Crazy premium name strategy is too much for most consumers…and GoDaddy.
I first wrote about .Art’s premium name strategy, which includes 3.5 million premium domain names, a couple weeks ago. As I wrote then, I’m scratching my head about this strategy.
Yesterday, .Art launched in general availability. According to nTLDStats, 1,636 .art domains were added to the zone on the first partial day.
And now we can see what types of domain names are considered premium.
I started with a search for my last name, Allemann.art. That will set me back about $315 for the first year and $50 per year after that.
If I’m willing to settle for my full name, AndrewAllemann.art, I can get it at the standard registration fee of $15.
I’m not an artist. But if I were, here’s what my thought process would be:
I can get Allemann.art for $315 and $50 a year after that.
Or I can get AllemannArt.com for $10 and $10 a year after that.
In 2017, which one of these is the better domain? The .com is much more recognized, is universally accepted, and more likely to be remembered. It’s a no-brainer, especially when you consider the price.
Thankfully, my name isn’t that popular. If my name was John Doe (does anyone really have that name?) I would have to pay $1,380 to register my corresponding .art domain name.
Here are some other .Art domains and their premium prices at 101Domain:
ReverseMortgage.art $390 – I didn’t realize this was a popular art category.
FantasyFootball.art $1,170 – You know, painting footballs and stuff. I think I’ll settle for FantasyFootball.gallery for $20 instead.
DataRecovery.art $420 – I guess there’s an art to this business.
Horrible.art $2,130 – This name would be fitting for any art I produce, but I think I’ll hand register HorribleArt.com for ten bucks.
John Matson, who is on the Strategic Planning Board for .Art, previously told me that registrars were receptive to .Art’s premium strategy. But the world’s biggest registrar apparently wasn’t.
Try searching for any of these domains on GoDaddy and you’ll get a message that it isn’t available. I reached out to GoDaddy to find out why.
Rich Merdinger, VP of Domains for GoDaddy, said, “GoDaddy is offering .art for general registrations, but due to the complexity and number of tiers for their premium pricing, we have decided to not carry the premium names.”
This means that the 3.5 million best .art domains (if there is such a thing) are not available at the world’s largest domain name registrar.
Ironically, this means GoDaddy cannot register GoDaddy.art at its own registrar. That’s a premium domain that will set them back about $1,500.
Dot .Art had a lot of potential and traction prior to GA. But their pricing and holding back of keywords won’t get them registrations. Seems they anticipate premium keyword auctions to generate their costs. Bad strategy, IMO, unless they are targeting wealthy art venues and the like, as opposed to artists.
Garbage.art can be had for $4,574 http://domaingang.com/domain-news/dot-art-rolls-out-general-availability-prices-are-a-work-of-art/
Garbage is a famous band, music is a form of art, musicians are artists…
A bit stretched too far. Music is a form of art but most people associate art with painting, sculpture, and even when performing arts are included, music and musicians have better options in other gTLDs. I’d expect “garbage” to be either a hip or derogatory term, like trash art. Either way, overpriced .Art domains.
Svweedle Von Blanc says
Good thing for .art that most artists are wealthy and always have a great paying job. (add sarcasm here). Regular new TLD sellers are delusional but these guys are beyond delusional.
I was, as an artist, so excited to get a .art domain name to promote my art. Instead, I grabbed a .works alternative because I am not about to promote corporate thievery in the domain market, as I sell premium domain brands myself and would never have considered a .art extension an investment, but only a hobby name.
I am so tired of ICANN’s sale of brand space to the highest bidder. It has no business sticking its nose in business, professional, or even personal branding. It’s only authority is in the domain name space, which has been completely corrupted by its corporate greed as it eyes brand space and extorts investment capital through the required business paranoia of brand protectionism.
Kurt Pritz says
I am writing on behalf of the .ART team, of which I am a proud member.
Statistics for the first day tend to prove out the feasibility of the .ART pricing model objectives. These objectives were to get domains cheaply into the hands of art community members and realise the revenue potential of names with a greater predicted value.
Yesterday, .ART added about 3000 names to the zone. About 93% of these were at base price but about 80% of the revenue was derived from premiums.
This indicates that:
• There are plenty of desirable names available at base price. In the art community, as might be expected, our members are registering first name – last name combinations. There are also graffitistreet.art, learnmartial.art and many, many others.
