New TLD registries will need to count on domainers and defensive registrations if they hope to amass a large registration base.
Every new top level domain name applicant I’ve spoken with will swear they aren’t counting on defensive registrations to build their domain base. Even those whose business model depends on companies wanting to make sure people don’t think they .suck.
Many of them also say they don’t want or care about the domain investor’s business.
They’re after end users, they say.
If I were running a new TLD registry I’d say the exact same thing.
But let’s be honest here: if a new TLD operator wants to come anywhere close to the number of registrations that .mobi, .me, .xxx, and any other recently “launched” TLD have, they’re going to need to count on both domainers and defensive registrations.
How many of the 700,000 existing .me domain names resolve to an actual website? How about the other TLDs?
It’s minimal, and the bulk that don’t resolve are reserved by someone for either defensive purposes or for potential future use/resale.
Now, registries want end users to register their domains. They need them to for the long run health of TLD.
But if you hope to have 50,000 or 100,000 domain registrations after one year, you’re going to need to count on speculators and defensive registrations. For some niche domains, you’re going to need this to top even 5,000 or 10,000 registrations.
Unfortunately for registries, domainers won’t chip in as much this time. But if a registry’s business plan has a high number of registrations involved, they better start courting domain investors and promote their sunrise.