Company wants to let second level domain registrants transition to third level domain names.
The ink is barely dry on Atgron, Inc.’s contract with ICANN to run the .wed top level domain name, and the company has already submitted a Registry Service request for a new service.
The company is asking (pdf) to be able to offer third level domain name registrations to customers. The idea is to offer a way for couples to transition from a wedding site to an ongoing site and open up the namespace to new customers.
Because .wed domain names are meant to be used by people on a short term basis (leading up to and shortly after their wedding), Atgron’s business model anticipates low renewals. In fact, it sort of forces it. The company wants domain names to be recycled for use by other couples. Dan and Susan shouldn’t be able to lock up DanandSusan.wed forever, according to the company.
To force this recycling of addresses, the company will charge significantly higher prices for anyone who wants to register a domain for over two years. In fact, a registrar who offers the domains for more than two years will have to obtain electronic acknowledgement from registrants of their understanding of the significant price increase for .WED TLD domain name registrations beyond two years.
The company will also forbid bulk registrations, as it doesn’t want couples to have to go to a domain investor to get their desired domain name. (This is smart, as most couples would just choose an available .wedding domain or .com instead of their selected .wed if it isn’t available.)
This is where the third level registrations come in. Registries love the annuity-like nature of domain names. But if you are going to purposely churn addresses, your customer acquisition cost can’t be spread over as many years. So Atgron hopes to transition couples from DanandSusan.wed to something like DanandSusan.anniversary.wed.:
This service will allow couples getting married the opportunity to retain their .WED website content from the previous domain name registration, transition to a new domain name registration and update the content as desired over many years as their relationship changes and transitions through various stages over time.
Although I’m not sure about the anniversary.wed idea, I do think couples may want to retain an archive of their wedding site, and a third level domain might make sense for this.
A big question for .wed will be if mainstream domain name registrars want to carry it given the restrictions and short term nature of the domain.