I don’t blame registries for holding back premiums. Here’s some data.
Premium domain names in new TLDS–those priced higher than the regular price for registration–can be frustrating for domain investors. But there’s no doubt that a premium strategy can be worthwhile for a registry. The key is in execution.
Rightside had a record month for premium domain sales last month. It pulled in $429,080 with 777 sales, or about $550 per domain. At an average wholesale price of $20, they would have had to sell 20,000+ additional domains at regular prices to make up this amount.
There are two issues with some registry’s premium strategies.
First is that they are confusing. Witness Rightside’s explanation of its premiums.
Some of its premium domains renew at the original registration price. Others renew at a premium price that’s significantly lower than the original price.
Other registries charge normal renewal prices on premium domains.
This is confusing to end user consumers and even confusing to domainers. I’m very wary to buy a new TLD in the aftermarket, as it’s not easy to understand if the domain name comes with a high renewal fee. You have to do due diligence first, and it’s not easy.
Second is that some registries went overboard with their selection of premiums. Pulling out every conceivable good domain name and slapping a premium on it will thwart the early growth of a domain extension.