet of digital photography.
Before the advent of digital, one would actually have to invest not only time but also money into photographic work. In its own way, that was a filer through which not everyone was willing to pass, the financial risk making uncle Joe rather hesitant about shooting his spare cash into the open market. Now, that has all changed, and any old rubbish is able to be offered for sale, the investment being little more than the next battery charging costs.
So why can even that rubbish sell? Because, to quote John Ruskin, there is nothing that one man can make that some other man cannot make more cheaply, and those for whom cost is everything are that manīs lawful prey.
Sadly, there are far more of those around than of the other kind.
Having mentioned that, I sometimes wonder whether the dollar-a-pop prices are held to those same levels by the agencies/design groups or whoever when it comes time for them to make up their own invoices to their client...
To those of you who supply those pictures at those prices, how does it feel to know that instead of being able to join a great business model you have simply succeeded in effing it up?