Relaunch was successful, but hard work remains.
It comes as little surprise to me, but it’s now apparent that the .co launch has been successful. As of now, 279,000 .co domain names have been registered. I calculate gross sales of about $19 million to date.
There are a number of reasons I’m not surprised by the initial success of .co. I outlined many of these in my last newsletter. But regardless of how or why it has charged out of the gate, and regardless of how much time, money, and ingenuity has gone into the process, it all starts over now. The long term viability of any top level domain name isn’t determined in the first week. It’s determined in the ensuing years.
The number one driver: use and promotion by end users.
.Co already has some big coups in this area. Twitter is using t.co. Overstock bought o.co, although it’s not sure what it will do with it. Go Daddy plans to use x.co.
But what will be interesting to watch is use by other companies. Will any of them actually use it for unique and new web sites? Will they advertise them on TV? Will small businesses say “find us at xyz.co”?
I can’t think of any “new” TLD that has been successful by this measure. Yes, .biz is a great business for Neustar. And .info is a cash cow for Afilias. But are they successful? Will they wilt under the pressure of hundreds of competing TLDs in the coming years?
Given the thought and money behind the launch, I know .co is thinking about this. The work has only just begun.