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.club misses first target but hopes to be #1 new gTLD “within days”

Kevin Murphy, May 15, 2014, 13:21:24 (UTC), Domain Registries

.CLUB Domains failed to overtake .guru in its first week of general availability as promised, but the company is nevertheless upbeat about taking the number one spot “within days”.

The last zone file available for .club shows 41,203 names, but that’s the May 14 file. The company, or its back-end, has been having trouble keeping its zone file current in the ICANN system this week.

That was an increase of of 10,523 over five days, or 2,104 per day on average.

As of 1500 UTC yesterday, the company reckoned it had 44,450 sales.

That would still place it at #3 in the league table behind .guru with 56,097 (up 200 names today) and .berlin with 47,079 (up 60 names).

If the growth rates stay roughly the same, .club may well overtake .guru in less than a week.

CEO Colin Campbell told us in March that “I firmly believe that .CLUB will exceed all other new generic top level domains in the first week of launch in registrations and overtake .GURU as the leader.”

The company is hosting a party in New York with celebrity endorser 50 Cent next Thursday (disclosure: I’m attending on .CLUB’s dime) which may or may not lead to a spike.

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Comments (23)

  1. Adrian Kinderis says:

    The company is hosting a party in New York with celebrity endorser 50 Cent next Thursday (disclosure: I’m attending on .CLUB’s dime) which may or may not lead to a spike…. in your drink? It is a 50 cent concert after call. Bahahaha!

    Seriously, I wish we would stop using volume as our hero metric. It is a slippery slope.

    BTW the team at .club are to commended for the marketing exercise. 50cent is a good get. More please!

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      Volume is the best metric we have right now for measuring demand for new gTLDs. Developed end-user sites might be better, but it’s far too early to get any meaningful data on that. If we assumed that X% of any given zone will be developed, a bigger volume will presumably lead to more sites.

      • Measuring development this early after launch is tricky. Most patterns take about six months to develop (end of traditional Landrush). I’ve half-expecting some registries to use very dodgy metrics (such as counting PPC landers as simple redirects in order to understate the level of PPC/holding pages). The usual toy approach used by some registries (Eurid) to only sample a small number of domains (5000) and extrapolate from those is highly problematic for new gTLDs because the total number of domains is so small and the Infinite Monkeys methodology of getting a bunch of students to “classify” usage produces very iffy results. Real web usage and development surveys are highly automated and the classification process is actually a precursor to search engine index development.

        I’ve been looking at running a full new gTLD spectrum web usage and development survey using the architecture and parsers used for running the other major usage surveys that I run periodically but the expiry/reapproval issue with CZDS is causing too many problems.

  2. Adrian Kinderis says:

    What else have we tried?

    This isn’t the “best”. It is the easiest.

    I’d be looking towards Alexa rankings, DNS traffic, search rankings etc etc.

    1M unique viewers of gucci.luxury a month is a great thing for our industry.

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      DI PRO tracks Alexa ranking of every TLD.

      There are no .luxury names in the top one million.

      .guru has about 40 at the moment.

  3. Adrian Kinderis says:

    It was an example Kevin, just a hypothetical.

  4. Kevin,

    Shoot me for being an optimistic entrepreneur but we were damn close. Now we might have to wait a number of days to pull it off. My new personal goal is to do it before Traffic. Its a tough crowd. Would be nice to be number 1 generic before we get to Vegas.

    Thanks for the kind words Adrian. I do agree that real sites will ultimately drive even more demand. Today I found this site http://www.crackerscomedy.club. The ultimate metric would be page views per tld. I know we will be tracking our sites pretty closely.

    Colin

  5. ADI says:

    First Target? Come on!\!!
    Watch show on domainsherpa with .Club team!!!!
    Their target was 300-400,000 registrationw within first week of GA.

    • Adi,

      That is correct. At that time I had not factored in domain collision, weak corporate demand in sunrise and an overall fatigue of so many names. After being interviewed by Kevin some time following this interview, we brought down our first week targets to beating .GURU in the first week. Which is a target we will miss by a number of days. Again I am an entrepreneur flawed with the disease of optimism. But the fact is we will be the number #1 new generic within days.

