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dotFM offers $1.1 million stash of emoji domains

Kevin Murphy, April 16, 2018, 12:19:06 (UTC), Domain Registries

BRS Media has started selling emoji domain names in its .fm ccTLD, and some of the more commonly used ones are quite pricey.
While a vanilla emoji will go for the standard .fm price of $95.95 a year when bought from dotFM’s web site, the company has set aside about 500 domains as “premiums”.
These reserved domains start at $995 for the first year, running to $4,995, according to a published price list.
In total, dotFM is sitting on a stash of premiums worth, it reckons, over $1.1 million in the first year.
The current Unicode standard supports 2,789 emojis, so if BRS manages to sell the lot it’s looking at a not-bad $267,000 a year in renewals.
Kicking off the registration process appears to be as simple as copy-pasting an emoji into the dotFM search box, but that may not work at its partner registrars.
It’s worth noting that emoji domains are what you might call an acquired taste, mainly attractive for their novelty value and not the kind of place you’d want to run your primary web site.
They’re also basically banned by ICANN policy in the gTLD space.
.fm is the ccTLD for Micronesia which BRS has been running as an open, if niche, TLD for the radio market for the last 20 years.

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Comments (7)

  1. I agree that nobody should run their main site from an emoji domain.
    But, I would argue they hold more than novelty value. ‘Novelty’ just means ‘new’ and this alone has value.
    But, when the novelty wears off I think the owners still have valuable assets because they own a domain that displays features that no other domain can claim to exhibit.
    1. colourful
    2. graphical
    3. on more smartphones than any other single language
    for example.
    I personally don’t think .fm emoji domains are that great an investment compared to .ws though because the .fm has an associated meaning ie. radio. They work nicely with the radio emoji, the guitar emoji, the microphone emoji and so on. But, I don’t think they work with, say, the hamburger or the credit card, unless those domains end up in the hands of specific hamburger and credit card radio shows or podcasts.
    Seems more limiting than .ws which is generic to some extent could be argued to represent ‘website’

  2. Chris says:

    Thanks for sharing @Kevin.
    Definitely an interesting perspective to see the profitability (or should I say potential revenue given expenses are unknown) from a registries perspective.
    I could be wrong about this, but if memory serves correct, some emoji .FM (such as .FM) were available to register at standard ($100ish) pricing on/around opening night of emoji .FM registration via .FM. Not sure if it was a glitch or if I’m mistaken, but per the link you shared, .FM is listed as a premium domain with $2,495 price tag from the registry.
    Given the high registration / renewal fees of .FM, I only registered two. I’m curious as to what will happen when/if .AM opens up emoji domain registration. Would one be advised to pick up matching .AM emoji domains as a sudo defensive registration to their emoji . FM domains?

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      Looks like my WordPress install doesn’t support the emojis you presumably had in your comment, sorry.

      • Chris says:

        I think this (the lack of support for emojis in the comment section) partly exemplifies why emoji domains aren’t quite ready to support a primary website.
        This is partly why, IMO, emoji domains are still several years out. A lot more cross platform implementation (and other things such email support) needs to be happen before these things can be seen as more than just a novelty / marketing tool.
        I don’t think emoji domain investors should expect quick returns, and instead should view their emoji domains as 10+ year holds. For .FM, you could save on renewals if you renew 5 years at a time via
        However, this way of thinking might mean the registries are going to be banking year after year on domainer speculation, while the internet tries to catch up and decide where emoji ccTLDs fit in to the ecosystem. The below song comes to mind.

  3. Chris says:

    Looks the the comment section doesn’t support emojis?
    In my above comment I was referring to the peach emoji .FM with the $2,495 registry price tag, that I thought was available at standard registration fee on opening day of .FM emoji registration.

  4. page howe says:

    im an emoji fan so realize this is rose colored glasses.
    im still in emojis because i think the direction of fixes is positive, windows 10 now has emoji from the keyboard, i expect more and easier integation with site building tools – but twitter is on board, and its the direction of fixes that i like.
    and its an easy discussion starter with customer, are you using Emoji in your digital marketing? Then are you using an emoji domain .. what??!!
    right now people have their laptop or desktop open, typing text, insert image files…. and then they use emoji on their smartphone with friends..
    why not take advantage of that same ability to communicate emotionally, globally, and with new digital customers..
    and i get the time tested IDN backbone, works on the internet everywhere supporting the only IDN keyboard on 1 Billion smartphones
    but i do do the .ws mostly, cost to carry the next 10 years is only about 10% of FM , and new reg’s are $5 at godaddy
    but .FM is using the extra money they are charging to grow the space, so welcome aboard .FM
    Page Howe

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