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Whether excited about opportunities, or not a fan of the extension, .xyz is the focus of many recent discussions here on NamePros.

It is not hard to see why the extension has attracted attention. In just the first 23 days of 2022
  • There were 200 sales of .xyz domain names listed on NameBio, totalling $662,400.
  • That figure is more than .net and .org sales combined for the same period ($212,200 plus $409,900).
  • The .xyz dollar volume is almost the same as all country code extension sales combined for the same short period, $667,000.
  • As I write this, .xyz has 10 spots on the NameBio top-100 sales of 2022. True, .com still takes 66 spots, and I have no doubt that, by end of year .com will dominate, but .xyz is having an amazing recent run. Also, 9 of those sales of .xyz are in the top 50 spots.
  • I analyzed sales reported in the last 5 pages, 952-956, of the NamePros Report Completed Domain Name Sales thread. The highest number of sales were in .com at 58, but .xyz was next at 45, far ahead of third place .co at 14, and .org and .io at 5 each.
Last July I took A Look At What Sells In XYZ, but much has changed since that time.

In this article, I focus on the most recent 12 months of .xyz data from NameBio, the period ending Jan 24, 2022. The data consisted of 769 sales with a total volume of about $2.60 million, essentially all of which were domainer, rather than registry, sales.

Graphing XYZ Weekly Sales Volume

I wondered if the surge in .xyz sales was showing any sign of levelling off. I calculated the .xyz sales dollar volume per week, using NameBio data, over the past 12 months.

Image-WeeklyVollume.png


Price Distribution

Next, I divided .xyz sales from the past 12 months into price bins. That data is shown below, both the number of sales, and the total dollar volume for that bin.
Image-Prices.png

While the number of sales is dominated by sales in the low hundreds range, supposedly domain investor acquisitions in most cases, the dollar volume is dominated by the $2000 plus sales.

The Type of Name That Sells in XYZ

In the previous article A Look At What Sells In XYZ, we saw that single-word names dominated. Since so many of the .xyz sales have taken place during the last few months, I wanted to check if that pattern still holds.

There were 769 sales in the 12 month dataset. Each name I categorized as 1-word, 2-word, 3-word, short (I defined as 3 characters or less and not an obvious word), brandable (defined as names that could be used as brand but were not an obvious word); name (a first or last name, or both); place (the name of a city, country, region, etc.), numeric, alphanumeric, names with hyphens, or a few I had difficulty assigning, called other.
Image-TypeNumber.png

Compared to the study from last year, the type of name has broadened somewhat, with more multiple word, brandable, name, place and alphanumeric names. Somewhat surprisingly, there were no purely numeric sales reported.

The broadening is deceptive though, as many of the short, multiple word and alphanumeric names were wholesale acquisitions. The next graph presents the type of name with the dollar volume in that category. The dominance of single-word .xyz in the high-value retail sales continues.
Image-TypeDollarVolume.png

While the vast majority are English words, a number of other languages were represented, especially Spanish.

Length

The .xyz sales from the past 12 months range from 2 characters to 20, with an average length of 6.6 characters. The distribution is shown below. It indicates that anywhere from 3 through 7 or 8 characters are fairly equally sold, then it drops off sharply for names longer than 12.
Image-LengthNumber.png

The low number of 2-character sales is not because they would not be desired, but rather many are premium. and were distributed in the early years of the extension, or are still held by registry.

I wondered how average price varied with domain length. I found that 4 through 10 letters dominate the high-value retail sales. Wile there were many 3-letter sales, most appear to be wholesale buys by investors counting on growing future demand for short names.
Image-LengthAverage.png

Putting data together, here is the total dollar sales volume in the different length bins. The vast majority of retail sales dollar volume is between 4 and 10 letter single words, especially 4 to 8 letters.
Image-LengthVolume.png

Premium XYZ Names

In researching this article, I discovered that the XYZ registry is very transparent with respect to premium names. You can download a spreadsheet-friendly list of all premium .xyz names, with their retail registration and renewal prices, at this page. I wish all registries made it this easy.

There are 6582 names at premium prices, although only 2725 have premium renewals. Of these, 1220 names haver renewals of $1000 or more.

The top tier contains just 12 available names, that register and renew at $55,000 per year. Names in that list include EU.xyz and 123.xyz, as well as a number of single characters including X.xyz.

They also have a long list of names that carry a premium registration price but renew at standard, about $10 per year, rates. Something like hey.xyz will set you back $3000 for year one, but after that it is just $10 per year, while wax.xyz is $700 year one and then $10 per year, and water.xyz is $350 first year then $10 per year.

