In April 2009, according to then Linden Lab CEO Mark Kingdon, Second Life had 75,000 Premium subscribers.
Now, in March 2013, according to Second Life's best data analyst, there are now about 67,500 Premium subscribers -- that is, less than 7,500 since 2009.
This came out in my post from a couple days ago, highlighting the latest report from expert statistician Tyche Shepherd. I misread some of her numbers in that report, which was bad, but that did lead to a very valuable correction from her in Comments, which was good:
"There are 55,646 unique Premium account holders who own mainland parcels in their own name," Tyche wrote there, "along with 11,759 unique landholding groups. This includes the 41,264 who have taken up a Linden Home. The figure of 55,646 is the bare minimum number of Premium accounts. Back when the Lab did still report the size of the weekly Premium stipend sink, it was possible to estimate the total number of Premium accounts, which was approximately in line with the sum of unique individual mainland owners and the number of unique group mainland owners. Assuming this relationship still stands a better estimate of the current number of Premium Accounts is around 67,500 as shown in my chart above, about 7,500 less than the 2009 figure."
Emphasis mine. That's a bit more than I (incorrectly) estimated, but still less than what it was in 2009 --despite Linden Lab making a concerted effort recently to convert more SLers to Premium, offering them new content (homes, exclusive locations, gifts, etc). Despite this major marketing/content push, Premium accounts are less, not more. However, one could argue that this effort has slowed the deterioration of Premium accounts, and preserved it as a meaningful revenue stream for Linden Lab. At around $10 each a month, we're talking roughly $8,000,000 from subscriptions the company will make this year.
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