If you have been watching lots of Hollywood movies, you must assume that virtual reality has been around for the past 40 or 50 years! However, in spite of all the technological advancements, movies and books over the years on the subject of virtuality, true immersive and high quality virtual reality only arrived in 2016!
In 2012, a small startup called Oculus Rift started a small fundraising campaign on Kickstarter in order to create the first consumer VR headsets that could offer end users a true VR presence. That objective was only achieved in 2016 when the company begun shipping its first products.
However, the realization that virtual reality can now become a possibility and not just stuff of sci-fi movies has created a vibrant global industry around VR technologies and possibilities. A lot of money is now being poured into virtual reality research and development, educational content, movies, product development, online dating, space travel and exploration, VR advertising, VR art and VR hardware among numerous other fields. There are also lots of VR products that are also being rolled out into the market such as the VR cardboard viewers and headsets. Virtual reality is finding its way into diverse applications ranging from VR gaming to prototyping, games, apps, retail, travel, real estate, shopping, medical applications, fitness, networking and even VR sex. Every aspect of human endeavour can now be recreated in a virtual environment.
Oculus Rift’s Palmer Luckey: ‘I brought virtual reality back from the dead’
While there is a lot of buzz around the VR industry lately, this is only the beginning of a virtual reality journey that will only get more interesting as more advanced immersive VR technologies are developed that take teleporting to a whole new level. The depth of application to which VR can be put into is only limited by our imagination. Virtual reality will radically revolutionize how we interact with technology and a lot of companies, investors and various other players are going to move into the VR space to take advantage of this revolutionary technology.
VR and Domaining
It is not just the angel investors and big tech companies like Samsung, Google and Sony that have discovered the potential of virtual reality. Many domain investors and speculators have also moved into the VR space. As companies create more VR applications and competition stiffens, those companies, researchers and various individuals involved in the VR space at all levels are going to need good domain names around which to build their business. In this respect, virtual reality domain names are going to be highly valuable and profitable.
In this article, we are going to cover various elements of domaining in the virtual reality space. The topics that will cover include the following:-
* How big is VR online?
* The Emergence of WebVR
* Which VR Domains Are Users Investing in?
* Keyword VR Domain Names
* Brandable VR Domains
* What are VR Domains Worth?
* Some VR Domain Sales
* Marketing your VR Domains
* Why VR Domains will be a great investment
The Virtual Reality Space Online
How big is virtual reality on the internet? While it is still the early days, the global interest in virtual reality has increased fourfold in just the past year according to Google. What this means is that in just the past year, interest in virtual reality has increased by 400%! For example, if 20 million people were interested in VR technology at the beginning of 2016, 100 million were interested in the technology by the end of 2016 and the interest continues to increase exponentially.
Source : BI Intelligence Estimates
It is not just the media and new interesting developments that are powering the interest in VR technology. In the past few years, the world has also seen a quick growth and ubiquity of VR based devices used in relaying the VR viewing experience to millions of users around the world. It is safe to say that virtual reality is now going mainstream because the average “user” is now plugged in to the VR experience with their smartphones or smart TVs. On Youtube alone, every video can now be viewed via VR and Google has been busy shipping Google Cardboard viewers to thousands of users around the world.
The Emergence of WebVR
With WebVR, you will be able to simply switch your smartphone into the VR mode and then insert your smartphone into your 3D VR headsets and you will be transported into the world of virtual reality on your phone!
For domain investors, this has great relevance because of the accessibility or mainstreaming factor for the technology. If tens of millions of users are able to suddenly get a virtual reality experience on their smartphones through WebVR, the market is going to explode which will support more VR apps and businesses and all of these businesses are going to require great domain names around which they can brand their business. This will create extra demand for VR domains and also lead to the increase in value of these domain name investments.
However, the WebVR technology is still in its infancy and it is not supported by most browsers but as a forward looking for domain name investor, you need to pivot for the possibility that the technology is going to shake things a bit in the VR sphere in a few years.
Which VR Domains are Domainers Investing in?
There are two categories of VR domains that domainers are putting their money in. These are the keyword VR domains and brandable VR domain names. Both of these names are being used by VR companies around the world.
Typical VR keyword domains will contain words such as “VR”, “Virtual”, “Virtuality” or “Virtual Reality” in the domain string. VR domains are generally linked to the virtual reality environment, augmented reality or AR and hologram technology. Some domainers are also using these alternative terms in their domain naming. You are not strictly limited to VR+Keyword names. You can also go with AR+Keyword or holo+keyword. There are lots of creative permutations that you can play with in order to come up with cool sounding marketable domains that are likely to appeal to end users.
Keyword VR Domain Names
Examples of typical keyword virtual reality domain names are in the format virtual realty term plus keyword in any order such as the following:-
* VirtualityPro.com etc
Brandable VR Domains
Unlike keyword domain names, brandable domain names do not have the predictability. They are typically invented names that are short, catchy, memorable and still convey the intended meaning without necessarily being too obvious. This is what makes brandable domain names popular. Some of the leading VR companies use brandable domain names. Examples include the following:-
In the case of the brandable VR domains, you can see that it is not always easy to deduce what the company is involved in from the domain name but if you understand a thing or two about VR, you can guess that the company is involved in virtual reality. The names are also quite memorable.
What are VR Domains Worth?
It is not always easy to price domains. Domain names do not carry a standard intrinsic value; they are mostly worth what the end user is willing to pay for them. Some short and brandable VR domain names will fetch the same amount as other similar non-VR domain names in the marketplace. Generally, most brands seem to prefer Keyword+VR format of domain names as opposed to VR+Keyword format.
