.Art will have 3.5 million premium domain names

Good luck finding a new .art domain at “regular” registration prices.

This headline is not a typo.

The .art domain name, which will enter general availability on May 10, will have a staggering 3.5 million domain names that will be available for registration at prices higher than standard.

Standard retail prices should be about $15-$20. The premium domain names will start at under $100 retail for the first year, with the majority under $1,000. Premium renewals will be under $50 at many registrars.

John Matson, who is on the Strategic Planning Board for .Art, told Domain Name Wire that the premium domain names were selected based on big data analysis. The analysis considered a number of factors, including the linguistic relevance to art. The company states:

The .ART Registry undertook a substantial big data effort to analyze over 250 massive
databases comprising over 6 billion words and identified 3,500,000 word forms that have
measureable domain name value. Linguistic scientists were retained to develop algorithms that
determine the relative strength of a word form related to art. In addition, several other attributes of the word forms were measured such as: Internet search popularity, length of characters, number of occurrences of the word form in other domain zones, prior selling prices, current asking prices, consumer rating values and art industry indexes. These hundreds of millions of data points were combined into an algorithm that provides an individual value for each of the 3,500,000 word forms. This approach to domain pricing allows the .ART registry to price standard names at an affordable level and charge a higher or premium price for meaningful word forms. We believe that anyone will be able to find their preferred word form at a fair price. If tir preferred word form is a highly sought after art related term, it will be priced higher than standard, but at a fair price set supported by rigorous big data analysis.

This sounds similar to what other registries did, most notably Rightside, but they also drew the line somewhere.

To put the 3.5 million number in perspective, consider that the only new top level domain names with over one million registrations have achieved this by offering domains for less than a dollar. Furthermore, all but a few of the TLDs with greater than 100,000 registrations had similar promotions that account for the bulk of their registrations.

Matson said that the approach was created to let people get the domain they want at reasonable prices. If the domain name they want has a premium, they can find a domain name they want that’s similar to it at standard registration prices.

But at what point is every domain name that has value a premium domain name?

I would struggle to find 10,000 domain names on any of the non-generic new strings that I would consider worth registering at standard prices.

.Biz, which has been out for over 15 years, has only two million registered. .Info has more thanks, in part, to heavy discounting.

Are there more than 10,000 names on .art that people will find worth registering? Sure. But just because they are worth registering doesn’t mean they are worth a premium.

One mistake I’ve seen some registries make is that they’ve decided that any second level string that could have any value under the top level domain name should be premium. The problem is that some of these domains might be relevant, but will only be registered at standard pricing.

.Art opened a priority period for people in the art industry in February, but then promptly halted registrations due to a technical reason. Based on the volume of registrations to date and what I heard from people who tried to register domains, the technical issue may have been that people were able to register premium domain names at lower prices.

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