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New gTLD sales miss ICANN estimates by a mile

Kevin Murphy, July 2, 2015, 08:17:47 (UTC), Domain Registries

New gTLD registration volumes failed to live up to ICANN’s expectations by a long, long way in its fiscal 2015.

When ICANN’s FY15 ended on Tuesday, new gTLDs had fewer than 6 million domains in their collective zone files.

That’s just 18% of ICANN’s original early 2014 estimate of 33 million domains and just 39% of its revised March 2015 estimate of 15 million names.

It’s going to be harder to compare future new gTLD performance to ICANN’s projections, as the program enters its second year of live activity.

The organization’s recently published draft fiscal 2016 budget does not have a “total registrations” number to compare to the 15/33 million projection in last year’s budget.

It does, however, predict 12.5 million billable registrar transactions in FY16, which began yesterday.

Billable registrar transactions include renewals and transfers, however, so ICANN is not saying that there will be 12.5 million extant new gTLD registrations this time next year.

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Comments (6)

  1. Rubens Kuhl says:

    Zone files only list domains with DNS servers, which are usually not there for defensive or speculative registrations. Registry reports, although 3-month delayed, are usually a better way to gauge as they include all registrations, whether or not active in DNS.

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      It may be true that small numbers of defensive registrations don’t have name servers. I would disagree that it’s true of speculative registrations.

      • Rubens Kuhl says:

        Comparing zone file 3 months ago and the now published registry reports for that time, how does that go ?

        Because at least for one zone I know, less than a 1/3 of the registrations have DNS records…

        … on speculative registrations, traffic speculators indeed provision DNS, but if the idea is to flip the domain, there is no need and it’s cheaper and safer (from RPM mechanisms) to not have anything.

  2. Sometimes I wonder about the people in ICANN who come up with those projections. They seem to be a cross between the wishful thinking of Astrology and the imagination of Numerology. Those projections really don’t take into consideration the nature of many of the new gTLDs in that they are, in reality, more similar to early phase ccTLDs than gTLDs and are experiencing the same kind of growth and development.

    • Phil Buckingham says:

      John , I agree . We have a 4.928 M increase in “registrations ” year to 30 June 2015. The market “only” grew by 7% in june 15 , steady decline from peak in Oct 14 of 25% despite 10s of new TLDs in GA . Alarmingly we have 54% wont hit projected break even 10K regs in Year 1 . Junk TLDs ripe for cheap acquisition and turnaround ?

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