Expert statistician Tyche Shepherd has a new report on the state of the Second Life mainland, the continent fully owned and controlled by Linden Lab, and I see at least two least key takeaways: Unlike private sims, which are rapidly going away, revenue from and ownership of mainland plots has stayed relatively stable. (Between 52,000-57,600 total unique plot owners from 2010 to now, a very small change.) That's the good news. The strange news (unless I'm misreading Ms. Shepherd's data) is this:
Where's all the Premium subscribers who should be owning land on the mainland?
Mainland land ownership is a major benefit to being a monthly Premium member, but far as we can tell, less, not more, Premium owners are claiming their property.
How do we know this? Well:
Back in 2009, Linden Lab's then-CEO told me they had about 75,000 Premium accounts. Now, in Tyche's report, she notes, "In total there are currently 42,733 Linden Home Plots [for Premium subscribers] which is also unchanged since last census. Of these 41264 are occupied,(96.7%)" Also, she adds, "48,133 landowners (71%) pay no tier above their Premium subscription." So it looks like there are either much less Premium subscribers than there were in 2009 (like over 30,000 less) [Update, 8:40pm: See Tyche's comment in below] and/or the Premium subscribers who do exist aren't using the land ownership benefit that comes with their subscription. (Is there another likely interpretation?) Whatever the case, it's definitely the case that mainland ownership is not growing.
This is pretty striking to me. I know a lot of Premium subscribers mainly have an account so they can get its regular benefit allowance of Linden Dollars to spend. But Linden Lab has pushed mainland ownership as a major selling point to Premium. (See landing page above.) And for whatever reason, that offer is not finding more takers.
Hat tip: Ciaran Laval, who has analysis too.
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