Desktop publishing has become one of the fastest growing sectors of the publishing industry, and computer multimedia applications have introduced an entirely new market for stock photographers (Pickerell and Child, 1994). Many traditionally large print-run publications have been subdivided into smaller, more personalized target uses (Pickerell, 1992b) that have forced stock photography prices down below what is economically feasible to service using the industry's traditional labor-intensive practices. This has left a lot of photographers bewildered about the future of the stock photography industry (Walker, 1995).
Among the first to recognize this small office / home office, or SOHO (Madlin, 1995) trend in publishing were compact disk publishers, who managed to get a foothold on the stock photography industry by selling CD-ROMs containing a hundred or more royalty free images at prices ranging from $30 to $300 per disc (Walker, 1995). While these clip-photo discs were originally established to target low-end photo-buyers, they have quickly expanded into traditional stock photography markets (Walker, 1995), and now encompass more than one-third of the entire stock photography industry (Weiss, 1995).