Color me surprised.
Afilias launched its first six new top level domain names yesterday, and I’d rate it as the worst first day performance of any portfolio applicant.
I’m basing this on changes to the zone files. Here are the six domains Afilias’ launched in general availability yesterday with how many domains they added to the zone and the current total:
.red 289 to 341
.blue 205 to 270
.移动 142 to 231 (Chinese simplified for Mobile Phone)
.pink 156 to 202
.kim 112 to 135
.shiksha 31 to 63 (Hindi for Education)
The poor initial performance wasn’t due to price, as the domains retailed for about $17 to $26. It’s fair to blame poor registrar distribution in part. GoDaddy was absent. But I also think the overall market opportunity for the color domains is quite limited.
I would think for one of the color domains to take off they’ll need to get a few key celebrities, star brands, or startups on board. They’ll have to make the domains mean something when they don’t mean much on their own.
I-Registry also launched a domain yesterday, .onl. It’s apparently short for “online”. The domain’s zone file grew by 303 domains to 379. That’s not bad given that the registry’s dated website made me question if the domain was even coming out yesterday.