It is important for .xyz investors to browse the premium list, as they may be competition for your holdings. Some retail buyers may not realize that there is a saving every year from buying a name not on the premium renewal list.

If buying names in auction, it is important to be clear whether the name carries a premium renewal.

Current Status of Recently Sold Names

For each of the 331 .xyz names that sold for $1000 or more during the past 12 months, I tried to go to the associated web page to determine if it was developed, redirected, had monetized parking, was for sale again, or unused. The results are shown below on the left.
Image-Use.png

Keep in mind many of these names were sold just weeks ago, some just days ago, so it is not surprising that many would not be yet in use. About 27% were already developed, and 14% were listed for sale again.

Many of the names that are again listed for sale were sold in Sav auctions. It appears from the pricing and landers that one investor holds a number of these names being resold. The last few months at least a few investors have begun buying .xyz in the 4-figure range, although most wholesale transactions are in the 3-figure range.

I separated the top 24 sales, each sold at $20,000 plus. Only one is listed for sale again, with 46% of the sites already developed.

I did not keep notes of the type of development across the many sites I checked, but there were many NFT and Defi sites, along with some design and collaboration sites. The vast majority are Web3 businesses.

Not all, but most, seemed used by startups. I was surprised that not more were used for redirection, and very few seemed defensive purchases by well-established businesses.

Other Use Measures

Clearly the long-term health of any extension depends on significant use by businesses that have high visibility.

The recent rebranding of block.xyz, as parent of the Square payment processing system, with many millions of customers, will help XYZ. The Block cryptocurrency initiative, Spiral, is also on an .xyz domain name.

Alphabet, the parent of Google, has used abc.xyz for their investor relations site for many years.

Some big name companies use .xyz for redirection to their .com, like Apple.xyz and Amazon.xyz, while others ignore the extension.

The registry maintains a showcase of some businesses and organizations on .xyz at gen.xyz/live.

One measure of use of an extension is number of Alexa 1M sites. NameStat show 2686 currently for .xyz.

Another measure is Cisco Umbrella traffic. I checked that this week, expecting that .xyz might have moved up from when I last did a survey. I was surprised to see that .xyz had moved down, to 27th place from 15th. We only know rankings, and the difference in traffic may be slight, but nonetheless surprising.

There are many ways to estimate web traffic, and the registry notes internal research indicating .xyz may now be as high as fifth overall in use.

I did a quick check of abuse ratings at Spamhaus, a service that protects nearly half of the world’s mailboxes. At 2.5% potentially ‘bad’, with a score of 0.22 (lower is better), .xyz scores better than .com and .net, although a bit worse than .org and .io.

XYZ and Web3

The extension has come to be associated with Web3 largely because the XYZ CEO, Daniel Negari, proposed, back in 2018, an association between XYZ and the Ethereum Name Service, ENS. It was officially announced Sept 5, 2018 by Ethereum founder Nick Johnson.
This means that if you own a .xyz domain name, you’ll be able to claim the same name in ENS, and use it just like you would any .eth name — associate it with your wallet, use it to name smart contracts, create subdomains, and so forth.

Initially ENS worked only with .eth extension names, but now works with many other TLDs that support DNSSEC, including .com, .net and many new gTLDs.

On the XYZ blog many Web3 businesses on .xyz domain names are featured.

To give a feel for the type of Web3 startups that are using .xyz, check out sites like mirror.xyz, agora.xyz, arcade.xyz and universe.xyz. I am not endorsing these, or any, site, simply using them as examples.

A recent Web3 initiative by XYZ is Eth.xyz. It allows you to automatically link your authorized NFTs to your ENS profile. Read more about it, and see some examples, at eth.xyz.

Probably the recent TechCrunch article WTF is .xyz? will spur familiarity for the extension among the general public, as well as its association with Web3.

Sell-Through-Rate

The sell-through-rate, STR, is a measure of the percentage of domain names sold in a one year period. For example, if you have 100 domain names and sell 2 in one year that is a 2% STR.

One can use NameBio-listed sales in an extension, along with Dofo Advanced Search to indicate the number of domains currently for sale in an extension, to calculate an industry-wide STR for any extension. It is important to realize that by no means all sales are in NameBio, so the real rate would be higher, and also not all names for sale are picked up by Dofo, which would cause the apparent rate to be higher than it should be. Almost certainly the first factor dominates, so these are under estimated.

I took the current number of names listed for sale across all marketplaces tracked by Dofo and combined with the number of sales reported in NameBio to calculate a STR for sales of $100 and more, and also just for sales $1000 and more. The latter should be dominantly retail sales, although not completely.

