Registry StartingDot’s Premium TLD 50 index for Q4 2015 shows strong growth for this segment of the new gTLD market. Premium TLDs are defined as Latin character suffixes (no IDNs) that are not brand or geographic terms and with an average retail price of over US$40. These suffixes are the business class section of the domain industry.
The Premium sector grew by 7% in the last quarter of 2015, riding a strong trend overall which saw total new gTLD growth rates rise from 26% in Q3 to 41% in Q4. Part of the increase seems attributable to improving awareness of TLDs in China, with domain investors making high volume domain registrations in the last few months.
Not unexpectedly, the Premium sector remains a niche with the top 50 Premium TLDs accounting for 3% of the total new gTLD volume in Q4 2015.
Best Premium performer in Q4 was StartingDot’s very own .ARCHI with stellar 97% growth. This was followed by .BLACK (+52%), .HOST (+36%) and another StartingDot TLD .SKI at 23% growth. .BIO remains StartingDot’s best-selling TLD and was nudging 13,000 registrations by the end of Q4 2015.
New gTLDs first started becoming available on the Internet in 2014. The majority have now launched, and this is reflected in the latest Premium TLD 50 index where stabilisation is the key work this quarter. In Q3, there were 9 new entries. For Q4, only one new TLD, .LIMO, joined the ranks of the 50 best-selling Premium TLDs. This was counterbalanced by .VERSICHERUNG dropping out of the Top 50.
Stability is also the operative word as far as price is concerned. In Q2, the average retail price for Premium TLDs was $71, dropping to $68 in Q3. With a $67 average for Q4, the price at which Premium TLDs are being offered to consumers now seems to have found its sweet spot.