Consider what the benchmark for a successful domain name is.
In light of yesterday’s news that .me has hit 250,000 registrations and .tel has already reached 200,000, a number of people are asking if that makes these TLDs successful. Michael Berkens asked a similar question today.
My answer is that it’s way too early to say they are or are not successful.
I’m sure that GoDaddy/Afilias/DotMe had goals for the launch of their domains, and I have no idea if they’ve been met. Telnic certainly had its first year goals mapped out as well. But many TLDs fall off after an initial rush of speculators and trademark holders run in to register their domains.
.EU, by comparison, has nearly 3 million registrations. From a domainer’s perspective, however, this domain has been an utter failure.
I’m not saying these initial results aren’t impressive. But judging a new TLD takes time:
1. Number of registrations and registrants after three years.
2. Percentage of Fortune 500 firms that have registered and are using the domain.
3. Percentage of domains registered that are developed.
4. Resale prices of domains after three years. (In other words, after the initial froth has subsided.)
5. Renewal rates 12 months and 24 months after launch.
6. Retail price of domains is at least $5 (i.e., not giving away to boost numbers).
Different domains (such as local ones) may require different metrics, but I think these are a good start.