Domain name registry to switch up the phase between sunrise and general availability.
Rightside, applicant for dozens of top level domain names, is replacing its traditional landrush phase with an Early Access Program (EAP).
The switch will occur later this summer when the company releases .attorney and .lawyer. Prior domains launches will still have a normal landrush.
EAP, which was pioneered by Donuts, is a sort of dutch auction. The seven day EAP period will have five price levels, with the price dropping each day for the first five days.
While Rightside’s pricing is not yet known, Donuts charges about $10,000 for the first day and retail prices for the lowest level of EAP are around $100-$200, depending on the domain.
The additional premium is a one time fee referred to as a “participation fee”.
Rightside runs the backend registry for Donuts, so it will be fairly easy for the company to transition to the EAP model.
The move by Rightside is an acknowledgement that traditional landrush phases are attracting relatively little attention while delaying the general availability of new TLDs by a month or more. Customers seem to be more attracted to a shorter program with more instantaneous gratification, sans traditional auctions.
The EAP model can be a win for the registries. They are effectively crowdsourcing the identification and pricing of additional “premium” domains that haven’t been held back. I suspect the dutch auction model is more lucrative for registries than a normal landrush, too.