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Slow start for .christmas with under 500 sales

Kevin Murphy, July 10, 2014, 09:04:10 (UTC), Domain Registries

Uniregistry’s latest new gTLDs .christmas and .blackfriday seem to have stumbled out of the gates, both amassing fewer than 500 registrations in their first full day of general availability.

In today’s zone files, .christmas has 501 names and .blackfriday has 445. Those numbers include dozens of sunrise registrations. They both went to GA on Tuesday afternoon UTC.

As you might expect, the .christmas zone comprises a mix of brands and generic words and phrases related to retail and travel. It’s a similar state of affairs in .blackfriday.

What there do not appear to be are large numbers of product categories registered, suggesting that domainers feel that the new gTLDs fail Uniregistry CEO Frank Schilling’s own Toilet Paper Test.

That’s where one judges the potential popularity of a TLD by putting the string “toiletpaper” at the second level.

Domainer Mike Berkens appears to have picked up a handful of decent-looking names, including santatracker.christmas (NORAD’s Santa tracker got 19.58 million unique visitors last year) and whatiwantfor.christmas.

Schilling himself paid $90,000 — half the price of a new gTLD application fee — for blackfridaysales.com back in 2010. In November 2009, Kevin Ham’s blackfriday.com purportedly took 18 million visitors.

Neither Uniregistry TLD appears to be available currently at Go Daddy, despite the two companies’ reported distribution deal.

.christmas and .blackfriday are notable because they’re the first TLDs to launch that are tied to specific calendar dates. Those dates are of course several months away.

I have a feeling that it may prove tough to build up sustainable buzz for these TLDs.

Even if they’re used by big brands in marketing campaigns this year, which is of course by no means assured, it’s still going to take another year to figure out whether they’ve captured the imagination of their target markets.

In an industry of long plays, these could be two of the longer ones.

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Comments (5)

  1. gpmgroup says:

    The original blackfriday.info was a lot cheaper and incurred a lot less overhead costs. Re-branding to .com and then away from .com seems a strange contradiction.

  2. ADI says:

    These numbers are not bad.
    Just wait until Shilling again registers his own domains like he had done e.g with .link. Then these numbers go up immensely.
    So do not worry about that Frank fixes it.

  3. Dan says:

    Godaddy is calling me trying to get me to buy gtlds, the revenue dollars are definitely drying up on this side, anything under 1000 on launch day is not a very good start. I can’t imagine anyone typing in whatiwantfor.christmas

  4. Rubens Kuhl says:

    I think the timing of this launch contributed to the performance… I would wait until Black Friday and until Christmas before saying how those TLDs performed.

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      You could be right, but I would have thought that retailers, marketers etc would be working on their Black Friday and Christmas campaigns months in advance of the events themselves.

      Uniregistry could well get some decent registration numbers if it has some well-timed and targeted marketing campaigns, but in terms of actual *use* I wonder how much we’ll see in 2014.

      We’ll see.

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