Citing too much demand, .Berlin registry halts marketing program for free domains early.
The .Berlin domain name registry has cancelled its free domain name giveaway that was supposed to run through Friday.
According to participating registrar 101Domain, .Berlin cancelled the promotion due to demand “exceedingly above their anticipated volumes.”
Over 67,000 domain names were registered on the first day of the promotion, more than double the existing number of .Berlin registrations to date. That propelled the domain to #2 on the new TLD charts.
Almost all of these domains were registered by just a couple groups, including the domain investment arm of Sedo.
5,227 additional domain names were registered on the second day.
I suspect .Berlin’s move is for one of two reasons. One, registrations may have revved up again today as word of the promotion got out. Two, .Berlin may have realized that renewal rates on these domains would be very low given the concentration of registrants. The promotion was taking away potential future registrations and putting domains in the hands of people who will never use them.
It’s worth noting that .Berlin has to pay ICANN 25 cents for each domain name given away free in this promotion.