Though there are lot of Premium WordPress themes making companies around, only a few like StudioPress, WooThemes, Thesis are making a mark. Not all designers can and want to build a proper business and community around their themes. So, I am wondering if theme markets will be the next trend. This can very well become like the mobile apps market.
I have purchased few themes from Themeforest. The major attraction is a wide variety of designs at a reasonable rate for various needs. Some times, the famous theme design companies can bore you with their same scheme of layouts 🙂 In this regard, designers being able to sell child themes based upon popular GPL WordPress theme frameworks is an interesting outcome.
One disadvantage is that support, upgrades for a theme are not assured when there is no active community around it. Also, while the look may be good the functionality, ease of use, SEO goodness assured in the popular theme companies may be missing. Freelancers like me also can’t afford to pay for each theme. A club membership or selling GPL themes will help.