Domain name market declines in 2023, but .ai domains perform strongly

Industry Information 26 Feb 2024 04:14:39 PM By:DN editor
Abstract:

The report is based on 145,100 aftermarket domain sales recorded by NameBio in 2023, totaling slightly over $139 million. At least from the NameBio data, it can be seen that the dollar volume of domain market transactions decreased by 21.2%

Based on a report from NameBio that recorded 145,100 aftermarket domain sales in 2023, totaling slightly over $139 million. At least from the NameBio data, it can be observed that the dollar volume of domain market transactions decreased by 21.2% in 2023 compared to 2022. Not only did the dollar volume decrease from the previous year, but 2023 was also the second lowest year in the past five years, only behind 2020, when sales amounted to $119 million. This data was captured post-year-end. While some sales for the year were reported to NameBio relatively late, trends shouldn't be biased through consistent procedures each year. Many sales, especially retail sales, are not reported in NameBio. They might come from places without reported data, unreported private sales, or sales constrained by confidentiality agreements. Almost all registrar organizations no longer report high-value domain sales. Wholesale transactions recorded in NameBio are higher than retail transactions. Although sales quantity is mainly dominated by wholesale transactions, the dollar volume is mainly influenced by retail sales. The total dollar amount may be the best indicator of overall strength and is the focus of this report. .COM sales bring in three-quarters of domain revenue. If you limit domain investment to .com, how much of the market are you missing out on? The result is about 25%. In 2023, 75% of the total dollar volume came from a single extension, .com. The chart below shows how the entire pie is divided.

Domain name market declines in 2023, but .ai domains perform strongly

While .com dominated sales in 2023, there was a slight decrease compared to 2022, when .com accounted for 81.4% of sales. In 2023, both country code extensions and .org increased their share of dollar volume. Compared to 2022, .COM sales decreased by 27.9% in 2023.

The chart below shows the annual dollar volume of .com. While the situation in 2023 was slightly better than 2020 (which saw a sharp decline in the first few months of the global pandemic), it still fell short of the other three years.

Domain name market declines in 2023, but .ai domains perform strongly

Pandemic-induced shifts towards online transactions made 2021 and 2022 the best years for domain investment.

.NET

Relative to .com, .net performed slightly better, but the dollar volume still decreased by 10.4% in 2023 compared to 2022. It's worth noting that .net also declined by 25.4% in 2022. The most stable growth .org. The .org extension is growing steadily but moderately, and this trend continued in 2023. When comparing 2023 to 2022, .org sales increased by 34.4%. As shown below, the past five years have shown a consistent growth pattern.

Domain name market declines in 2023, but .ai domains perform strongly

In 2023, .org sales amounted to $10.8 million, far surpassing .net's $2.9 million.

Country Code Extensions Perform Well in 2023

Country code extensions experienced a strong performance in 2020 and 2021, supported by .io and .co, but suffered a setback in 2022. However, in 2023, country code extensions grew overall by 23.5%, reaching a sales volume of $17.1 million compared to 2022. In 2023, the sales volume of country code extensions reported by NameBio was slightly higher than $17.1 million.

Below we show the five-year trend for country code extensions as a whole.

Domain name market declines in 2023, but .ai domains perform strongly

Leading Country Code Extensions

As expected, .ai performed well in 2023 with sales close to $5.6 million. While this figure represents more than a sevenfold increase from the previous year, it's sometimes overlooked that .ai has long been a strong country code, with sales surpassing $1 million in 2019, 2020, and 2021.

Although .ai accounted for almost one-third (32.6%) of all country code sales in 2023, there are still many other strong performers, as shown in the chart below.

Domain name market declines in 2023, but .ai domains perform strongly

Just three country codes, .ai, .io, and .co, represent more than half of all country code dollar volume. Compared to 2022, .io dollar volume increased by 1.9% in 2023, but was significantly lower than in 2021.

Domain name market declines in 2023, but .ai domains perform strongly

While sales of .co declined by 7.1% in 2023 compared to 2022, the decline was less than expected. It also showed a smaller decrease compared to .com in 2023.

Here are the results of some other country code extensions I tracked:

· .de declined by 7.0%, but was nearly $2.4 million, accounting for 13% of all country code volume.

· .tv dollar volume decreased by 23.5% but still amounted to $389,000.

· .me remained relatively stable, with a decrease of only 2.3% in dollar volume.

· .eu has been increasing slightly in recent years, but took a big step in 2023, almost doubling its dollar volume to slightly over $568,000.

· .cc showed strong growth, increasing from $352,000 in 2022 to slightly over $621,000 in 2023. However, it should be noted that almost all high-value sales in this extension are numeric names.

· .co.uk, this country extension accounted for over $355,000 in 2023, but declined by 30% compared to 2022. .uk showed a smaller decrease of only 5.3%, but was much lower in quantity.

· .us, after strong growth in 2022, the .us extension gave back most of it, with a 15.4% decrease in dollar volume in 2023. .us dollar volume in 2023 was slightly less than $315,000.

· .vc, venture capital had a tough year, so .vc sales declined by nearly 18%. Sales in 2023 amounted to $197,000.

· .to, the reconfigured .to extension, decreased by 82%, possibly due to interruptions from the primary dealer following the CEO's death. It should be noted that 2022 was a particularly strong year for .to due to extensions.

· .fr, the French country extension, is a strong one, valued at $289,000, but declined by 28.1%.

· .ch, Switzerland's situation is similar, with a 22% decline in 2023, but sales volume close to $227,000.

· .es, Spain's .es performed strongly in 2023, with sales increasing by 68%.

· Both had high reported sales, but strong average prices helped Australia's .com.au and Canada's .ca achieve growth, with .com.au nearly quadrupling to $118,000 and .ca increasing by 79% to $343,000.

· .gg, popular in the gaming community, saw sales drop by more than half from an already somewhat weak digit.

· In 2023, India's .in had a sales volume of $137,000, but decreased by over 60% compared to 2022. People may have higher expectations for a strong-growing economy.

Domain name market declines in 2023, but .ai domains perform strongly

New Domain Extensions

Overall, aftermarket sales of new domain extensions decreased by nearly 37% to just under $4.6 million. Below I show the trend over the past five years.

Domain name market declines in 2023, but .ai domains perform strongly

While the dollar volume of .xyz in 2023 was close to $1.4 million, it decreased by about 69%. The .xyz extension accounts for nearly 30% of all new gTLDs.

Domain name market declines in 2023, but .ai domains perform strongly

Sales of .app extensions increased by 53% to $669,000, accounting for 14.6% of all new extension sales in 2023.

In terms of registration and aftermarket sales, .online performed strongly in 2023, skyrocketing from about $20,000 last year to $451,000 in this year's dollar volume. Since most strong names are registered at a premium and these sales are usually not reported, this volume only accounts for a small portion of .online sales records.

I've never paid much attention to .vip, so I was surprised when analysis showed it accounted for 7.7% of the total aftermarket sales of new gTLDs in 2023. Both in sales volume and averages, its sales reached $352,000, showing strong growth in 2023.

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Domain name market declines in 2023, but .ai domains perform strongly