A promotion from dotBERLIN saw .berlin more than double its registration count yesterday, as speculators (apparently) swooped to claim over 61,000 free domain names.
The new gTLD ended the day with 115,966 domains in its zone, up 67,347 or 138% on the day.
That makes it the number two new gTLD again, snipping at the heels of .xyz, which has 144,474 names.
But, like .xyz, the numbers are not an accurate reflection of demand.
Giving away free domains seems to be the way to go if you want to quickly rack up your registration count with scant regard for actual end user purchases or renewal rates.
dotBERLIN said yesterday that it was celebrating 50,000 registrations with a five-day offer seeing registrars sell the names for no more than €5.55 ($7.53).
But some registrars are actually offering them for free.
InternetX is one such registrar, and it appears to have taken the vast, vast majority of all the new .berlin registrations yesterday.
Digging into name server records, it appears that at least 61,000 names were registered via InternetX-owned registrars. Of those, over 23,000 appear to have been registered to a single domainer.
InternetX, to the best of my knowledge, wasn’t forcing the domains on its customers, which is what Network Solutions did with .xyz.
According to its web site, the offer was limited to 50 domains per customer, though there appears to be an option to
purchase obtain more.
The domainer with the cache of 23,000 names appears to be an InternetX reseller.
The numbers are big, and they may well convert into revenue-generating renewals for dotBERLIN, but right now I don’t think they’re especially reflective of demand among end user registrants.