2018 was a very interesting year for data analysis of the top 100 brandable domain name sales because there was a lot of evidence of some heavy shifts in the industry. That was in addition to confirmation of some surprising trends we didn’t initially expect from the data analysis of all domain names sold to startups.
2019’s data builds off of 2018’s data to give some crucial insights into just how rapidly the top domain name marketplaces were changing.
The data also brings some crucial information for domain investors looking to refine their approach to finding the brandable domain names VC-backed startups are more likely to pay big money for.
Here’s what we will cover in this analysis:
- Raw data of top brandable domains
- Major insights from analysis
- Takeaways for domain investors
Let’s get into it!
Raw Data of Brandable Domain Sales
4 Major Insights From Top Domain Sales
The 2019 data did not disappoint when it came to providing interesting trends and changes. An in-depth analysis reveals some clear changes taking place in the domain name sales markets and smart domain investors are going to take notice and adjust accordingly.
Our approach was as follows. We obtained the top sales data from the Namebio database. We then analyzed the data in Microsoft Excel to extract insights.
1. Marketplace with Highest Sales Numbers ($)
Sedo proved that 2018 was not a fluke by once again coming in first place as the marketplace with the highest revenue numbers from top 100 domain name sales with $1.5 million in sales.
The second highest sales actually came from private sales ($600k), which narrowly beat out GoDaddy and Uniregistry, which were neck in neck for third place.
DomainMarket and NameJet were far behind with SnapNames and DropCatch rounding out the list.
This shows that Sedo’s rise to unseat Uniregistry is almost certainly a trend as they have firmly planted themselves as the marketplace for top 100 brandable domain name sales. The uptick in private sales off-market place is a trend to keep an eye on, as well as GoDaddy’s continued movement to fight past Uniregistry.
2. Marketplace with Most Volume of Sales
The volume of sales tells a few interesting stories when studying the top 100 domain sales of 2019. Sedo is also first by a long shot with 42 of 100 sales.
GoDaddy comes in second with 17 sales in the top 100, and Uniregistry is nipping at their heels with 14 sales.
DomainMarket comes in with 7, NameJet 4, SnapNames 2, and DropCatch 1.
However, despite being second in revenue, private sales only accounted for 3 of 100 sales. This tells us that one or more huge sales in revenue threw off the numbers. This isn’t an indication of a growing shift away from existing marketplaces.
The volume of sales versus revenue suggests the size of the private sales in 2019 were abnormally large and thus appear to throw off the revenue graph.
That’s why analyzing the data of these two sections together is so important. It paints a clear picture of what the domain market is actually doing so single anomalies stick out from actual trends.
3. Number of Words in Top Branded Domains
Two-word domains once again topped one-word domains in the top 100. There were 52 two-word domains among the top 100. One-word domains came in next with 46 of the 100 sales.
3-word domains remain amazingly consistent, making up a mere two of the top 100 for the fourth straight year.
Reviewing the data on total domain name sales to brands shows that shorter is better, and that holds up here in the top 100.
With several years of data analysis, it’s safe to say at this point that two-word domains punching above their weight in the top 100 is a consistent trend. Although far more one-word domains sell to startups, a higher percentage of two-word brandable domains will make the list of top 100 yearly sales.
4. How Many Characters in Top Domains?
We know from past data that shorter is better, but that was in especially strong display among the top 100 sales in 2019. 4 through 7 characters was the sweet spot in 2019.
Four-character domains sold at the highest rate with 17 of the top 100. 6-character domains were the next most popular, coming in at 15 sales.
There’s a drop in demand after seven characters with 8, 9, and 10 all coming in with nine each. Once again anything above ten characters sees a steep drop in its chances of being in the top 100.
Final Takeaways for Domain Investors
The 2019 data was interesting and added a lot of information to the many changes that seemed to start in 2018. What actionable takeaways should domain investors take from this data?
- Sedo is the new top marketplace for premium domain name sales in both sales and revenue, and they appear to have a solid grip on that number one position while Uniregistry continues to fall as GoDaddy surges.
- One and two-word domains are clearly the winners year after year when it comes to the top 100 sales
- Shorter is better as good 4-character domain names are always in high demand and coming in at 7 characters or fewer increases the chances of a domain ending up on this list.
- While very big private sales can happen, they are not taking the place of marketplaces when it comes to domain name transactions.
Keep this information in mind while looking at emerging changes, or reinforced patterns, and this will help narrow down the available domains that are most likely to lead to a big pay-off.