With the Lunar New Year about to begin its Year of the Dragon on February 10, 2024, this is a time of “letting go of the past and ringing in the present.” As people gather around the world to be with their families, let us look back at 2023 in – what else – domain names.

AI in 2023

As we noted back in the summer, AI drew nearly all the interest of the technology community and domain industry in 2023. Maybe not all – but it sure seemed like it!

While a Dragon “has represented good luck, justice, prosperity and strength” throughout Chinese history, there is no specific animal that represents AI (‘artificial intelligence’) currently, though perhaps we ought to consider the bee, given its industriousness that corresponds with the number of technology companies that developed AI solutions in 2023.

Per MIT Technology Review: “This year might go down in history as the year we saw the most AI launches: Meta’s LLaMA 2, Google’s Bard chatbot and Gemini, Baidu’s Ernie Bot, OpenAI’s GPT-4, and a handful of other models, including one from a French open-source challenger, Mistral.” TIME states that shifts in multimodality (ability for an AI system to process multiple types of data), constitutional AI (the idea that AI can follow a ‘constitution’ to improve its own behaviors), and improvements in text-to-video technology (e.g., tools exist that can now turn sentences into video) were three of the biggest innovations this past year.

AI Trends in Domains

On the domain side of things, more statistics that came in through the end of the year reflected the importance of the AI trend, such as:

  • On the domain aftermarket platform SEDO, the keyword ‘AI’ was ‘number 1’ on the monthly Most Searched Keywords list for seven straight months (June-December 2023).
  • Similarly, on the domain aftermarket platform Afternic, ‘AI’ was ranked between ‘number 1’ and ‘number 4’ for eight straight months on the monthly Filtered Top Keywords Sold list (February-September are the only months in 2023 currently posted by Afternic).
  • Escrow provider Escrow.com released a report December 21 that showed .ai to be the second most popular TLD after .com on its platform, with a ‘significant 210% growth” and average price (USD) of $26,441 (compared to $41,693 for .com).
  • In 2023, the country-code TLD .AI (Anguilla) domain registrations continued to climb from 248,609 registrations (June 14) to 306,861 registrations (September 26) to 353,928 domains (December 20), an increase of 42% in six months, according to the .AI registry operator.
  • Over the whole of 2023, Markmonitor saw a rise in the number of acquisitions of .ai domains, resulting in an astounding 628% increase over the year 2022.

Taking these metrics into account, it is wise to keep an eye on your company’s business strategy and whether your products and brands are entering into the AI arena and continue to regularly review whether that should affect your domain portfolio management strategy.

Markmonitor will monitor this space in 2024 and report back on whether Year of the Dragon should be renamed Year of the Bee in the domain world. Until then enjoy your time with friends and family in this festive season!