Tyche Shepherd's latest indispensable Second Life economic analysis is up on SL Universe, and the news is not good: "Monthly private estate tier estimate is down below US $5 million for the first time since I began the monthly surveys in October 2009," she tells me. "It's currently estimated at $4.920 million." This is based on data she compiles from her bot-powered surveys of the grid, and notes: "Because it's based on a survey, there is a margin of error of plus/minus $58,000 but this still puts it under the $5 million barrier."
For Linden Lab, this fall represents another dip in land revenue, which comprises about 80% of its total revenue, and a downward trend from last year:
"The monthly average for 2011 was US$5.105 million," Tyche tells me. ("High was 5.187 million in February, low was $5.006 million in December.) 2010 average was US$5.211 million (high was $5.386 million in June, low was $5.173 million in December.)"
Last year, as I reported, Linden Lab lost from $500,000 to $2 million in estate revenue. If this month's current trend continues, so will this continued decline. To be sure, Linden Lab is boosting its other revenue channels, particularly monthly SL Premium subscriptions, but the company will need about 15-20,000 new subscribers to make up the existing shortfall.
Speaking of which, Linden Lab has been awfully quiet lately, with no blog update since December 2011. I'm guessing we're going to get some significant news or product update soon.