• GoDaddy’s registrants have found many attractive names at base price. They are .ART’s leading registrar by volume and we are very pleased and proud they have joined with us.
• Premium sales can provide significant revenue opportunities for the registry and registrars. United Domains lags GoDaddy in adds but leads significantly in revenue generated for the registry – and, presumably, for the registrar.
• Many investment opportunities exist in base-priced domains, e.g., in domain hacks and place names. Examples are: ilovepop.art and gottahave.art. (See? It’s fun.) These and other names (including premiums such as three-character and industry-related terms) are being registered by investors.
The practice that all domains are priced equally has always been somewhat incredible to me. Isn’t the market of domains a lot more like a grocery store than a one-dollar store? Shouldn’t premium names be more of a domain inventory where values are predicted using analytics, rather than simply identifying the very highest-valued names?
In 2005, Paul Stahura postulated the existence of the long-tail, where most of the domain inventory value lay in vast number of names priced higher than, but not too much higher than, some base value. The development of .ART’s rather sophisticated analytic model and the first weeks of operation prove the original hypothesis.
Registrants are registering base-price names and premium names in proportions expected. As a result of the pricing, most of the .ART revenue comes from these premium sales, and I believe that registrar revenue should track to that.
I am sure there will be chuckles at some of the domains that are in this inventory. That is the nature of big data analytics. But one person’s chuckle is another’s treasure. The industry will learn and evolve.
At the end of the day, registrants will find domains they value and the .ART registry will be better able to support its art-related constituent groups and the development of innovative products.
If you want, I’d be happy to take you and others through this analytic approach.
Andrew Allemann says
There are issues with premium pricing models, but I understand the economics of it. The problem I see with .Art’s model is the 3.5 million number.
Andrew Allemann says
Kurt, I should also say it’s their TLD and they can do whatever the heck they want with it. I just think the level of hubris behind thinking they have found a clever way to identify premium domains, and there are 3.5 million of them, doesn’t make sense in 2017. I would sort of understand it in 2014 when new TLDs were first rolling out. But now?
The problem is that artists seeking memorable domains in the .art extension aren’t after complex, creative domain hacks to get their message across. They want simple keywords, and even two work compounds that make sense in the .art context are being held back by the registry, or are offered with a hefty price up front. I’m not even going to touch the investment perspective of it all.
Who advised these amateurs?
Derrick Austin (@Canvas_Boutique) says
I find myself strongly agreeing with Kurt and let me explain why. Firstly, I have absolutely no connection with .ART but I love their vision and short extension that’s unrivalled. I started my graphics career the computer games industry since 1987, designing the graphics/animation for the Official Star Wars computer game.
A high percentage of artists are only interested in their (full) real name or trading name or brand. It was too much effort for me to extrapolate those figures from the zone file file but I knew it would be high, 90%+. The pricing structure allows peers to register their names from £10 at GoDaddy and from $15+ at most registrars.
When it comes to pricing industry specific keywords, as premium then it appears to me that most disgruntled posters are domainers. The pricing structure that .ART has adopted is little different to what would exist if all names were available at a flat standard rate. The only difference being that the Registry/Registrars benefit from that pricing (after all, it’s their business?) instead of another third party middle man. Those premiums will sell (given time). You only need to look at an example of canvas.art: Priced as a premium at $5k+VAT and sold to an end user. Had a domainer registered canvas.art for $20 – the domain would be parked and offers for sale at around (yes, you guessed it)…$5k or thereabouts. Probably more.
In view of my support of premium pricing, to deter hoarding, ensure that premiums ultimately find themselves in the hands of end users and the Registry recoup their heavy investment in .ART, I will note that the system is far from perfect – there are a lot of undesirable combinations of words that do appear over-priced, allowing those who have an issue with the pricing model an easy platform to mock. That’s only natural when applying an algorithm to a large dataset, where manually checking each combination is impossible. However, when you actually take the time to look through the pricing structure and the names that would attract genuine interest, the prices are about right and fluctuate based upon their perceived value derived from data that we’re not privy to. .ART’s 5 star system (search for a domain name and view the appropriate star ratings) gives a little insight into how each name has been priced.
