Top 100 annual domain purchases 2008-2017 statistics overview. Analysis of trends in most successful domain sales for the decade.
With Internet of things changing faster than any fiction novel could have predicted, domain realm is also evolving by the minute.
There is still quite some resistance towards the new gTLDs, that are being approved by ICANN on an ongoing basis, so the TOP 100 yearly lists only starting to feature rare odd new gTLDs among the vast majority of .coms.
Below we present an overview of the statistics of the domain name sales for the most recent decade of 2008-2017 to see which direction domain market is moving. We have taken the statistics from the NameBio, who have been kindly collecting and providing this valuable data for domainers as well as those merely curious since 2006. It is indeed an invaluable source of knowledge for everybody in the industry and we would like to express our gratitude for this tremendous input by NameBio into understanding of the pricing trends.
Paragraph of Boring technicalities. AKA fine print.
We have maintained all the figures from NameBio on the “as is” principle.
Helicopter overview of the Domain industry stats 2008-2017:
Number of domain sales have increased significantly over decade going from 20-30K domains purchased per annum to massive 80-90K.
Average check at the same time has gone down in both: total sales and TOP 100. The highest average rate for domain paid overall was early in the decade in 2010 at 4.8K per domain, with Top 100 enjoying the biggest average too at over half a million $$ per each domain on average in the top echelon. By the end of the decade total average price has gone down more than 3 times, hitting the bottom at $1,3K per domain in 2016.
Percentage-wise, TOP 100 domains comprises small part of 1 percent of all sales with maximum number of deals sitting at half a percent of total annual deals, but money-wise TOP 100 domains have brought to the table anything from 15% to massive 46% of the Total revenue.
DOW AKA Day of the Week statistics for Domain sales.
Most particular shift in the trend throughout the decade belongs to the Day of Week pattern of sales, whereby up until the year 2014 most of the TOP 100 deals were made on Wednesdays – up to massive 84%, with Thursday being the second favourite day for big deals.
But ever since 2015 Sunday has become the champion of the category, pulling from 41 to 50 percent of sales.
Saturday, meanwhile hardly ever was the day for big sales only scoring 3% of deals for the decade followed by passive Mondays at 6%.
Monthly statistics of the top 100 domain sales
Beginning of the year is definitely consistently most active in terms of sealing the deal when it comes to top 100 domains sold annually. January boasts on average 12% of all sales with February following suite with 10%, March and April going down to 9% of annual deals respectively. Rest of the year is pretty homogeneous, hovering about 7-8% of the annual sales per remaining months.
No distinct dips of low season can be deduced from the stats – just consistently higher volumes of sales in the first quarter of the year.
Domain extensions: .com vs other. TOP 100 remains conservative.
Massive prevailing chunk of domains in Top 100 is .coms. To be more exact, 82% throughout the decade on average were .coms, the rest only taking up 18%. Talk about dominants.
2017 brought about the flair of what is coming, with new gTLDs finally making it to the top 100 in some significant quantities, pushing their way with tender pink elbows through sun-scorched broad-shouldered .coms, .orgs and .nets.
It was the time for a major breakthrough by “.top” extension, whereby revolutionary 7 “.top” domains made it to the top 100 of 2017 with average rate of 180 K and total revenues for 7 1-letter domains of $1 261 831.
The wall of fame of “.top” breakthrough and dynamics is here for the history:
Looking outside of the analysed decade into current 2018, the year continues the trend with more new gTLDs taking up the spots on top 100 with diverse extensions now, not only “.top”.
Home.Loans managed to hit half a million price tag while The.Club was sold at $300K. There were also Music.AI, My.BIO and Talk.Show, that so far are comfortably nesting in the top 100 of 2018. Will the .coms oust them out of the elite echelon by the year end? Let’s see in our next overview in early 2019.
Major domain registrars and brokers, who facilitated the top 100 sales.
Private sales in fact are leading the charts in terms of revenues. They are scattered in 3 different lines though. Sedo.com is actually topping this chart of the number of sales in annual TOP 100s. It is also obvious, that Sedo has been on the declining curve in terms of number of annual sales, that make it to the TOP 100, going from 50s to 20s within the decade.
Uniregistry.com only started making big sales in 2012 and is rather consistent, making it to the overall 3rdplace in the number of sales made – in just 60% of the time period analysed.
SnapNames.com and NamJet.com follow, managing just about a third of the Uniregistry’s sales, both selling 30+ TOP 100 domains within a decade.
Moniker.com and Afternic.com both have declined drastically, hardly making any TOP100 sale recently, having had strong start into the decade.
Annual leaders of the TOP 100 domains sold in 2008-2018 YTD.
And lastly, below comes a list of annual leaders. SEX.com being the priciest domain name sold in the decade 2008-2017 at staggering 13 million, followed by Fund.com at just under 10 million.
We included the “2018 so far” leader ICE.com and are wandering if this leader is there to stay for our next year review or will be toppled over by some new heavy-weight premium domain name by the year end.
For more detailed graphs, please check out below excel sheet with pivot tables allowing for a variety of statistical combinations.
Crystal ball summary for the domain industry & hypothesis on what lies ahead.
