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.xyz adds 788,000 domains in a day

Kevin Murphy, June 2, 2016, 12:46:21 (UTC), Domain Registries

Blimey.

XYZ.com managed to “sell” at least 788,167 .xyz domain names yesterday, as registrars gave them away for peanuts.

According to this morning’s zone file count, the gTLD has 3,644,826 domains, compared to 2,856,659 yesterday.

And its sale is not even over until midnight tonight.

The company has pumped millions into marketing .xyz for the second anniversary of its general availability launch, and many registrars dropped their prices accordingly.

Registrars are currently selling the names for $0.02, $0.01 or, apparently in the case of at least one Chinese registrar, nothing.

It goes without saying that this is the biggest one-day spike for a 2012 new gTLD, blowing the previous record of 238,616 out of the water.

While XYZ.com no doubt gets bragging rights, one has to wonder how much value has actually been created here.

The vast majority of these names will have been acquired by investors and will sit idle before eventually dropping. It’s possible that some have also been registered for nefarious purposes.

Some number will no doubt renew, otherwise the promotion will have been a wasted enterprise.

If you look at XYZ’s first big giveaway — the controversial free push into Network Solutions customer accounts — you’ll see very low retention.

NetSol had 360,683 .xyz names under management after the promotion finished in July 2014, but that was down to 18,919 by October 2015, when most had deleted.

That’s a drop of 95%.

The difference here is of course that registrants this week have had to pick their domains and hand over nominal payment.

Investors have been known to form emotional attachments to their portfolios, which could increase renewals this time around.

XYZ.com will have to pay around $200,000 in ICANN fees for yesterday’s added domains.

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Comments (6)

  1. Andrew says:

    I imagine XYZ is also picking up the 18 cent ICANN fee that registrars aren’t charging (at least Uniregistry didn’t charge it).

  2. It is a risky strategy based on approximately 5% renewals. While the NetSol renewals worked out in that range, the historical renewal rates on some CN registrars and hosters in the legacy gTLDs don’t typically follow North American and European trends and do tend to indicate more speculative activity than development/retention.

  3. Anon says:

    I work for a registrar. We were never offered the opportunity to participate in this promotion by XYZ (or the subsidized renewals promotion), despite repeatedly and proactively asking to be included once we got wind of it. Our requests were simply (and conveniently) ignored.

    So here we are…losing ground to our competitors, fielding complaints from customers and completely unable to do anything about it due to inconsistent pricing practices on the part of the registry, over which we have zero control.

    It would be interesting to see Domain Incite dig a little deeper here…speak to some of the registrars that are being blocked from participating, speak to XYZ to find out how the participating registrars were selected (which they obviously were) and how they justify this decision, and speak to ICANN and demand whether such deliberate market distortion and uncompetitive practices are permitted/sanctioned/encouraged by the regulations.

    Yes, the numbers are fantastic. Yes, the growing interest for new gTLDs is great…but I cannot help but feel that there is a much bigger story simmering away under the surface here.

  4. Rob Golding says:

    We’re an XYZ registrar and had no notification that this promo was going on 🙁

    Not sure is this is simply poor planning/communication on the part of the registry or some deliberate action to ‘prefer’ their favourite registrars.

    Not that land-grab giveaways benefit anyone, as the renewal rate is so low – the typical registrant wanting domains at that price-point doesnt renew or just uses it as a throwaway for spamming/phishing

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