Domain Names as an Alternative to App Store Competition

There are a ton of apps out there. There seems to be an app available for just about everything, and competition for eyeballs in the app store continues to grow. During the past few years, there have been many discussions about how the usage of apps will trump the usage of domain names.

Due to the increasing app store competitiveness, it is speculated that some  app developers may  focusing on building better mobile websites, spurning the app stores all together. Here’s an excerpt from a New York Times article that explains what may happen:

“If it continues to be difficult for apps to stand out in the App Store, more developers will concentrate on developing great mobile websites instead, said Cathy Boyle, principal analyst for mobile at eMarketer, a research firm.

Creating an iPhone app typically costs $50,000 to $200,000, and some cost as much as $1 million, according to an eMarketer report last June. A website is cheaper, and while it lacks some convenience of an app, there are techniques to make a site easy for web users to find.”

Obviously, if a developer opts to build a mobile website, it will be necessary to buy a domain name. Although many developers don’t have the budget for a high value domain name consider the cost of those can be 5 to 6 figures alone, the fact that it is predicted there will be a move to domain names is important.

Having full control over one’s business is important. When a developer relies on an app store, they need to follow certain rules about the product and marketing. With a standalone mobile website, there aren’t as many rules to follow. In addition, the domain name is basically  a foundation for the developer’s business. They  rely on it for branding, email, technical functionality, database management, and many other back-end requirements.

I’ve been reading articles discussing how Facebook, the app stores, and other platforms are reducing the importance of and need for domain names. I don’t really agree with this assessment. As it gets more difficult to get attention at the app stores, it looks like domain names are going to continue to be important.

Thanks to Nat Cohen for sharing this with me.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn
  1. Of course I am biased as a registry, but I think you are spot on Elliot. Every app needs to have a web site where they can control the message (and have links to the multiple app stores where the app is available). And they can drive traffic to their own destination where folks won’t be tempted by other similar apps (as they are when searching in the app stores). And I agree as mobile websites become more app-like in form and function, they will continue to proliferate (and need domain names.) Your portfolio is safe! Domain names aren’t going away any time soon. 😉

    • Hello Jeffrey,

      We mostly agree with your observations above. Where we disagree is of all extensions which you may support the .COM Stand Alone Profit Centers, tower over all other extensions as The Best Strategic marketing Tools. Most all Non-.COM extensions are feeders back to the .COM Stand Alone Profit Centers.

      Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger) (Former Rockefeller IBEC Marketing Analyst/Strategist) (Licensed CBOE Commodity Hedge Strategist) (Domain Master

  2. I bought a bunch of App industry/category names years ago since figured it was a way to standout from all the other Apps within a category (Valet, Checkout, etc).
    I always thought they could be worth a lot just from the direct name match and marketing standpoint.

  3. There is a new disruptor on the horizon: “Voice As Computing.”
    It’s only a matter of time, before we give our fingers a well-deserved rest.
    What does it mean for domains? Only time will tell…

    • Pretty cool stuff! The inventors of Siri are in the process of creating ViV and as I understand, in addition to voice it will allow apps to communicate with each other multitasking and “learn” users preferences to reduce “app switching”.An improvement in app usage and a killer of search engines. I do believe there will still be a need for a digital “location” or source for a few more decades. The voice factor may make the “radio test” more relevant than ever. This could be where some of the new Tld’s and geo’s and nich “locations” in general gain in relevance.

    • Voice is an increasingly powerful and important interface. Your point about the “radio test” is a really good one. Weird, non traditional spellings and meaningless words will be harder for voice interfaces to accurately deliver resluts on.

    • Yes, It could be 2nd or 3rd gen upgrade to this new platform before the “odd” ones get recognized. Initially customers would have to spell rather than speak if it’s not a globally recognized location or platform.

    • ” I do believe there will still be a need for a digital “location” or source for a few more decades. ”

      In a few more decades the new TLDs will be a long obsolesced business locating strategy, as they All require Extensive SEM support. Googles SEM stranglehold on Online Marketing Strategy will be in history books only.

      Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger) (Former Rockefeller IBEC Marketing Analyst/Strategist) (Licensed CBOE Commodity Hedge Strategist) (Domain Master

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