Every website that exists needs a domain name. That’s why it’s important to stay on top of whatever happens in the domain name industry since it can have an effect on businesses everywhere.
Here’s a quick review of the highlights of the domain name industry in 2017:
Fewer Launches of TLD Domain Names
2014 was a great year for TLD domain names as a significant number of them were launched. People could choose cool and funky domain name endings like .buzz, .cloud, and .life. Literally every week saw the launch of a new domain name ending for quite a while. This flood of launches saw a slowdown and became no more than a trickle in 2017. This was mostly because a majority of the TLDs had already been released.
Should we be concerned about this? Not really. You now have plenty of domain name endings to choose from. .com, .org, and .net are no longer the only viable domain name endings out there.
An interesting development over the year was that fewer domain names with new endings were registered. New TLD operators ran massive promotions in 2016 that run the number up in 2016, making 2017 a much slower year than expected. Despite the fact that registrations have reduced, however, the usage of these endings is increasing at a steady pace.
Branded Domains Saw Growth
Branded extensions were a thing in 2017.
Companies applied to have their own trademarks as extensions. Some of them spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to enjoy this privilege. Some of the companies who now enjoy having their own trademarks as extensions include Google, which now owns the .google extension, Major League Baseball, which owns .mlb, and Apple, which owns .apple. These companies haven’t all started using their extensions just yet. However, over the course of the year, some have taken the leap and started using their extensions in various ways. Neustar’s main website is now www.home.neustar.
Most of the companies haven’t switched their home website. They’ve instead created new sites and services with the extensions. Some examples include Buildon.AWS (Amazon) and LostInMusic.sony (Sony).
Cryptocurrency Domains Trended
2017 was a hot year for cryptocurrencies and some of that heat spilled over into the domain name industry. With the spikes in the prices of Bitcoin and Ether, there was a comparable spike in the number of people registering domain names with crypto-related terms in them. Verisign releases a list of top trending keywords every month and, in 2017, this list typically included a large number of crypto-related domain names. In November alone, the number of crypto-related keywords in the top ten was nine! In the same month about 20, 000 domain names with .com and .net extensions were registered containing crypto-related terms in them.
Domain Names Still Attracted Big Bucks
Six domain names sold for seven figures this year. It should come as no surprise that one of these was ETH.com, which sold for a whopping $2 million. ETH is the symbol for Ether, the Ethereum platform’s cryptocurrency. The other domain names that sold for over $1 million, according to DNJournal, were Fly.com, Freedom.com, 01.com, 20.com, and MyWorld.com. It should be interesting to note that .com domain names still dominate the top tier when it comes to prices.