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Premium Domains are Coming to .nyc

.nyc Premium Domain Program

The .nyc domain name was created for New Yorkers, by New Yorkers. To register a .nyc domain name, registrants must have a verifiable address in one of the five boroughs, making .nyc one of the most exclusive and unique top level domains.

Much like physical real estate, certain digital real estate holds a higher value.  These web addresses are referred to as “premium domains”. It has always been the City’s goal to put these valuable domains in the hands of organizations and individuals who will put them to their best use.  To that end, the .nyc Premium Domain Program was designed to ensure that all New Yorkers have an equal opportunity to purchase these domains on the open market in a fair and transparent process.

In keeping with the City’s desire for equitable access to these sought after domain names, we have devised an approach for premium domains that surpasses every other city TLD in terms of access, affordability, and transparency.  While other prominent city TLDs such as .london, .miami, and .sydney reserved between 30,000 and 50,000 domains for premium sales, the City of New York only designated 4,359 domains as premium.  Our approach is based on industry best practices, and retains the unique nature of the .nyc namespace. The .nyc Premium Domain Program includes: (1) premium domain auctions and brokered sales; (2) tiered pricing; (3) modified general availability; and (4) donated premium domains.  This four-pronged approach provides multiple points of access for buyers and multiple price points.

Auctions and Brokered Sales

The auction and brokered sale program features up to 500 of the most valuable domains from the premium domain list, organized by industry and business themes (fashion, dining, etc).  Unlike most city TLDs, there will be no reserve price (the price at which a domain must reach in order to be sold) and bidding for most auctions will start at $500.  We anticipate launching an auction roughly every two months with 20-30 domains per auction theme.

 

To maximize transparency and awareness, auction lists and dates will be announced publicly at least thirty (30) days prior to the auction.  Notice for the auctions will be posted online and through social media channels.  All details pertinent to auctions, including the domains available and how/where to get involved, will be available at auction.nyc and ownit.nyc. 

To complement these efforts and enable greater flexibility for buyers who are interested in domains slated for later auctions, all auction domains will also be available via direct or brokered sales. The auction domains will be listed on select premium domain marketplaces with an established, transparent list price. Interested buyers will have the option of purchasing the domains at this listed price or wait for the scheduled auction.  As the scheduled auctions approach, these domains will be moved to the auction site where they will be put up for bid as previously discussed.

Tiered Pricing

Complementing .nyc premium auctions, the remaining premium domains will be available through a tiered pricing ranging from $250 to $5,000.  Tiered pricing has become a common and best practice among top-level domains due to its accessibility and wide-ranging price options. You can purchase these domains through participating .nyc registrars starting October 10, 2016.

Modified Pricing

Between 2014 and 2016 more than 1,000 new top-level domains have launched.  To remain competitive in this changing market, the City will be reassessing the price of a subset of .nyc domains that are currently on the market. Some domains such as three character domains and commonly used nouns and verbs may increase in price.  Other domains, such as those that are excessively long in length, may be dropped below the standard $20 wholesale price.

Donated Premium Domains
In select cases where a premium domain can be used to advance the .nyc brand or serve the greater good of New York City, these domains may be allocated at no cost.  To learn more or if you have specific questions or feedback regarding the Premium Domain Program please contact cto@cto.nyc.gov.