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Four in 10 new gTLDs are shrinking

Kevin Murphy, September 18, 2017, 14:37:42 (UTC), Domain Registries

Forty percent of non-brand new gTLDs are shrinking, DI analysis shows.
According to numbers culled from registry reports, 172 of the 435 commercial gTLDs we looked at had fewer domains under management at the start of June than they did a year earlier.
On the bright side, that means the majority of them are still growing, but it’s still a pretty poor showing.
As you might expect, registries with the greatest exposure to the budget and/or Chinese markets were hardest hit over the period.
.wang, .red, .ren, .science and .party all saw DUM decline by six figures. Another 27 gTLDs saw declines of over 10,000 names.
Of the portfolio registries, Famous Four Media, Uniregistry and Afilias saw the steepest falls, each churning through hundreds of thousands of domains.
FFM strings including .science, .party and .date, which are regularly offered for under $0.50 and have terrible renewal rates, were among the biggest losers.
For Afilias, its .red, .blue and .pink combined saw volumes plummet by over 300,000. Its Korean-surname-themed .kim lost 90,000 names over the year.
Much of Uniregistry’s decline, I believe, is due to the expiration of thousands of domains that were essentially registry-owned.
Here’s a list of the top 40 biggest losers.
[table id=48 /]
At the opposite end of the table, the biggest gainers over the 12-month period were .xyz, .loan, .top, .online, .men, .tech, .kiwi, .club, .site and .bid.
Those 10 TLDs all saw volumes increase by over 100,000 names.
But that’s not necessarily hugely encouraging news, for various reasons.
We already know that .xyz is set to lose millions of names over its next couple of monthly registry reports.
One could guess that the peaks in Famous Four strings .bid, .loan and .men are likely to be matched by troughs before long.
.kiwi appears to be on the list due to its waiving the fees on about 200,000 domains, under a deal with a registrar last year.
.club recently said that it only expects to get 10% to 15% renewals on about 700,000 of its million total names.
Finally, .top is widely thought of as the TLD of choice for throwaway spam domains and has already lost a couple million names since June.
Here’s the top 30 gainers from my list:
[table id=49 /]
For the survey, I selected only new gTLDs from the 2012 round that had general availability dates in 2015 or earlier. I excluded any gTLD with Specifications 9 or 13, which act as a dot-brand flag, in their ICANN contract.
The 436 resulting TLDs include both wide-open, commercially available namespaces such as .link and .xyz, and the more restricted zones such as .bank and .law.


Comments (4)

  1. Dan says:

    I like some of the losers better than the gainers. 6 in 10 are growing

  2. You can get much more recent data here. For example, dotXYZ has crashed since May of this year (it’s down to 2.4 million):

  3. Snoopy says:

    40% is way better than I would have estimated. Still another 40% is likely the train wreck to come.
    Sounds like even .club is set for shrinkage, which was the only one ever regarded as doing well.

  4. There will be some shocks in the months ahead as various new gTLDs lose freebie and discounted registrations. However, consolidation happens as a market matures. Overuse of discounting and freebie promotions have created some toxic TLDs in that they have effectively killed off natural development and usage. Some of the gTLDs that people may think are doing well because of “parking” numerology are not. Though XYZ has been criticised for its 1 cent promotion, it is beginning to resemble a non-core gTLD in terms of usage. Many of the gTLDs with extraordinary growth base it on promotions rather than steady registration growth. If one looks at the daily or monthly registration figures for some gTLDs, outside the promotions, new registrations have relatively disappeared. But in spite of all that, there are some new gTLDs that are doing quite well and resemble early stage ccTLDs in terms of development.

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