Second Life’s Virtual Economy Makes $500m Per Year

Patrick Hoge, writing in the San Francisco Business Times, reports that Second Life “residents” have spent more than $1 billion in transactions to date and spent 1 billion hours logged into this virtual world.

Facts

1. In 2008, Second Life users spent $360 million on virtual goods ranging from land (virtual real estate) to designer shoes to stylish homes.

2. Second Life’s economy almost doubled in size – 94% up – between the Q2 2009 and Q2 2008.

3. User-to-user transactions now amount to nearly $50 million per month, according to a Linden Lab press release.

4. Subscribers has spent 115,000 years in Second Life socializing, attending concerts, creating, selling and shopping for virtual goods, learning languages, attending business meetings etc.

5. User hours grew 33% year-over-year to an all-time high of 126 million in Q2 0009

6.  Second Life residents spend an average of about 100 minutes “in world” per visit.

How does Second Life make money?

A basic account in Second Life is free.

Linden Lab, the developers of Second Life, make money by selling and renting virtual real estate.

They also offer premium memberships and charging fees on sales of Linden dollars, the currency used online. 276 Linden dollars is approx 1 US dollar.

Second Life residents — members are from 200 countries — create more than 250,000 new virtual goods every day, such as clothing, vehicles, buildings and other digital goods such as language translators and consultancy services.

Link: http://sanfrancisco.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/stories/2009/09/21/daily24.html

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