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My domain industry predictions for 2023

Here are some things I think will happen in the domain business this year.

A person with his hands on a crystal ball

Earlier this month I published the annual predictions episode of the Domain Name Wire Podcast.

Now that you’ve heard from other people, here’s my forecast for the year.

Less interest in web3 domains – I expect this to be a long winter for web3 domain names. If people were registering these domains because they wanted an uncensorable, decentralized web presence, then nothing has changed. But let’s face it, nearly all of the registrations are from people trying to make a quick buck. And when there’s no quick buck to be made, they won’t show up.

Decline in .xyz sales values – Piggybacking on the first prediction, .xyz rode the wave of web3 startups, and it will also ride it down. While there will still be some nice .xyz sales this year, I expect the volume to decline considerably. Unless there’s a turnaround in web3 again.

Economic headwinds – Let’s face it, the past half year or so has been rough in the economy. Rising interest rates have led to a freeze in the real estate market, fewer business transactions, and layoffs. The economy isn’t bad; it’s just that the Fed is purposely trying to cool it off at the margins to lower inflation. Over the past 12 months I’m hearing less of “the economy is fine for me, but I’m worried about everyone else” to “the economy is starting to impact my business”. This will impact the domain name business, t00.

A new entrant in landing page space/sales platforms – I started writing this post before GoDaddy announced its commission change earlier this year. I assumed it would increase commissions on Dan.com landers, and this would usher in opportunity for a new competitor. Now that the company has released its plan, I’m not so sure. By giving a 40% commission discount on AfternicDLS sales when people use their landers, it might be more difficult for competitors to make inroads.

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