Displaying posts tagged under "new tlds"
Big launches make the next 50 days a key period for new top level domain names.
A lot of new top level domain names have come to market already. Some have flown out of the gate, others are growing modestly, and some have stalled.
In my opinion, the next 50 days will be an important period for new TLDs due to the number of high profile launches and the companies involved.
You can argue that a slow launch doesn’t kill a TLD. But new TLDs have a chance to get some positive momentum if they collectively make some noise over the next 50 days.
Here’s why this upcoming period has the potential to define new TLDs going forward:
Big .city domains.
.London and .NYC will go into general availability over the next 50 days. .London appears to be off to a strong start (15k domains were added to the zone file overnight), and .NYC could match it.
These cities are as big as it gets. Many people see promise in geo TLDs, and we’ll get a good measure on this very soon.
That’s not to mention other geo domains like .vegas, .moscow, and .scot.
.Realtor is a .brand domain that could shake up visibility for new TLDs. National Association of Realtors is offering the domains to 500,000 U.S. Realtors for free for the first year.
IF a lot of Realtors take them up on the offer and IF they use the domains, this could give a lot of visibility to top level domain names.
For adoption to happen, NAR will need to make it very easy for Realtors to forward the domains or set up websites. If I were a portfolio applicant, even one with competing real estate domains, I’d see if I could lend a hand to NAR to make this launch successful.
Minds + Machines
Minds + Machines, one of the biggest portfolio applicants for new TLDs, finally gets its first batch of domains into general availability in September. And it’s a big batch.
Excluding .London, the other domain names weren’t highly contested ones: .cooking, .country, .fishing, .horse, .rodeo, .vodka, .beer, .surf and .bayern.
Yet it’s still important: in addition to the volume of new TLDs hitting the market, Minds + Machines is a pure-play publicly-traded company. Its results will be watched closely.
Another portfolio applicant, Radix, launches its first batch of three domain names: .host, .press and .website.
Radix will be interesting to watch for a few reasons.
First, the company has experience launching domain names. It managed to get hundreds of thousands of .pw registrations.
Second, the company is spending big to promote its first three domains. Take a look at this big booth from a recent HostingCon conference:
They’ve also done a good job with online advertising targeted to the press and hosting companies.
Third, Radix should have good distribution given its connections to registrar platforms now owned by Endurance International.
As for its initial batch of domains, .host should be solid but faces a massive list of name collisions. .Website is a good generic; I’m curious to see market reaction given that .web and .site will eventually become TLDs as well. Pricing will also be important for .website.
A long game, but a momentum game
A lot of new TLD applicants will tell you that new TLDs are a long game and that launch numbers aren’t that important. Yeah, I’d say that too if I watched my launch flounder.
They aren’t lying; it’s a long game. But launches are important to the long game, and the next 50 days will be important.
One domain is off to a quick start, the others not so much.
Seven new top level domain names launched this week.
By far, .Hamburg for the city of Hamburg was the most registered domain name. (Ironically, this is the one new TLD launch this week that I missed in my weekly preview.)
There are approximately 13,800 .hamburg domain names in the zone file, up about 10,000 on the first day.
On Tuesday, .black added about 100 names to end the day with about 150. I never understand the .color domain names. Apparently I’m not the only one that can come up with a reason to register them.
.HIV, a charitable domain, also launched on Tuesday. It added about 50 domains to end with 115, despite quite a bit of press.
Donuts launched four domain names at regular pricing yesterday. Here’s approximately how many domains they had after the first day:
Domain parking ads don’t consider the full meaning of a domain name that spans the dot.
A couple weeks ago Donuts launched the .cash top level domain name.
This got me thinking about domain parking. I’ve owned a few .com domain names with the term “cash” in them. When they got clicks, they were high dollar clicks. There are lots of expensive Adwords terms related to cash.
So would traffic to something.cash monetize well?
No, not on the basis of the top level domain name.
As of right now, Google does not consider the new TLD term when deciding which ads to serve on parked domain names. It only considers the second level domain name.
This creates a problem for domain names in which you need both the left and right of the dot to determine the full meaning, e.g. austin.condos.
