A new paper commissioned by CENTR and written by Architelos evaluating the impact of new gTLDs, in particular on the domain name sales channels has been published.
In August of 2014, CENTR commissioned Architelos to conduct a study documenting the New gTLD sales channel and registry-registrar dynamic. The goal of the study was to review the most prevalent beliefs and predictions prior to the launch of new gTLDs and determine what if any had thus far proven to be accurate, and draw lessons learned from each.
“The wide-subject generic .biz registry launched in 2002 and within the first month exceeded 600,000 domains registered before settling into a slow but steady growth pattern of 3% month over month. Whereas the narrow-subject generic .mobi launched four years later with substantially less domains within the first month or 100,000 but then grew an average 26% month over month to almost 500,000 by month 8, but it still lags 40% below .biz in total volume. ”
For .Guru “the growth curve is generally similar in profile, but not volume to .biz or .mobi, in that the first month saw over 40,000 domains and 9% average month over month growth has been steady up to over 70,000 domains by month 8.”
Here are a few points that were tested on this report:
- “Brand Registrars will sell a lot of defensive registrations.”:
Myth (“the vast majority of trademark holders are not registering their trademarks in all the current legacy gTLDs, let alone all the TLDs, so why would they change that approach for new gTLDs? Brands learned long ago that the volume of relevant traffic is the main determinant of whether to purchase names in a TLD or not. Lacking the incentive of capturing traffic or the threat of missing out on it, brands did not register in the volumes or numbers that had been predicted.”)
- “Domain pricing will have to be similar or less than .com to compete”:
- “The path to market is through us – the registrars”:
Too early to tell
- “Registrar New gTLD share will follow prior gTLD industry market share”:
Myth (Architelos completely missed that Uniregistry is registering reserved domains for its own New gTD registry.)
- “Registrars will dictate standards of technical integration for new gTLDs”:
- Survey: New gTLDs will ____________ (fill in the blank):
Too early to tell
“At Architelos, we have always tried to express the following three points: 1) the success of many ccTLDs is a fair predictor of the success of sector or geo new gTLDs 2) successful new gTLDs will reflect the economic, geographic and social affinity groups that naturally emerge in society and 3) this is the long-game and there will be undercapitalized applicants that cannot survive to play. We are only nine-months into a program that has been in the planning for almost a decade. But already, several early held myths appear to be invalid.”