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First eight gTLDs have 26,000 names so far

Kevin Murphy, February 6, 2014, 08:14:20 (UTC), Domain Registries

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yesterday opened up its first seven gTLDs to their ‘proper’ general availability — by which I mean landrush pricing is no longer applicable.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.

TLDDomains
guru12,394
bike3,727
clothing2,856
singles2,071
ventures1,669
plumbing1,081
holdings963
شبكة. (.xn--ngbc5azd)814
equipment137
lighting137
estate85
photography73
graphics68
camera62
gallery62

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.

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Comments (15)

  1. Hooked on a Feeling says:

    “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.”

    Wow. If that’s the case, these rollout numbers suck!!!

    I smell death.

    For .guru to be the best is scary since .pro already exists, is shorter, cheaper, better and clearly never took off. I don’t see .guru as an improvement over .pro. Now, the two of them will need to share the small market.

    I don’t have a good feeling here. All seem particularly useless and pointless to me.

  2. Jack says:

    I’d like to meet the 73 people who thought that a domain with an eleven letter extension, .photography, was a good idea. And would be really interested in meeting the 11 who thought that it was a better extension to own over .camera (62 registrants), which is “only” 6 letters long!

    This is messed up.

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      Those 73 would all be sunrise registrations, made by trademark owners. It’s possible they don’t intend to ever actually use those names.

  3. Now the deabate changes from Blue Skies to real numbers. And after today, the numbers start to decline as far as daily registrations. Then more extensons enter. Numbers don’t lie. Stay tuned.

    Then if you look up who makes up the registrants, you will have to look pretty hard to find an end user.

    .com had users FIRST and then investors. This stuff is completely upside down.

    And for those that don’t know what “Die on the vine” means, you will within WEEKS! A few may be on the above list.

    And with nearly 750 coming out this year, just not enough domainer money to support them and end users are nothing they can count on.

  4. Some domain bloggers must be very happy with these abysmal sales figures, since it means that registries will now need to spend more on advertising to “get the word out”, including on blogs. :)

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      I usually tell potential advertisers that if they’re looking to advertise to consumers/registrants, DI ain’t the place.

      • Tom says:

        Right but the registries/registrars know the end user demand for the new GTLD’s is poor and they will most likely need the domainers money to survive so it’s likely that they will intensify their marketing efforts targeting domainers. They started with Namescon, they will have to go on with domainer blogs etc.

        • Kevin Murphy says:

          Possibly, but DI isn’t really a domainer blog in the usual sense. I’m happy to have as many domainer readers as find it interesting but at the end of the day we’re B2B.

  5. BTW, dot-photography is listed at 1and1’s pre-registration site (the one that claimed 3 million+ pre-registrations at one point) as a “Top 30″ new gTLD. Its actual sales figures will be quite telling, especially if one then extrapolates for those new gTLDs not in the top 30.

  6. We don’t think most end-users turn up during the early phases of a TLD launch. We think most SME buyers of .PHOTOGRAPHY, for example, are just now thinking about the new small business they plan to launch, or the need to get their existing photography business online. In the coming months and years they’ll go to a registrar or hoster to set up a web presence, they’ll be presented with a .PHOTOGRAPHY option, and a percentage of them will buy and use it.

    Regarding character length, we think consumers will gradually become accustomed to longer terms to the right of the dot. Today, in leading TLDs, there are about 346K domains with ‘photography’ to the left of the dot. So for those 346K registrations .PHOTOGRAPHY is a shorter domain.

    Richard, Donuts Inc

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      Thanks for the comment Richard. Glad to see I seem to understand Donuts’ game plan.

    • Johnnie says:

      “We don’t think most end-users turn up during the early phases of a TLD launch.”

      The problem with that is, that’s when all the good keywords get snapped up, the ones that actually make sense. You’re saying in the coming months/years? What’s going to be left? Nothing good. And how will it be presented to them, how will they find the extension with so many. They would have to scroll/or some other way thru 1000+ extensions.

      • The value of premium names increases as the base of regular users in a TLD grows. The more companyname.bike websites there are, the more value there is in keyword.bike. Our primary goal is to grow the base of SME users, and that can take months and years, which we anticipated. This is not a quick turn proposition. We expect investors buying registry names will see them increase in value as the end user base grows.

        Regarding presentation by registrars, we don’t anticipate drop-down menus with hundreds of choices. Registrars will offer smarter ways to search for available names. Amazon, for example, successfully sell a vast range of products from one website. We think registrars will adapt their approach, and some already are.

        Richard Tindal, Donuts

  7. Johnnie says:

    “The more companyname.bike websites there are, the more value there is in keyword.bike.”

    The problem with that type of name, is it’s usually an original name and probably available in .com already for reg fee. Just looking at first 2 pages in Google for a search on bikes:

    trekbikes
    performancebike
    bikesdirect
    bikefriday
    surlybikes
    gtbicycles
    harobikes
    fujibikes
    linusbike
    marinbikes

    that’s just first 2 pages. Original names + keyword like bike, bikes etc = reg fee usually in .com. So you can already get those names in .com all day long.

    The question is, is there a real market for bike companies building on .bike? I don’t see it. This is going to be geared to new companies, since existing ones probably already have their .com. And again, those new companies can get creative or use keyword combos for reg fee .coms or get something in the aftermarket, usually for not that much.

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