Image-STR.png

I was surprised that the number of domain names listed for .xyz was not higher. I am not sure if that means many sellers have unlisted names, or are listing somewhere not picked up by Dofo, or if the registrations are dominated by end users.

In any case, the same procedure was used for all three TLDs. We see that the STR favors .com over .xyz by about a factor of 2 for all sales, but if we look only for sales $1000 and more, the reverse is true. There are relatively more 3-figure wholesale acquisitions in .com compared to .xyz.

We find that .net slightly leads .xyz when all sales are counted, but .xyz leads for sales of $1000 and more.

I think it is possible that a higher percentage of .xyz sales are being reported to NameBio, and that would influence these results.

However, it is not just the STR, but both the STR and sales price that matters, the latter favors .xyz. I used NameBio to compute the average sales price for each category, and that is shown as Average in the diagram. If one multiplies this by the STR, one gets the Factor shown. While keeping in mind NameBio does not include all sales, and Dofo not all listings, this indicates whether, averaged over the entire industry, the prospects for sale make it worthwhile to renew a domain name. Commissions and acquisition costs are not incorporated in the measure, however.

Keep in mind this is simply an industry average. If your names are below average in quality, your STR will be less, and your average price also less.

The XYZ registry site is at nic.xyz.

No set of numbers can tell you whether it is worthwhile to invest in an extension. Keep in mind that trends can, and do, change, and past performance does not guarantee future performance.

It is best to invest in a TLD that you feel enthusiastic about, and to keep up to date with recent developments and trends. The domain name universe is huge, and you should never feel you have to invest in a sector or TLD that you don’t feel positive about.

In one sentence, at the current time, if investing for the short term in .xyz ask yourself if the name would make a good brand for a web3 startup. It is best to concentrate on brands no longer than 8 letters.

It cannot be over-emphasized how important it is to browse lists of the type of names that sell. This link goes directly to the NameBio list of .xyz sales from the past two years, ordered by price.

Those willing to hold .xyz for a longer time, may wish to consider two-word, service match, brandable, short, place or other name formats. The sales record is still sparse in these at the current time, however.


Note that the significant sale of metadata.xyz, was announced as this was being published, so is not included in the analysis.

Sincere thanks to NameBio and Dofo in particular for data used in this article.
 
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The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
Impact
29,374
Thanks @Bob Hawkes
Thank you.

Almost certainly this article on XYZ would not have been warranted without your foresight, hard work and sales, @DNGear. Many have now made .xyz sales because of the lead you set.

I suspect there have been very few domain investors in any sector or TLD who have in one year sold as many high-price names that are already in use by startups.

No one knows what the future will hold for Web3 and XYZ, but incredible success this year.

Thank you for your huge contribution to the domain community.

Bob
 
Impact
29,374
Think I will do one of these for co.uk unless somebody else has it planned?
Always good to have more data analysis shared with the NamePros community.
I have no plans to do .co.uk.
I do plan to replicate this sort of analysis for .co and .com (with some sampling required due to numbers) in the not so distant future.
Bob

PS While not the same full format, I have previously done sort of similar with some other TLDs including:
I also looked at specific categories such as 4L .COM.

Also, things like the Look At 2021 Sales covered many extensions with things like average price, dollar volume, and change in dollar volume.

Bob
 
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Impact
29,374
Can we see these please? Thanks.
It is easy to find using the NameBio link in the article to all .xyz sales by price, then look at seller, then try them in browser to see if developed.

But here are a few she sold in last year and are already developed by startups: agora, canvas, metaverse, flip, spiral, offbeat and numerous others, not to include those used in redirection or early stage splash screen only.

Now probably a few investors, such as the successful brandable marketplace sellers with huge portfolios, have sold more in last 12 months that are already developed, but surprisingly few achieve that within our community. It is depressing to see a name sold at a good price sit unused many months later, sometimes the DNS not even changed.

It has been my experience in looking at other TLDs that even big sales often sit undeveloped years later. Just for fun, I just had a look at the top 25 sales (all TLDs) of 2021. Only one of these sold in Dec and none in Nov, so 24 have had a minimum of 3 months to be developed. I found 13 were developed, 4 had a coming soon, 2 were listed for sale again, and 6 had no operational website. These names (24 .com and 1 .net) all sold for somewhere between $550,000 to $3.3 million, yet just slightly above half have an operational website.

Bob
 
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redemo

Top Contributor
Impact
2,328
Impressed with the percentage of high sales xyz domain names that have been developed into high quality websites. My negative opinions about xyz are fundamentally influenced by its aesthetically off-putting and confusing features. However the data suggests that end-user adoption is rising. Therefore it may be time to eat my hat.
 
biix