Another good indicator of the value of your domain name is by comparing it to recent VR domain name sales and then pricing your VR domains accordingly. Areas where you can check out recent VR domain name sales include portals such as NameBio and NamePros forum.
For example, according to NameBio.com, some of the most notable VR domain name sales include the following:-
* Pandavr.com $4900
* Taichivr.com $2900
* Vrinside.com $2500
* Vrtraveler.com $817
* Vrassistant.com $756
* Vretail.com $631
* VRDevelopment.com $500
Generally, the average price for Keyword+VR domains or VR+Keyword domains is in the low XXX to high XXX. Occasionally, you can get offers in the region of $1000 to $1500 if it is a nice and short domain name. Shorter VR domain name combinations have fetched as much as $10,000 in the aftermarket.
Some of the highest reported sales for VR domain names include the following:-
* SexVR.com $10,200
* VRxxxx.com $10,000
* SmartVR.com $7000
* VRO.com $6500
* VRArt.com $5000
* VRTech.com $5000
* RiverVR.com $5000
* VRGirls.com $5000
* LiveVR.com $4995
* VRSales.com $4921
Marketing Your VR Domains
Just like with other domain names, marketing and selling your VR domain names require some hard work on your side. There are two main domain markets that you will be targeting when selling your VR domain names. These are the end user market and the domain name speculator or investor market. The end user market is the most lucrative but it is not always easy finding the right buyer for your domain names.
Who are the VR Domain Names End Users?
The end user market for VR domain names is as diverse as the breadth of use of VR domain names. These will include everyone from VR research and development companies to VR product development companies, retail, ecommerce, news, blogs, opinion websites and many more. SexVR.com and VRGirls.com, for example, are being used by a website that offers immersive VR porn videos. Some of the top VR domain name sales are parked and seemed to have been domainer sales.
Selling VR Domains via Forums
One of the best places to sell your VR domains is via domain name forums such as Namepros. There are several VR domain name investors here who might buy your VR domains at a low price. The drawback is, however, low price. End users are unlikely to shop for domain names on forums. Simply create an auction on namepros and you are likely to receive a few low-ball offers from other domain investors. You can also list your domain names in the “showcase” threads on namepros and you might receive a few offers.
Selling Domains on Flippa
You can list your VR domain names on Flippa free of charge. However, this is a game of luck as only a few people will notice your listings. One way to increase the number of eyeballs seeing your VR domains via Flippa is converting it to auction for $9. While auctions can be effective in getting you more bids and possible sales on Flippa, there are other ways in which you can increase the number of views on your domain name auction listings. These include the following:-
* Purchasing a Flippa home page featured listing for $99. Unless your domain name has a very high appraisal value, we wouldn’t recommend this option.
* Purchase the domains promoted listing for $49. This is obviously more affordable but still recommended for a domain with a moderately high appraisal to make the gamble worth it.
* Newsletter promotion: You can list your VR domains on the Flippa weekly newsletter updates for $149. Again, this is a costly upgrade and we wouldn’t recommend it for a low priced domain name.
Most of the VR domain names have been sold via Sedo so this is a great platform to list your VR domains, earn a few cents in parking traffic and wait for great offer. With Sedo, you will mostly rely on inbound offers and thus need great domains with good value. You can also take your domains to Sedo auctions at a cost of $59. With the Sedo minimum commission of $60, you can never list your domains for less than $90 so if you are planning to liquidate your VR domains portfolio quickly at low pricing, we would recommend Flippa, Undeveloped or on forum auctions on NamePros.com.
It is not one of the biggest domain name aftermarkets but it offers a great landing page that is likely to lead to conversions. One drawback is that it does not offer an aftermarket to promote your domain portfolio so you will rely entirely on inbound offers by customers who actually type in the URL of your domain name in their browsers. Another issue with Undeveloped.com is that you will not get detailed stats on the end users viewing your domains like in Sedo but if you are relying on inbound type-in traffic to make a sale, we feel the platform offers great conversion pages.
Create a blog or a domain portfolio showcase website
Domain investor Doron Vermaat and his team created the Efty domain name marketplace that makes it easier for domainers with large portfolios to organize, track renewals, track expenses and also calculate profits and losses from their domain portfolios. If you have a large portfolio of at least 50 domain names, Efty.com would be a great platform for you.
Not only does it offer safe landing pages where buyers can make offers or buy your domain names right way, it also offers a great deal of organization to your domain name portfolio without you having to pay hefty commissions to the domain aftermarkets which is typically set at 15% of the sale price.
Efty allows users to search your domain portfolio by keywords, offers great categorization features that allows users to quickly narrow down to what they are looking for and also allows you to add logos to your domain listings all of which boost the chances of conversion for your domain portfolio.
The basic Efty package costs $4 per month and allows you to add up to 50 domains. There is the Growth Package that allows you to list up to 1500 domain names for a cost of $7 per month and the Professional package that allows you to add up to 5000 domain names at a cost of $19 per month. All the packages are billed annually.
Example of a VR Domains Names Market place with Efty : Virtuality Market
Apart from Efty, you can also sell your domain names via your own domain marketing blog that can drive lots of traffic and possible leads for your domain names.
Why Virtual Reality Domain Names are a Great Investment
To underscore the popularity and potential of the virtual reality domain names, we can’t imagine of a more credible source to quote than Google that estimates that interest in virtual reality increased fourfold in 2016 alone.
That exponential growth in the interest in virtual reality is expected to increase in 2017 and beyond and we expect the interest in VR domain names to increase at almost the same rate. If you have a great portfolio of VR domains, try to hold onto them for a few years and you are likely to sell them at a great profit. Domain name is always a long game. It is true that you can make some quick flips but to get reasonable ROI on your VR domains, we suggest holding onto them a little longer until you get a great offer.