1. The strengthening of US dollar against Euro and other currencies may seems to be positive thing at first. But in reality, buyers are taking a major hit. European, being the biggest buyers of microstock is having a tough time as Euro has hit 11 year low vs the USD. This means, buyers will be buying less stock images because it is much more expensive now. So far, my number of sales has gone down by about 30%.
2. More and more well establish stock factories are producing amazing number of qualities images everyday. To be honest, I am not sure if they could actually cover up the expenses to produce these images given the golden era is over, but this intense competition is not a good thing for lone ranger like us.
3. Another bad news would be iStock HQ is being moved from Canada to USA now. This means, we will have to pay 30% tax to US government if the purchase is being made from USA. Moving forward, I predict my earning will be at least 10% less from iStock now.
4. Stock agencies are getting more and more sneaky by manipulating numbers and playing with their system to benefit themselves more than us, the contributors. Cutting royalties, and introducing confusing sales packages and partners site are some examples of such manipulations.
5. Microstock is now being treated as commodities. The prices are getting hammered due to stock agencies pricing war. Nobody win in this situation, except the buyers.
6. Smaller agencies such as CanStockPhoto, Crestock, GraphicLeftovers, and GraphicRiver are starting to feel the pressure with lack of regular sales. Inactivity is the scariest thing for Internet business. Check out all the 0 sales for new vectors at GraphicRiver http://graphicriver.net/category/vectors?page=1. It is very demoralizing to see such sight. With the weakening of smaller agencies, bigger agencies will soon take even more control. This is not a good thing.
As a conclusion, I predict 2015 will be a pretty bad year for us. There will be a lot of contributors giving up this year. It may no longer be worthy to be a stock vector artist now. In 2009, you can make $100/month. In 2015, you can only make $10/month with the same images.