The mistake I’ve noticed by some artists, is in not committing to their purchases for $300 during Preferred Access, hoping prices would dive to $15. It’s a risk some took. The 3.5M premium model that was given notice prior to General Availability clearly suggests that prices had the potential to run in the opposite direction. That lesson applies to most domain name registrations – if you don’t buy it whilst your interest is there, then the chances are that someone else will and you’ll seek to attribute blame to anyone other than yourself.
I’ve registered 5 domains during P.A.P (and yes, they’re very good generics: eg: airbrush, giclee, browse, colour, still life) and 5 more during G.A ~$15. I’m very happy to have registered Phyllotaxis for my spiral spot paintings and Neoplasticism for my Mondrian-like paintings.
As an example of what you can do for £10 (at GoDaddy who are offering a discount), I registered ContinuousLine (.art) and with a couple of hours work I have uploaded relevant content that matches the domain name with more continuous line designs to be added in the coming days. It’s a quick, fun design project to illustrate what you can do with standard rate pricing than moan about what you could have had.
Artists are the creative types and we’ll just get on with it…
Looks like you also registered ContinuousLineArt.com – a smart move. What isn’t smart, is to applaud and encourage the premium pricing model that .Art chose for its very core audience, artists, creators and the general public. Why would you have to get 2 keywords in order to spend $15 dollars for the .Art domain? The notion that “hoarding” is dangerous is quite laughable at an era with 1,000+ gTLDs. Holding back all those “premium” domains hurts the legitimacy of the gTLD, aimed at artists. But of course, it’s all in the name of profit: Watermelon.art for $2,070 ? No, thanks.
Derrick Austin (@Canvas_Boutique) says
If you check the registration dates/times, I registered the dot com version a day later only because I had a feeling someone (in one of these threads) would run that check. The smart thing is to forward the domain to the shorter, more meaningful .ART domain name. In fact, the .ART domain in question caught .ART’s attention and featured on their Twitter today. Did yours?
I’ve explained the Premium model, in my opinion, that’s it’s no different to having Domainers asking for the same prices, which you know is exactly what you/they would do jacking up standard rate by x10 to x100. The benefit of the premium model is that the Registry profits and therefore has a greater chance of success when domainers are saying it’s doomed to fail. Domainers would have us believe that they’re essential and the real customer, when their actions only take those premium returns away from the Registry and it’s that action that would hurt any Registry business as Registry profits drop, in exchange for a rise in domainer profits.
Would anyone care to answer that one?
You don’t have to get 2 keywords to spend $15. I’ve already provided 2 examples of where I bought ART specific single word terms for $15. They can be found if…your vocabulary is wide enough. Therein lays the problem for many.
Holding back domain names doesn’t hurt the registry. Having countless portfolios of domain names parked on holding pages with extravagant asking prices hurts the namespace.
Watermelon could the name of a business with a like brand identity. You need to open the way you look at things. Or not.
Derrick Austin (@Canvas_Boutique) says
It took me less than a minute to find: http://watermelon-creative.com/
watermelon.art would suit them very nicely and I’m sure there are plenty plenty more where “watermelon” is a brand they either hold dearly or want to protect.
James Kite says
You should be grateful that artists did not invest during early access, because at least one of your domains would not have been yours if we all followed your idea.
FYI, ilovepop.art and gottahave.art are not investible type names. They are next years drops.
ilovepopart.com is available.
I checked a pile of names yesterday. I make art, so I was willing to take a chance on a .art name. No luck and some quite obscure names are also going at a premium. I would rather put that premium money towards a .com
I see GoDaddy’s reaction as more of a knee-jerk one ; if the .art premium list has 3.5 million names and many depths, they could filter it out at the top 3 to 5 layers and carry those thousands instead of the millions… and the higher the price, the higher the reward.
James Kite says
If you price everything out of reach of the average punter then your higher reward has to make up that shortfall.
A profit of a single registration at $1000 is not a greater reward if it cost you a 1000 registrations at a profit of $1 each.
Cater to both markets with the aim of increasing usage.
Price to encourage the secondary market to act as your sales force while profiting from their renewals
James Kite says
It is obvious that your analytics used the search data derived during early access to determine premium pricing which replaced the previous pricing stated in early access.
I chose to wait for general in the hopes of registering 10 domains I identified for less than the cost of registering 1 during early access.
