A recent article appearing in the UK's Guardian newspaper makes the point that picture-sharing sites such as Flickr (and others) will be decimating stock images libraries. Picture agencies are going out of business, or are facing bankruptcy. The issue is that Flickr -as an example- holds the work of thousands of talented amateurs (and even pros), who are capable of producing a handful of photographs that are publishable.
It's been estimated by Editorial Photographers UK (EPUK) that if only 1% of the pictures on Flickr were publishable, that would result in 1,500,000 usable pictures were being uploaded every year. A sobering statistic expecially since the owners of these pictures are generally non-professionals, and would be willing to accept below-market rates for their work.
I've sold, and continue to sell my images to travel companies and publishers...however, prices have fallen and competition is intense...so the writing is on the wall.
This article dovetails perfectly to my earlier post in which I agreed with Dan Heller's opinion that Flickr may well enter the stock photography field.
An interesting and thought-provoking read, the full Guardian article can be found here.