Displaying posts tagged under "new top level domains"
.NYC launches this week and Donuts’ well runs dry.
It’s time for the weekly overview of new top level domain names coming out this week.
It will be brief, as just five are on the docket as best I can tell. But one of them is certainly big.
.NYC will launch to great fanfare on Wednesday. This is a big test for geographic top level domain names, especially ones with restrictive registration policies. More on that later.
Also on Wednesday, Donuts releases .city at regular prices.
It doesn’t launch a domain in Early Access this week. This is the first week since Donuts started rolling out TLDs in January that it hasn’t had a new one to release.
Rightside launches .lawyer and .attorney on Wednesday. I’d imagine if you buy one, you should probably buy the other, too.
Hint: don’t count on just one registrar.
Registering domain names under new TLDs when they hit the market is similar to dropcatching expired domain names. From the registrar’s perspective, it involves prioritizing domains and hitting pinging the registry as quickly as possible.
Some registrars are better than others at this. There’s some general know-how involved, plus a lot of technology. Registrars will also perform differently with different registries based on their systems and where they are located. Results will also depend on how many domains they’re doing after.
So with that caveat, I’m going to show a little bit of data from .xyz.
I pre-ordered 15 .xyz domain names at GoDaddy. I’m not going to expose the actual domain names, but they’re all keywords that would sell for at least six figures if they were under .com.
Here’s who “caught” the domain names:
Host Europe 1
Network Solutions 1
United Domains 1
Let me start by pointing out that I have no idea if there was competition for the five domain names GoDaddy caught. I also don’t know how many of these domains were pre-ordered at other registrars. A heads on comparison would require pre-ordering them at all registrars. You can’t look at this data and say eNom (for example) sucks. It’s possible it caught the only domain of the 15 that was pre-ordered there.
Now add up all of the domains and you’ll notice there are just 13. That’s where things get strange.
About 90 minutes after the initial launch I noticed that Uniregistry was offering .xyz domains for $8.88 each. That’s a lot less than the $13-$15 other registrars were charging. So I went to Uniregistry to try to register some of the domains that I didn’t pre-order at GoDaddy. I plugged my entire list into the bulk search (Uniregistry has great bulk search, by the way) and noticed that two domains showing as available were ones I pre-ordered at GoDaddy.
I figured this was an error. After all, I had just tried to register a few “available” .xyz domains at Uniregistry only to find they were registered by the time I checked out.
But I checked out, the domains showed up in my account, and I verified my ownership in whois.
Let me be clear: 90 minutes after .xyz general availability opened, I was able to go to a registrar and hand register two domains I had pre-ordered elsewhere.
This suggests to me that something went horribly awry with the pre-orders at GoDaddy.
Whatever happened, there’s a lesson in this: Pre-order at more than one registrar.
New top level domain registries need to scratch the sunrise line item off their P&Ls.
I think many observers are surprised by the low number of trademark sunrise registrations in new top level domain names so far.
Calzone, a calendar for new TLD rollouts, has put together some numbers and analysis on sunrise periods so far.
The net-net is that sunrises so far have averaged between 100-200 registrations. That’s about 1% of how many sunrise registrations .co received in 2010. Even .Co received fewer sunrise registrations than previous launches such as .asia, .mobi, .eu, etc.
There are a number of reasons other registries might be able to get more sunrise registrations than Donuts, which has launched the bulk of domains so far.
1. Donuts offers a system-wide trademark block. I suspect about 500-1,500 of these blocks have been placed. While the block customers might not register their domains in every TLD, certainly not having a block option would have led to more one-off sunrise registrations.
2. It’s still early and trademark holders are belatedly learning about new TLDs and brand protection mechanisms. Some are registering domains in general availability that could be registered in sunrise periods going forward.
3. More general TLDs might get more sunrise registrations. Niche domains will attract industry participants, e.g. clothing brands for .clothing. Generic domains like .xyz and .site might attract a broader range of sunrise registrants. Conversely, it’s possible that niche domains will end up getting more sunrise registrations because brand holders in the specific industries will be more aware.
