Domain Pulse 2014: Is There A Domain Aftermarket For New gTLDs?

Domain Pulse conference logoThe domain name aftermarket players are looking curiously as to whether money can be made from new gTLDs. But Sedo, the largest domain name marketplace, is confident money can be made, and Tobias Flaitz, CEO of Sedo, explained why at the Domain Pulse conference last Thursday.

While he doesn’t give a definitive response, Flaitz said “the chances are good to make money from new gTLDs” in front of the 300 delegates at the annual conference hosted by the German, Swiss and this year Austrian registries.

For new gTLDs to be successful though, Flaitz said they will have to make their way into the user’s behavioural mind, which will take time and effort. Flaitz believes that in five years new gTLDs will become a part of daily online life.

For now though, the market doesn’t know enough about new gTLDs and how to use them, and there will be some hesitation by some in whether they should be used.

But for now initial sales in some of the new gTLDs to come to market are good. And Flaitz gave some examples of why the aftermarket is promising.

At the time of his presentation, the average sales price was €720 per domain in sunrise auctions. And there is plenty of interest in at least some of the new gTLDs with 93,876 domains registered in 14 gTLDs in the first ten days. An average registration fee of approximately US$35 means there were registrations generating $3.4 million in annual fees after these ten days.

The most popular new gTLD when it comes to registrations was .guru, with 32,751 registrations in the ten days (including in their case registrations during the Sunrise period). The second most popular was .photography with 15,519 (while .camera only received 1,931), followed by .bike (7,037), .clothing (6,655), .gallery (4,761), .singles (4,674), .estate (4,072) and .ventures (3,319) making up the top ten of the 14 new gTLDs launched at 5 February.

And there have been some promising premium sales in these early days with sold two days after registration for €500 and sold for €2000 four days after registration. And of those new gTLD names sold through Sedo, there was an average price of €1,324.

Earlier in the day, Dirk Krischenowski of dotBERLIN, applicant for .berlin outlined how the Trademark Clearinghouse was an expensive and complicated way for brand owners to protect their brands in new gTLDs.

Registering with the TMCH is a precondition of being able to register a domain in a new gTLD during a Sunrise phase. And while Flaitz said this a small number of the world’s trademarks, he did show how registrations in the TMCH were accelerating with 23,024 marks currently submitted, and over 5,000 in January alone, which is around double the amount of as recently as September.

Maybe from little things big things grow!