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#4 in 2017: A new TLD death spiral?

This is the seventh in a series covering the top stories on DNW in 2017, as ranked by views.

It’s been apparent for years that new top level domains aren’t meeting the expectations applicants had for the domains. A big new TLD cheerleader succumbed to this reality earlier this year.

Frank Schilling announced a major price hike for most of Uniregistry’s top level domain names early in 2017. (This set a lot of balls in motion that are the subject of the #2 story of the year.)

Schilling admitted that his expectations for sales were not being met. He came on the DNW Podcast to talk about the price hike and why it was necessary. Schilling said that he was in the red on many of these domains and wanted to get them to profitability. Also, if he could do it all over again, he would have applied for a different set of domains.

One of the reasons I believe Rightside sold itself this year was because it was becoming evident that it wasn’t going to meet the expectations it set in the market for new TLD revenue. Its revenue from new domains actually started falling quarter-over-quarter when it promised lofty growth within the next few years.

Are new top level domain names dead? Hardly. Some of the biggest players are doing quite well and spinning off lots of cash. But it became clear (or clearer) in 2017 that some models aren’t going to work.

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  1. John says

    I guess I don’t mind saying it again – the “money grab” model of release is simply deeply flawed. Great for the incumbents though. And the registries can hardly be blamed because that is what has been imposed on them – it’s either do that or nothing.

    • John says

      Okay well some of them do share some of the “blame,” especially for pricing and terms which totally lack vision (except for $ signs) and which demonstrate a total commitment to the “money grab” anyway.

  2. Daniel says

    Domains will always be a boring long game. Most of them make money every year but don’t grow as fast as investors want. Rightside showed the value of the new TLD. They would never have got 200 mil for the company (70 m for enom and namejet and another 140 for the registry) without the TLD business. Frank did what most companies are too scared to do. Charge more for low volume extensions. He’s made money for his investors with the price increase and I’ve still made a buck on early regs I took in his names.

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