OMG! At $50,000, Will The .ng SLD Become The Hottest Top-Level Domain?
On January 3, 2011, one of Nigeria’s leading newspapers, ThisDay launched a new website on their N7.5million domain – thisday.ng – which they ‘supposedly’ bought through NIRA’s auction process.
In case you don’t know, .ng is Nigeria’s country code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) and NIRA is the country’s official TLD registrar.
This raised a lot of questions and controversy. Most importantly, it begs the question: Will the sale make the .ng ccTLD become hot in the global domains market?
While it is too early to predict, the .ng ccTLD has for a long time been viewed as one of the most valuable extensions in the domains market for an obvious reason: it creates virtually any verb-related web domain on the surface of the Internet.
For example, with .ng you may soon find domain names such as ni.ng, facebooki.ng, bi.ng, googli.ng, etc and could come in handy for URL shorteners.
But how will the .ng ccTLD fare amongst its ccTLD counterparts (.cn, .de, .in) and amidst the global contenders (.com, .net, .org)?
Well, a look at the highest reported ccTLD sales in the weeks of December 20 to December 26 of 2010, according to DNJornal.com shows domains such as coupon.ca (Canada’s ccTLD) being sold for $75,600.
Other top selling ccTLD’s include .de (Germany’s ccTLD), .es (Spain’s ccTLD) and .ch (Switzerland’s ccTLD) which also sold within the 5-figure range.
That said, I think the .ng has shown that it could take on these other TLDs in the domains market.
At least, NIRA has seen to that.
Over the years, they’ve built a ‘walled garden’, so-to-speak around the .ng ccTLD and have put up an auction process that puts generic domains at a premium price.
At the price of N7.5million ($50,000), the .ng may soon become one of the hottest selling ccTLDs in the domains market.
Will the .ng outsell the .com?
For some domains, it has already. But for certain domains such as Sex.com (sold for a whooping $13million in November 2010), or Logo.com (sold for $500,000 in November 2010) that will never happen.
For what it’s worth, the .ng is definitely not what a small business or an Internet startup should be focused on buying right now.
In fact, that would be a suicidal attempt trying to keep up with the .ngesses.
I’ll recommend sticking to a .com for now, building a unique product or service that would see traction, attract funding, scale globally, and generate revenues before thinking about buying a 6-figure .ng ccTLD.
My guess is that large companies in Telecoms, Oil & Gas and global technology companies with a focus on the Nigerian market will soon pick an interest in the .ng ccTLD.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Microsoft bi.ng or an Apple pi.ng
Image courtesy of TLP Blog.