Sedo, one of the largest domain name parking companies, told Domain Name Wire that Google has confirmed to it that considering the new TLD is in Google’s feature pipeline.
However, I wouldn’t expect Google to roll it out any time soon. There’s very little traffic to new TLDs so far. Sedo said that new TLDs accounted for just 0.13% of its traffic in June.
I have come across a couple examples of parked domains that seem to show ads based on the full context of the domain name despite the full meaning spanning the dot, so there’s hope for decent monetization while you wait.
Pull out your .creditcard.
This week will be an interesting one for new top level domain names: Afilias takes a different tact on .color domains, an EAP with a $150k price tag, Donuts raises the bar with .creditcard, and the first “social cause” TLD launches.
Following on the lackluster launches of .red, .pink and .blue, Afilias launches .black.
.Red is its most successful color domain so far, but it has received fewer than 2,500 registrations.
Afilias is taking a different approach with .black. Retail prices are about $50, significantly more than the $15-$20 on the first several colors. That will obviously keep registrations down. I have to think the idea is to get as much revenue as possible from those companies that feel like they “need” to register .black domains, since volume is sure to be light.
NetCologne GmbH starts the Early Access for .cologne and .koeln. Technically this is its landrush period, and you need to be prepared to pay big bucks. 101domain.com is quoting $150,000 for first day registrations! Prices don’t drop to four figures until the fifth day of the launch. Normal pricing looks cheap; 101domain.com is asking just $12.99 if you can wait until the end of next week to register.
Also on Tuesday, the first “social cause” TLD launches as .HIV opens up for registration. It donates money to HIV causes when people click on .hiv websites:
.HIV domains are rather expensive: I’m finding registration prices around $200/year. This is probably a good idea to limit registrations to people who care about the cause.
Wednesday belongs to Donuts.
Four Donuts TLDs exit EAP and revert to regular pricing: .furniture, .discount, .fitness and .schule.
Four enter EAP: .gratis, .claims, .credit and .creditcard.
You might expect .creditcard to be huge despite its length. Apparently Donuts’ thinks so; it appears to have slotted the domain in a fifth price tier above anything I’ve seen so far from the company. GoDaddy is charging $200 for the domains, which suggests the wholesale price is $100.
The price should limit demand, but there are still some big opportunities with this domain name.
Are domain registrants not aware of new TLD options or do they just not accept them? Or is there just low demand for each .com alternative?
My initial reaction to the underwhelming “out of the gate” registration numbers for new top level domain names this year was that it’s an awareness issue.
99.99% of people have never heard of new TLDs. Once they’re aware, they’ll start registering them.
After taking a look at registrar search yesterday, I’m starting to wonder if the issue is actually acceptance instead of awareness.
It’s not the 99.99% of the public not knowing about new TLDs that matters right now. What matters is how many people searching for domain names to register are aware of them.
I think most domain searchers are aware of new TLDs.
Search for a domain name at GoDaddy and the top search results (after the matching .com) are new TLDs. They’re slotted ahead of alternatives like .net and .info.
So if I search for a domain at GoDaddy right now, I’m aware of new TLDs.
Right? Or do I never look at the suggested alternatives if .com is already taken? Do I not accept alternatives to .com, so I just look for another domain.
I’m not sure. Startups have embraced alternatives such as .io, .co and .me. Will they start to accept other new TLDs once they see a hot startup using them?
I believe awareness in the general public is coming, and that will lead to an acceptance by domain registrants. When Realtors start using .realtor, New Yorkers start to embrace .nyc and a brand advertises its .brand, then the public slowly becomes aware.
At that point, someone searching for HomeRun might register HomeRun.today since Homerun.com is taken.
Yet it will be a slow climb, which gets to the demand question. How many people every year register domain names related to construction or biking or plumbing? Not many. Once both awareness and acceptance click, people will consider these domains instead of .com. They will siphon off a sliver of the 30 million .com domains registered each year.
But how much of a sliver? Is there enough demand to be spread across all of these TLDs? After all, there are only so many domain names related to each niche already registered in .com.
Awareness, acceptance or demand?