You've likely seen news that Ancestry.com and FamilySearch have announced
"an agreement that is expected to make approximately 1 billion global historical records available online and more easily accessible to the public for the first time. With this long-term strategic agreement, the two services will work together with the archive community over the next five years to digitize, index and publish these records from the FamilySearch vault."You'll perhaps recall that in indexing the US 1940 census Ancestry.com was in competition with a consortium including FamilySearch and Findmypast. FMP has had an agreement with FamilySearch for some years which has made limited index information available on FamilySearch with a link to FMP for the full record. In the cooperation game Ancestry is playing catch-up.
Is further cooperation a trend? In Canada we now have, apparently, an agreement between LAC and Canadiana.ca which would see collection images from LAC freely available from Canadiana with indexes developed available on a subscription basis. But where will Canadiana get the indexes? Without indexing finding what you want is very labourous, as shown by the Upper Canada Sundries. Canadiana don't have deep pockets, and no volunteer indexers.
Maybe one of the big players, and Ancestry is the biggest, or FindMyPast which is gently targetting the Canadian market, could strike a deal which would give Canadiana affordable access to indexing services. Or maybe Canadiana could strike a deal with FamilySearch.