have just finished breaking down our industry-wide
reported domain sales data for the first quarter of
2010 to see how the latest quarter stacked up against
the same quarter last year (1Q-2009).
the surface - in terms of total dollar value, the
comparison didn't look good. A total of $28.3 million
in domain sales were reported to us in 1Q-2009. In
the first quarter of this year that figure dipped to $23.1
million, a drop of 18.3%. However, to show you
how much of a difference just a few major sales can make,
the entire year over year difference can be
attributed to the three biggest sales in each of those
1Q-2009, the three largest sales; Toys.com at $5.1
miilion, Fly.com at $1.76 million and Auction.com
at $1.7 million totaled $8.56 million.
In 1Q-2010 the three biggest sales; Flying.com
at $1.1 million, Poker.org at $1 million
and Credit.fr at $851,000 totalled just $2.95
million. That is a difference of $5.61 million
in the top three sales alone - accounting for more
than the $5.2 million drop in the entire market
total, year over year.
development also significantly impacted the dollar volume
of sales reported in 1Q-2010. Midway through the quarter
the AfternicDLS (comprising Afternic.com and
BuyDomains.com) changed their sales reporting
policy. They stopped reporting all of their sales
and instead began releasing a weekly sampling of
their overall sales.
first six weeks of the quarter in which they
reported all sales of $1,000 and up the total they
reported to us was $3.45 million sales.
Over the last seven weeks of the quarter, the
sample of sales reported totaled a little over $753,000.
That's a difference of about
million between what they reported in the
first half of the quarter and what was reported in
the second half. Assuming their sales held steady
throughout the quarter that is $2.7 million or so
that would have been added to the $23.1 million
reported industry wide. This reporting change will
affect all year over year comparisons for the next
several quarters as 2010 numbers will be competing
against quarters in 2009 when the full complement
of AfternicDLS sales were reported.
total dollar figures are subject to wide fluctuations
depending on the value of high dollar sales, reporting
changes, etc., a more revealing figure - the median
sales price - gives us a more accurate view of the
overall market. The median is the price at which half of
all sales were higher and half were lower. By that
standard 1Q-2010 showed a slight improvement over
both 1Q-2009 and the preceding quarter (4Q-2009). The
median sales price reported to us in the latest quarter
was $2,643. In the last quarter that number was $2,610
and in 1Q-2009 it was $2,600. That number shows us
that overall domain values have held up and even improved
a bit over the past 12 months.
sales column we have three separate charts
- one that includes all extensions (and is
typically dominated by .coms), one that
ranks ccTLD sales and another that ranks non
.com gTLD sales. In breaking the 1Q-2010
results down by category, we found that .com sales
accounted for $14.48 million of all sales
reported (about 62.5% of the total) with
the median .com price coming in at $3,188.
I get into the ccTLD and non .com gTLD numbers it
should be noted that we track .com sales of $2,000
and higher while we track all other extension
starting at $1,000. As a result,
for .coms in our database have a built in
advantage because they are not pulled down by
sales in the $1,000-$2,000 range. If you look at
all ccTLD sales reported to us the median price in
1Q-2010 was $2,040, however if you count
only the ccTLD sales of $2,000 and higher, the same
parameters used for .com, the ccTLD median
jumps to $3,491 - actually topping the
.com median. That came as a surprise to me as I'm
sure it will to many others.
The ccTLD market
continues to gain momentum. In 2009, the average
total of quarterly ccTLD sales was $4.47
million. In 1Q-2010 that number jumped 23%
to $5.49 million and represented 24%
of all reported sales - continuing a hot pace the
country codes set in 2009 after they had accounted
for just 11% of all reported domain sales
the ccTLDs started surging a couple of years ago, the non
.com gTLDs saw their sales begin shrinking. In 1Q-2010
that group had $3.12 million in total sales
reported - representing just 13.5% of all sales
reported. The median price for non .com gTLDs (sales of
$1,000 and up) was $1,877.
a related observation - as most of you know, ICANN plans
to start rolling out an unlimited number of new gTLD extensions
in the next year or two. With the established extensions
in the segment already trailing the rest of the market,
the odds of aftermarket success for new ones does not look
Registry Sunrise Gets Underway - Founders Program Offers
Opportunities to Domain Developers.
write this newsletter (on Sunday, April 25, 2010),
registry is preparing to open its global
sunrise period (when qualified trademark
owners can claim domains) on Monday (April 26).
that will run through June 10. Land Rush
will be held June 21-July 13 followed by
general availability of .CO domains beginning July
is the country code for Colombia but it is
being re-launched as an unrestricted extension
that buyers, if they wish, can use as an
abbreviation for a popular word such as
or "community" in their website branding
and marketing efforts.
The registry is
encouraging development by early adopters of
the extension through an innovative Founder's
Program that will award high
profile domains to the developers who submit
the best plans for
relevant website. I recently had a phone
conversation with .CO Registry CEO Juan Calle and
the registry's Marketing Director Lori Anne
Wardi to find out more about the program.
Registry CEO Juan Calle
said the .CO Founders program is open to
individuals, businesses, big brands, agencies,
bloggers, affiliate and Internet marketers,
developers, advertisers, non-profits and
entrepreneurs of every kind – anyone interested
in building a brand online, launching a website,
blog, or community.
you are selected there will be no cost to
obtain rights to develop the unassigned domain you
want. The website will remain on .CO servers but
at the end of the development agreement term those
who fulfill their obligations will be able to
register the domain they built at standard
registration fee to finalize their full ownership
of the site. You can download a fact
sheet (.pdf file) that fully explains the
Founder's Program if you would like to learn more
about how the program works.
will need a record of past development success to
be selected for this program. The deadline to apply
(application .pdf file) is June 15 and
Calle and Wardi said you can normally expect a
response to your application within seven days.