A lot of niche license plates, just like niche domain names, might not make sense in the long run.The Dallas Morning News published a story this past weekend about specialized licensed plates and a lack of sales for niche plates.
Like many states, Texas offers specialized plates for supporters of certain causes, alumni of various colleges, etc.
Texas is planning to cancel certain plates that have fewer than 200 users. Police are complaining about confusion from the multiple plate designs. They also don’t make much money.
There are more than a hundred options in Texas, ranging from a small Dallas area school district to Dr. Pepper to the The State of Texas Alliance for Recycling’s recycling plate. The latter has just 84 users.
The Alliance for Recycling doesn’t plan to do anything more to push the plate. It says the plates simply don’t generate enough affiliate revenue for the group.
As you read the article, you might find it a bit similar to the new top level domain names. There’s no arbitrary minimum that registries have to sell, but there is a floor at which it doesn’t work for the registry. Ignoring sunk costs, they pay at least $25,000 to ICANN each year, plus money for necessary services, lawyers, and some number of employees (or outsourced providers).
Some of these domains appeal to very small niches. Will they sell enough domains to cover the costs?