Are domains like fine wines that mature with age? The owners of ‘adult.co.uk’ think so and are inviting offers for an address that was first parked in obscurity as long ago as 1996 where it has rested unused ever since.
A press release put out on behalf of the domain owners compares it rather optimistically to sex.com, which eventually sold after much wrangling in 2010 for an astonishing $13 million (£8.2 million). Before that, it had become famous for a long-running battle over its ownership that led to a book by a former journalist on our sister title Techworld, Kieren McCarthy.
Adult.co.uk, to use a metaphoric comparison, is more like a 1960’s British Carry On film to sex.com’s Californian hardcore. The former domain is currently up for rent for ‘£5,000+ per month’, which presumably means it has as yet had no takers.
Still. “Sex.com was such a huge success when it went on sale last year and this has shown just how powerful a premium domain name can be for a business and how high the demand can be,” said an unnamed source on behalf of the domain’s owners.
The domain’s biggest sales drag will be its ‘co.uk’ status, which puts it in the Internet’s second division in terms of desirability, which might be just as well when you compare it to the content on the premier league hardcore ‘adult.com’ domain.
The owners helpfully suggest a range of possibilities, including "including sex, relationships, or a humour website.”
It could be that the day of the monolithic domain is coming to and end. After many delays, ICANN is due to greatly expand the range of top-level domain (TLD) possibilities to include brand names without the need for old-fashioned country or .com suffixes. Meanwhile, the new frontier of mobile Internet applications don’t feature domain addresses with the same prominence.