Uniregistry has become the latest registry to adopt the Early Access Period model for some new gTLD launches.
.cars, .car and .auto will all use the EAP, in place of the more typical landrush period, when they launch in January.
Technically, while Uniregistry is running the back-end, the three gTLDS are all being offered by Cars Registry, a partnership between Uniregistry and .xyz registry XYZ.com.
Uniregistry CEO Frank Schilling said it was felt that EAP was needed due to the “stupendous cost” of acquiring the strings.
EAP is a period lasting usually about a week in which the price of registering any domain descends daily from a very high fee on day one — usually above $10,000 at the storefront — to maybe a hundred bucks when the period closes.
The model was pioneered by portfolio registries Donuts and Rightside, but has since been adopted by the likes of Minds + Machines, Radix and XYZ.com.
It’s rapidly becoming the de facto industry standard for new gTLD launches, replacing the auction-based approach to landrush most registries have used in the past.
The driving factor for the industry switch is surely revenue.
Donuts told us late last month that it had sold 48,381 EAP domains across all of its launches to date, where registry prices are believed to start at around the $10,000 mark.
M+M said yesterday that it sold $1.18 million after it chose to use EAP with its recently launched .law gTLD, where registration restrictions suggest many of the sales will have been to legit end users.
Registrars also get a bigger slice of the pie. In an auction model they might wind up with just the regular registration fee, but with EAP they can mark up day one domains by thousands of dollars.
Cars Registry says its EAP is targeted at “OEMs, dealerships, vendors”, but it will almost certainly get a healthy chunk of domainer interest too.