4. Some of the more controversial TLDs are likely to get more sunrise registrations. Remember that .xxx received 80,000 blocking registrations.
Still, it’s clear that sunrise won’t be a big revenue driver for most TLDs. I think many brands have figured out they need to change their approach to cybersquatting. They also realize cybersquatting won’t be that big of a deal in new TLDs.
I know that many registries were counting on sunrise numbers similar to previously launched domain names. Comparing anything from previous rounds of TLD expansion to this one is clearly a mistake.
Two three-applicant contention sets are resolved.
The .green and .wedding new top level domain name contention sets have been resolved in private auctions.
It’s unclear which company won the .green auction as applications have not yet been withdrawn. However, Top Level Domain Holdings (Minds + Machines) announced today it was on the losing end of that auction.
It used the proceeds from losing .green to spend millions on .wedding. After accounting for the proceeds of .green and a refund from ICANN for withdrawing its .green application, Top Level Domain Holdings paid $2.23 million for .wedding.
It bested rival applicants Donuts and What Box for .wedding.
As for .green, either Afilias or Rightside took home the prize in what I bet was also a $2 million+ auction. DotGreen Community, the most vocal applicant for .green, bowed out previously after spending a lot of its funds ahead of contention set resolution.
Auction data show competition for new TLD registrations and shed light on strategic considerations for ordering domains.
What are domains registered under new top level domain names worth, and what is the demand for them?
We already know how many domains are being registered. .Guru has close to 30,000 registrations and .photography has topped 10,000. Most others are in the 1,000-5,000 range.
But digging deeper into the pre-registration process provides another interesting look at demand so far.
GoDaddy provided Domain Name Wire with some numbers about its new top level domain name auctions thus far. These auctions take place when more than one person places a pre-order for a domain at the same level. (Most of the time this happens for a standard pre-order, but also occasionally when a customer places an Early Access Program order for the same day/level.)
For the first set of seven Donuts domains (including the popular .guru), GoDaddy had 900 auctions. Through the first 14 domains there have been 1,400 auctions.
Here are auctions from the first batch of 7 that closed above $1,000:
These nine domains are obviously outliers, as most domains sold for well under $1,000. But it shows that people are willing to pay a decent amount for some of these new TLDs.
It may be difficult to rationalize which domains sold for more than others – that’s the nature of an auction in which two or more people are interested in the same item.
Consider some domains that sold for less: lifestyle.guru for $520, Taiwan.singles for $300 and bike.guru $200. You might think these domains would sell for more than VDI.guru (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure).
A key take-a-way from the early results is that there is demand for these domains, and often times multiple people want the same domain name. It will be interesting to see how this translates into a secondhand market, which will take longer to develop.
Some people might also change their strategy around acquiring second level domains in these new domain names based on this auction data.
Of the nine domain sales over $1,000, only one of the domain names was an auction in which the bidders paid more for the Early Access Program (EAP). This means that had one of the people interested in tire.guru registered it on the last day of EAP (a sort of reverse auction by the registry), they could have gotten it for around $200 instead of $5,250.
Conversely, GoDaddy had about 1,100 EAP orders for the first 14 TLDs. Many of these customers likely avoided an auction. But some wouldn’t have faced an auction even if they had placed a standard pre-order, which costs about $25-$70. Although I don’t know the total number of pre-orders GoDaddy received, back-of-the-envelope math suggests that many more domains were captured for a single customer than went to auction.
Do you place a standard pre-order and face a higher likelihood of auction? Or do you spend $200 on the last phase of EAP to jump ahead of the line? If you do place a pre-order, do you do it at multiple registrars?
It’s an interesting bit of strategy to consider.
In all likelihood, the company that paid $12,000 to get Soccer.guru on the first day of EAP could have gotten it for a lot less had it ordered it on a later day.
But if you really want a Donuts domain and think you might not be the only one, it probably makes sense to order it at some point during EAP to reduce your chances of ending up in an auction or having another registrar snag the domain for one of its pre-order customers.