Half of all .mobi registrations are at one domain registrar.
I was just looking through tallies of total domain names per registrar by TLD as of the end of 2010. This graph of .mobi registrations at the end of December is telling:
There’s only one thing to notice on this graph: Go Daddy. The domain registrar manages 49% of the total base of .mobi. This is in line with the registrar’s claim that it registers about half of all new domain names, since .mobi is a relatively new domain.
Go Daddy did a lot to push .mobi and was key to its initial success. Yet consider how much power Go Daddy now has over .Mobi. It can literally strangle it by increasing renewal costs. Yes, it would be shooting itself in the foot and people could transfer their domains. But it still means the company brings a lot to the bargaining table when it comes to ensuring high renewal rates and the long term success of .mobi.
This should say something to companies wishing to introduce new generic top level domain names: the key to your success lies with Go Daddy. And Go Daddy holds all of the keys.
Will that change? Not in the short run.
New TLD operators should be lining up to strike deals with Go Daddy. Of course they will have to pay to play.