      In either case, domain collision will eventually be resolved and the strong gTLDs will rise to the top.

      I know this community is skeptical of all the new gTLDs. Consider joining our twitter where almost every day we get someone tweeting how they love the domain that they just paid under 15 dollars for.

      Or consider coming to Traffic in Vegas where we can have a direct conversation about the opportunities and pitfalls of the new gTLDs.

      Colin

      • Kevin Murphy says:

        Was the 300k target set before or after you paid $5 million for the TLD?

      • Rubens Kuhl says:

        New gTLDs still suffer from sales channel availability due to RAA 2013 restriction. When ICANN decided this, all new gTLD business plans were automatically invalidated… I don’t know if .club 300k-400k prediction factored RAA 2013 or not, but I’m pretty sure lots of other predictions, including the ones in applications, didn’t.

  6. MikeS says:

    There was a report that one party or company registered 7.5K .club domains, some of the names are the following:

    angelclub.club
    baseballclub.club
    basketballclub.club
    boatclub.club
    bodyclub.club
    bollywoodclub.club
    bondageclub.club
    boobsclub.club
    bookclub.club

    Going forward I can see names like this dropping, and names such as nascar.club, and other active trademarks which are being violated being blocked.

    When you are running a business you have to be optimistic, and have to keep raising the bar, but really, I think for the immediate time frame based on the follow thru of the other registrations this will be a slow crawl to 75K by year end, unless you continue to get more of the above, which we all know cannot be sustained going forward.

    The domainers pushed .club very heavy, let’s see if they hold on long enough. I tried to find some good terms, it is a frustrating stretch, I can see other companies finding better random options within some more specialized gtld’s rather than paying $30K to Sedo for premium names.

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      I think I recall Adam Dicker talking about how he knew of a person who had registered “thousands” of .club names on a recent DomainSherpa video.

  7. William says:

    7.5k club.club domains? That’s clubbing on a whole other level..

  8. Raymond Gresini says:

    So what’s to stop a certain gTLD from becoming overzealous in the Sunrise period and registering X number of thousands of “trademarks”/equivalent in order to fluff the delegation count? .XXX anyone?

    What I’m getting at is, it would trivial for “.CLUB will exceed all other new generic top level domains in the first week” without ever actually selling a single domain.

    At least you admit it’s a paid plug. Cheers.

    • Rubens Kuhl says:

      Registries can only register 100 domains on their own without going thru an ICANN-accredited registrar. Other than that and reserved names, all other names need to go thru Sunrise to registered trademark owners. After Sunrise, all registrations must pay equal non-discriminatory pricing, so even the registry going thru a registrar would need to pay standard pricing.

      Reserved names don’t count as registered names, so what you are suggesting to inflate numbers is not possible.

      • Raymond Gresini says:

        Registries can now be registrars so your first point is moot. There is nothing to stop a TLD from reserving trademarked names during sunrise for the express purpose of inflating the size of the TLD, again, .XXX is a demonstrated example of this.

        “reserved” names show up in the zone file just the same as any other name which is how these numbers are compiled — the count has no visibility into how and/or what purpose the name exists — just that it exists in the zone file.

        Useless stat wrapped in a press release.

        • Again to clarify we only have registered 46 company names. We do have 6000 premium names that are not registered.

          Colin

        • Rubens Kuhl says:

          Vertical integration still requires homogenous pricing, so even if the registry is also a registrar, it needs to pay whatever he is charging from other registrars.

          .XXX is not an example, since it’s not a this round new gTLD, is from a previous round; agreement is different, look at at them at ICANN website.

          Reserved names don’t show up in the zone file, which only shows names active in the DNS. Again you are confused with XXX, where they directed reserved names to a registry page, which is not standard practice and it’s not what is allowed by current round gTLD agreements.

        • Kevin Murphy says:

          It’s not accurate to say that reserved names show up in the zone file. Only names that have name servers show up in the zone file. If a reserved name doesn’t have a name server, it doesn’t show up.

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