Well, we now have a new gTLD domain name market.
After n years of debate, policy-making, delay, application, testing, delegation and newfangled launch processes, there are eight new gTLDs that are open for business.
Donuts yesterday opened up its first seven gTLDs to their ‘proper’ general availability — by which I mean landrush pricing is no longer applicable.
At more or less the same time its second seven — .lighting, .equipment, .graphics, .photography, .camera, .estate, and .gallery exited their sunrise periods and went into their Early Access Program.
Meanwhile, dotShabaka Registry’s شبكة. (“.web” in Arabic) came out of its more opaque landrush period with several hundred new registrations.
Together, these 15 gTLDs have 26,199 registrations so far, based on the names active in their zone files today. The eight fully live gTLDs have 25,575, almost half of which belong to Donuts’ .guru.
The zone files are generated at about 0100 UTC and therefore do not represent the full first day of Donuts newly-GA gTLDs, but it’s clear that .guru is the domainer’s favorite so far.
The numbers are a long way off pretty much every new TLD launch we’ve seen to date.
Compare to .mobi, which had over 110,000 names at the end of its first week; .co, which sold 216,159 in its first 16 hours; or .xxx, which sold 55,367 names on day one.
Even Radix said it sold 4,000 .pw names in its first three hours and 50,000 in the first three weeks.
It should also be pointed out that none of the Donuts gTLD numbers include purchases of Domain Protected Marks List blocks, which do not show up in zone files.
That fact eliminates much of the noise from defensive registrations that we see in almost every other TLD.
For buyers (as opposed to blockers) market conditions are obviously different now too — a single TLD launching was once an event, the temporary alleviation of scarcity, whereas today Donuts alone expects to launch half a dozen every week for months.
And the Latin strings that have been launched so far don’t exactly capture the imagination, with .guru the possible exception.
Donuts’ portfolio, in my view, is based more on securing greenfield opportunities in vertical markets (plumbing, cameras, etc) rather than mining domain investors’ wallets on launch day.
One of the keys to the success of these things longer term is going to be how much use they get — when internet users start visiting new gTLD sites and seeing new gTLD URLs on billboards, momentum will build.