Now I find that I would have been better off registering just 1 of those names during early access because at upwards of 5x the cost after general availability, none of the domains I identified as affordable after months of evaluation are in fact in my ballpark.
Of course there are cheap registrations in .art to be had like FuckThe.Art or Extorts.Art though not to my taste, certainly affordable.
The fact that premium pricing specifically targets famous artists based solely on their full name counters any claim that you can get standard pricing on personal names.
No, fame comes with a cost after all.
Glad I am a well known nobody and not a famous nobody.
Yes I registered JamesKite.Art to compliment JamesKite.com (potential SEO value considered being my only real reason now) but will be looking at .SHOW, .GALLERY, .STYLE, .DESIGN, .PICS, .PICTURES, .INK and so forth because you know…cheaper and just as relevant.
.Art is certainly a desirable extension…
…but when it comes to art…every extension has value.
I think the funniest part of all of this is Banksy.art, someone viewed as anti-establishment, breaking the mold, a bit of a renegade (or so goes the PR)…
…being held up as a poster child by .Art alongside the establishment as .Art seeks to establish .Art as the very corner stone of art online.
Still, while I am somewhat disillusioned by how this whole launch has gone, it does provide me a wealth of ideas should I choose to mine them.
Derrick Austin (@Canvas_Boutique) says
“You should be grateful that artists did not invest during early access, because at least one of your domains would not have been yours if we all followed your idea.”
James, there’s no option to reply to your post above (the sub-thread is probably too long) but I can respond here.
Firstly, thanks for the reply.
If you read through previous threads, you’ll note that I certainly didn’t feel “grateful” when .ART first launched Preferred Access. Technical difficulties in their system allowed Art professionals to register Reserved domain names at flat rate P.A.P prices and the service was closed. I registered Fine.Art and it was cancelled as .ART understandably had to fix the bugs and reset their launch. This initially knocked my thought process. However, my gut instinct still told me that .ART was going to be a huge success, so I continued to follow that instinct. A firm believer in putting your money where your mouth is.
There’s no doubt in my mind that many artists (like W.Broome and yourself) had similar tiered domain name lists, where those names sat available for weeks to register. You only need to look at the whois to compare those dates spread over weeks. I’m aware that I didn’t register all that I wanted/needed but I take responsibility for that in my own decision making and budget that I set aside. I’ve also commented on your own thinking of not making that commitment, hoping for prices to plummet during G.A landrush without considering the impact of the 3.5M premium model, which was clearly going to affect prices. I was originally looking at 3-5 registrations to cover my specific interests and names that I will develop and recoup costs on by…selling artwork/services. One large artwork sale will more than pay for several P.A.P registrations. Instead of building a bespoke tangible museum art crate this month for shipping large artwork, I find myself with an extra domain or two as that budget re-diverts.
In registering Browse (.art), I created my own comparison script to give me a little insight into what was being registered at the time to give me a different perspective on how peers were thinking. I shared that technology, in private, with fellow artists and when I get more time, I’ll be adding content/artists from Social feeds like Twitter. I noticed the trends that I’ve already mentioned like questioning domainers who believed .ART wouldn’t achieve 5,000 total registrations in 12 months, that number achieved on the first day of G.A., with a small handful registering generics but equally some registering established Brand/TM names which they didn’t have rights to, which was definitely where you can say any waste was.
I went out of my way to contact them directly by email and make them aware of UDRP, that such registrations are perhaps not the wisest thing to spend their precious $300 on.
Refunds were claimed, given .ART’s policy for registrants to claim a full refund if they had a change of mind or typo (which is a great policy) and those $300’s were spent on other .ART domains that wouldn’t cause a conflict of interest. I’ve made new art friends in other countries who have expressed being “grateful” for sharing that advice and knowledge, changed their buying pattern and acquired good generics during P.A.P that have become sought after during G.A. So you see, it shouldn’t be all about “me” (whoever me is) but what we can do for others.
.Art is premium domain extension and I think it will great for domains likes chocolate.art and many others. Lets see how market reacts to this 🙂
Worst ngtld business model. There are millions of artists out there trying to establish a relevant online presence and you’ve priced out almost every one.
The .Art guys and their minions should stop writing essays trying to justify their reasons for implementing such a horrible pricing model. There is no justification. Just ineptitude. Which is why they are wasting their time writing seven paragraph responses to anyone that makes them look like fools.