World is tending to have a better resource distribution system. Suppose an US citizen need to pay $10 for some rice, and a Thai farmer want to sell the same rice at $7. If we can cut down the logistics & transaction cost within $3, then it’s a good deal for both side. Unfortunately life is not so good in this way.
Traditional stock photography companies like Getty Images and Corbis have been selling ultra-expensive images for a long time, and still alive now. Of course they hire the best photographers and keep the highest cost in this industry. But higher cost doesn’t mean a better thing. Only high-end buyers can afford $2000 for one image.
Since 1999, microstock photography companies like istockphoto and fotolia emerged quickly. (Curses! I wish I was born earlier) They focus on hundreds of thousands of amateur photographers all over the world, and share profit with them if their work are sold to low-end long tail buyers, such as web designers, small studios, small magazines. With this model, the cost is really really low and sales is scaling really fast. fotolia is one of my favorite site, which only has 15 works, most of which are part-time, tagging photos for a better search result.
Damn I love ths business model! Tucia is gonna be a microstock design leader. Low-cost, high efficiency, easy accessibility.