The European Domain Centre published today the “Expert Roundup 2016” blog post that includes my personal view on where New gTLDs are heading in 2016
The post includes opinions from a wide area of expertise ranging from representatives from the new TLD registries (Donuts, Neustar, Rightside, DotClub, DotBuzz, Dot Ski, Dot Tickets, nic.br), domain registrars (101Domain, Blacknight Solutions), domain investors (Konstantinos Zournas) and consultants in the fields of domain names, branding and SEO (Bill Hartzer, Joseph Peterson, Jean Guillon, Kathy Nielsen, Christa Taylor).
The post was compiled by Christopher Hofman Laursen and you can find it at http://blog.europeandomaincentre.com/expert-roundup-whats-next-for-the-new-tlds-in-2016/
Here is my personal opinion that is included in the post:
It seems that the latest domain name buying spree from Chinese buyers has taken over the whole domain name industry. The whole .com vs New gTLDs debate has been put a bit to the side with domain investors focusing on “liquid” domains, shorts and numerics, wholesale prices and portfolio sales. But the Chinese phenomenon has taken over New gTLDs as well with a lot of .club numeric domain names being registered and many registry and secondary market sales happening in the past 2 months. The Sold.Domains website is reporting all these public New gTLD domain sales.
Rick Schwarz has been vocal lately mostly praising .web and not paying attention to most of the other New gTLDs except those with high numbers. Although he makes some valid points I don’t fully agree with him. .Web is a good extension but the future of New gTLDs does not depend on .web and .web is not going to be a game changer. .Web is contested and it is more than certain that the high auction price paid for the extension will lead to more reserved domain names and more expensive renewals.
The New gTLD program is about more options and better left.right combinations. I would prefer credit.cards over creditcards.web any day of the year. Even if .cards has 5,000 domain name registrations and .web has 500,000 or 1 million after its first year.
The number of New gTLD domain name registrations does not determine the future of the New gTLD program. But it might determine the future of a few small registries. .Brands will help with a boost in awareness and credibility that the New gTLDs are lacking at the moment.
The whole New gTLD program is not about finding the next .NET or the top 5 most registered extensions. It is about finding good domains that work no matter what the extension is.
Even in New gTLDs most of the good or average domain names are either gone in seconds after launch or reserved by the registry. The domain name industry should focus on building a New gTLD secondary market that is easy to understand by end users, is centralized and has enough good options for people to choose from.