The trends are rather distinct in the TOP 100 domains and are most likely to stay there for quite some time.
1. More domains will be sold each year.
More businesses will go online, more countries will get internet integrated in everyday lives, more online businesses will emerge.
2. Average rate for domain names will go down.
With new gTLDs being registered every month it is only too obvious, that the average check for domain names will steadily decline. Nothing new economically speaking: it is all about supply / demand ratio.
3. New gTLDs are there to stay and will reshape the industry sooner rather than later.
Yes, .com is still the king, but the throne is shaking...?
“.com” domains will remain the domain extension of the pioneers & the industry leaders for few more years to come, if not for another decade.
Until Google.com changes its algorithm to recognise the classification attribute of the new gTLDs.
Until some “.guru”, “.world” or “.city” domain develops into a monster company everyone likes.
Until new generation develops the taste for the “ninja”, “.realty”, “.cool”.
When this happens, .com may even start being perceived as archaic and obsolete. It does sound like fiction now though. Even somewhat explicit.
4. New favourites will emerge in the midst of the hundreds of new gTLDs. New kings will be born.
As the .top domain extension sales demonstrate, some domain extensions will be flying high sooner or later only to establish themselves as new leaders.
Among the many newly-emerging narrow-applicable “.accountant” & “.builders”, the universal versatile domain extensions, like “.world”, “.city”, “.shopping”, are highly likely to single themselves out into the new cast of premium domain names.
It is not too far-fetched to believe, that kosher.world might be seen as a more valuable asset, than kosher.com in just few years.
5. Domain registrars will have to evolve with the world to maintain their top positions.
Just a decade worth of data shows a clear shift of the favourites in terms of premium domain brokers. Still, private sales will remain the most expensive in the TOP 100.
go to all those who have read even part of this long read, we hope some insights resonated with or added up to your personal observations;
go to NameBio Management & Team, whose meticulous work and reports allowed for the statistics and analysis.
Keep an eye on our blog for more stats, inclusive of updated “recent decade overview” in the beginning of 2019, when 2018 TOP 100 comes in. Comments are encouraged & welcome.
That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet”
these lines from Shakespears’ Romeo and Juliet are over 400 years.
So we know this is a pretty old statement. 400 years old statement.
Nowadays, a well-selected name for your business can make it or break it. A premium domain name is a new limited edition Lamborghini. A 3-letter .com domain name or a strong dictionary word may cost more than a new limited edition Lamborghini, in fact.
The highest price paid for a domain we could trace is Insurance.com sold at $35.6 million. Just to put things in perspective, the most expensive and coveted Lamborghini Veneno Roadster retails at $4.5 million.
Providing a fresh example, just recently in July 2018, Ice.com was sold for $3.5 million.
Domain names are seen as catalyser for your business. An investment. A gift for a serial entrepreneur or a business partner. There are few solid reasons why domain names managed to create entire industry around them, but in this piece we are investigating:
How to choose a great domain name for your business?
There are a few major characteristics, that domain names should have in order to become the boosting engine for your business’s revenue and brand awareness:
If you are not Elon Musk, naming your company Boring may lead nowhere near success. Indeed, Boring.com is taken, so you had to be Elon Musk to get away with that naming decision. A relevant domain name for your business is expected by clients and is easy to memorize due to logical connection between the essence of service and the name. Paradox is all great, but truly works for few.
Compare www.UK.Toys with www.LittleMarshans.com
Indeed, size matters in domain naming. Short names guarantee high memorability and user-friendliness to customers. It is easier to type 2 letters, than 3 letters. It’s faster to type 3 letters, than 4 letter, you get it.
Funny incoherent letter combinations are known to catch XX XXX+ price tags and above just based on the mere length or being acronyms.
Compare www.UK.fish with a live example of a business name: www.sticklebackfish.co.uk.
Contain a keyword
Placing a Keyword within the domain name does 2 miracles:
So investing in a keyword domain or hiring a top marketer to promote a business without a keyword is the option nowadays. Not that you don’t need a marketer with a great keyword domain, but you definitely will have to try times harder to promote your business if you don’t.
www.Salon.Cheap with www.whs.nyc
Domain name should be spellable and pronounceable.
People with long tough to spell surnames have all been there. Spelling out their surnames incorporated in email address time and time again: Ok, Its O for Oscar, B for Bravo… Ideally, your domain name will have no misspelt parts in it. It will be easy to spell and easy to pronounce.
Compare English transliteration, great for English-speaking audience: www.GasOfRussia.com with Russian transliteration: www.GazRossii.com.
Embracing domain extension diversity
Diversity have been praised and nurtured across many spheres of our lives. Now it is the turn of Domain industry. The world is embracing the newly-concocted domain extensions, like: .news, .fish, .pizza, . buidlers, .cash etc.
Some of them sound just too good to pass by and in most cases cost much cheaper.
Compare www.Kosher.com with www.Kosher.World (sold 200K+ in 2016 vs selling at 50K now).
Compare www.granditaliapizzavegas.com with www.grand.pizza
Indeed, dot coms are still the most expensive and coveted names there are. But only the silly sees no future in new gTLDs.