Eras of the NYC domainspace

While researching February NYC domain registrations for the monthly review, the number of people registering multiple variations of a domain name caught my eye and made me think that we’re entering a new era and that the NYC domainspace is maturing.

If we’re to separate the growth of the .NYC TLD I’d say we’re entering “early maturity”. We’ve left the “birth” and “infancy” eras.

Post-It Note chronology

NYC domainspace era - birth ICANN approves NYC domain

NYC domains sunrise period trademark holders

NYC domains sunrise period Founders Program

NYC domains sunrise period city affiliates

NYC domains landrush

 NYC domainspace era - infancy NYC domains general availability


NYC collision domains released

NYC domains dropped 2015

NYC premium reserved domains released

NYC domain auctions - real estate theme

NYC domains dropped 2016

NYC domain auctions - fashion theme

NYC domain auctions - tech theme

NYC domains dropped 2017

 NYC domainspace era - early maturity NYC domain registration growth


Also there are a few more themed auctions to come:

NYC domain auction - taste of NYC theme NYC domain auction - NYC makers theme NYC domain auction - Nightlife theme NYC domain auction - getting around theme

Below is a more organized description of the chronology along with some thoughts on .NYC’s evolution.

NYC domains - birth

Era: Birth [May 5, 2014 to Nov 6, 2014]

Sunrise Periods: (1) Trademark holders [May 5 to June 20, 2014] and Founders Program [applications May 5 to June 13, 2014 – decisions by July 15, 2014], (2) City Affiliates [June 25 to July 31, 2014].

Landrush [Aug 4 to Oct 3, 2014] (pre-general availability). Premium price paid to apply for a domain. Multiple applications by Oct 3, 2014 resulted in online auctions [3 auctions grouping domains by alpha with final auction concluded by Nov 6, 2014].

In the “birth” era, trademark holders made defensive registrations, speculators and domain investors took part in auctions (sometimes paying a high price) and early adopters including small businesses and individuals bought in. 

NYC domains - infancy

Era: Infancy [Nov 7, 2014 to Jan 31, 2017]

General Availability [Oct 8, 2014] .NYC domains offered for immediate registration across approximately 30 registrars and growing. One year after general availability, 16,587 domains on the collision list released [Oct 8, 2015] and made available for immediate registration. The NYC domainspace grows.

Year 1 drops [Dec 2015]: Domains originally registered in early general availability [Oct/Nov 2014] have expired and complete the deletion cycle in Dec 2015 (if registrants fail to renew). The NYC domainspace shrinks a little.

4000+ previously reserved premium domains are released with tiered pricing [Oct 10, 2016]. NYC domain tiered pricing is described here.

Real Estate Auctions [Oct 24, 2016] first of many small group, themed, NYC domain auctions. No reserves, start price $500. View the results of the .nyc real estate auctions.

Year 2 drops [Dec 2016]: Domains originally registered in early general availability [Oct/Nov 2014] and either renewed for an additional year or originally registered for two years, have expired and complete the deletion cycle in Dec 2016 (if registrants fail to renew).

Fashion Auctions [Feb 1, 2017] second small group, themed, NYC domain auctions. No reserves, start price $500. View the results of the .nyc fashion auctions.

Tech Auctions [May 2, 2017] third small group, themed, NYC domain auctions. No reserves, start price $500. View the results of the .nyc tech auctions.

Year 3 drops [Dec 2017]: Domains originally registered in early general availability [Oct/Nov 2014] and either renewed for an additional two years or originally registered for three years, have expired and complete the deletion cycle in Dec 2017 (if registrants fail to renew).

In the “infancy” era, we experienced registration numbers originally sore to 80,000 domains after the dust had already settled on the initial auctions.

The TLD expanded as previously reserved, premium and collision domains were released. Along with the excitement of these names being released and the themed real estate, fashion and tech auctions, .NYC proved resilient throughout 3 domain expiration cycles in December 2015, 2016 and 2017.

This resilience is demonstrated by the sustained registration numbers (still riding above 70,000) while .NYC is expensive (~$30/year) compared with .com (~$8/year). Considering the nexus requirement for .nyc, where registrants must live or work in the City of New York, it’s understandable that numbers that could otherwise be higher are suppressed – but the .NYC namespace is strengthened.

NYC domains - early maturity

Era: Early-Maturity [Feb 1, 2017 to Feb 1, 2019*]

As mentioned above, .NYC has weathered 3 domain expiration cycles well. NYC domain names are appearing in campaigns across multiple media from radio, TV and YouTube campaigns (e.g. BuildTheBlock.NYC), to billboards (e.g. Bike.NYC), car decals (e.g. SuperPollo.NYC), bus signage (e.g. Voting.NYC) and store signage (e.g. Omars.NYC) – this shows continued adoption and awareness as well as how businesses are choosing to spend their money. Take a look at the photos in the NYC domains gallery.

February 2018 is the first month that I’ve noticed the trend of individuals and small businesses (non-trademark holders) making defensive registrations in .NYC. By ‘defensive’ I mean multiple registrations of very similar domains when most likely only one will be developed into a website and the second (or third) will forward users to the main site. The additional registrations may be to reverse a two word phrase, contain typos or common misspellings and even to capture both the short and extended version of a business name.

This is significant because at ~$30/year a pop, .NYC domains aren’t cheap and so these multiple registrations by individuals and small businesses show that the belief in .NYC has grown and these new registrants have made a commitment.

Who knows when this era will end? Or exactly how the next era will evolve? But at this point it is clear .NYC is strong, it’s here to stay and investment and development in the domainspace is extremely promising.


The table below which shows all kinds of defensive registrations (from the February review) in the .NYC which I believe is a great sign of the .NYC domain maturing.

Defensive NYC domain registrations

So what do you think? Is the NYC domainspace maturing? Would you categorize the eras differently? What’s next?


2 responses to “Eras of the NYC domainspace”

  1. Very cool research. Yes, that is a lot of registration that are defensive. Great post, showing a lot of trends. I see a lot more developed projects and sites as well.

  2. Yes, I should have discussed development more as this ultimately is a big indicator of maturity (perhaps the biggest).


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