.Directory enters the club as I become more sure of my forecast for new TLD registration volumes.
Of the dozens of new top level domain names to enter general availability so far, six have now topped 10,000 registrations based on zone file records. .Directory is the most recent entrant in this club after hitting the milestone within the past few days.
Other domains with over 10,000 registrations include .guru, .photography, .tips, .today and .technology.
There are a number of reasons the first group of domains to come out might not be representative of future ones in terms of registration numbers and the pace of early registrations. Some of these reasons are:
1. Many of the the best domains will come out later after contention sets are resolved.
2. Changes to how name collisions are handled might allow more good domain names to be available for registration close to launch.
3. Awareness of new TLDs will grow.
That said, the early results are in line with the general estimates I made for the typical new TLD. In January I wrote:
A year or two from now, I suspect that most new TLDs will be measured in tens of thousands, not hundreds of thousands. (I’m not alone, as that’s in the business model of many registries.) Many will struggle to maintain more than 10,000 registrations. Some outliers will take off and be embraced.
With the new data I’m more confident about this forecast. I’m confident that many of the domains under 10,000 registrations right now will continue to grow at a healthy clip at top 10,000. I’m also confident that most new TLDs will follow previous trends of losing a good chunk of registrations at the one year renewal mark. This is especially the case for more expensive new TLDs.
I think most of the large new TLD applicants have forecasts in this range as well.