Second Life has lost about 1600 private sim owners since June 2010, leading SL data analyst Tyche Shepherd of Grid Survey tells me -- that month, just over two years ago, there were roughly 6450 individual private estate owners. Now, she reports, based on her careful analysis of the world (and just posted on SL Universe), only 4850 remain. "This represents a 25% fall in total number of unique private estate owners over 2 1/4 years," she notes, "in the same time the number of private regions fell 14% from 25,446 to 21,781." What's more, she adds, "50% of the known owners in June 2010 are no longer owners in September 2012."
Notably, while Linden Lab has lost lots of sim owners, the top land barons still own about three-fourths of the remaining private estate land mass. Last year, the top 500 barons owned 73% of the total. That ownership of Second Life's 1% elite (so to speak), has grown slightly. As Tyche tells it:
- Top 10 own 27%
- Top 20 own 36%
- Top 100 own 58%
- Top 200 own 66%
- Top 500 own 76%
This is particularly relevant to a discussion we were having last week, on whether sim tier prices can be cut. While hundreds of thousands use Second Life every month, and thousands of individuals still pay for private land, it's important to keep in mind that only 500 people really keep Linden Lab afloat. (Interesting that less than 1% of Second Life land owners control 75% of SL's private land. Time for an Occupy SL movement?)
In any case, read more about how Tyche made these calculations after the break:
"I only have the figures for now and for June 2010 which, by luck rather than intention, happens to be the peak month for Private estates since the Openspace pricing crisis in October 2008. The figures are estimates since there are a proportion of regions closed to public access where I can't see the estate owner, however there is a hard minimum figure which is based on all publicly accessible regions and a much more unlikely maximum figure. The final estimate is based on assuming that the likely distribution of 1 to 4 region estates amongst the unknown set is similar to that observed in the known ownership set . I can also be more definite about the latest period since I know a lot more about ownership of currently closed regions than I did in 2010.
"In June 2010 the estimated number of individual private estate owners was 6450 (+/-250) whilst today it is 4850 (+/- 100) , this represents a 25% fall in total number of unique private estate owners over 2 1/4 years, in the same time the number of private regions fell 14% from 25446 to 21781. The drop in owners has been fairly spread across estate sizes though the proportion of single region private estate owners has grown slightly from 63% to 65%.
"63% of current known owners were private estate owners in June 2010 whilst 50% of the known owners in June 2010 are no longer owners in September 2012."Tweet