Are domain registrants unaware of new top level domain names? I don’t think so.
New top level domain name companies have been saying that new domain options suffer from an awareness problem. Very few people know about them, they say, and this is why they aren’t selling as briskly as hoped.
I believe this is true, and I’ve been saying the same thing.
But I’ve recently started to consider another version of events: domain registrants are aware of new TLDs, and it’s actually a demand issue.
The general population isn’t aware of new domain options, but people who register domain names certainly are.
How can they not? Type “My Company” into the search box at GoDaddy and you’ll see this:
A few years ago these search results would have been filled with spun .com domain names. Now they are all .com alternatives.
It’s clear that people who are registering domain names are presented with options for non-.com domain names. They just aren’t registering many of them.
You can argue that greater awareness in the general internet population will make domain registrants more comfortable registering new TLDs. I buy that argument.
But I also think that the lack-of-awareness claim might be just an excuse for lackluster demand.