I am coming from the stock video perspective, so forgive me if my references to things aren't quite spot on. I see this discussion often in different micro stock site forums. So far, there is little evidence I can find that creating ones own site to vend your own footage has yielded results. It seems like a tempting concept (keep the cash yourself!) but I haven't seen a lot of people having success (or any) and therefor not a lot of reason for doing it. Here's the main reason for not doing it and wasting vast amounts of your own time:
Why and how are people going to find you? Buyers are coming to the major stock sites because they are marketplaces. They are already established. If they aren't coming directly to the sites, they are doing an on-line search. Since the search engines rank the searches by relevancy, duration, etc, those searches for popular images and clips are going to go to the existing players. which are large agencies. Traffic drives traffic. The only major exception to this is this - exceptionally rare or unique images or video clips. If you search for "Bangkok riots video stock footage" on Go ogle, you're going to be directed to my existing footage on various agency sites. In this case, I might consider using something like smugmug for niche footage. Otherwise, for portfolios with lots of competition, it's a waste of time. Any evidence to the opposite would be appreciated.