The .berlin new gTLD has retained its position as the most successful Digital City Brand in 2021 according to the fifth edition of DOTZON’s Digital City Brands study.
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Domain Registrations Face An Uncertain Future But Opportunities Are There: Domain Pulse Panel
Domain name registrations are in a state of flux around the world. While registrations in the more than 1,200 new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) continue to grow strongly, registrations in the legacy gTLDs such as .com are declining and among country code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs) registrations are growing very slowly. And the trend is only likely to continue.
These are the findings of research conducted by CENTR and presented by Patrick Myles, CENTR Data Analyst, on day one of the Domain Pulse conference in Vienna last Thursday 16 February, attended by around 300 people. Domain Pulse is the annual conference of the registries for the German-speaking countries – Austria (.at), Switzerland (.ch) and Germany (.de).
Among European ccTLDs, the focus of CENTR’s research, Myles noted how growth rates (not registrations) have been declining for several years with an apparent stabilisation in the last few years.
So is it possible to arrest this decline in TLDs apart from the new gTLDs, and even in the new gTLDs will their growth rates come to a halt sometime soon?
In a following panel session, Michiel Henneke from SIDN that the .nl registry is particularly worried. In a country with 17 million people and 5.7 million registrations, and now the .amsterdam new gTLD, they have to focus on a probable saturation and face a future of low, if any, growth in .nl. The Netherlands also has less of a profile, Henneke said, than Amsterdam, making the city new gTLD appealing in international markets.
Even the rise of new gTLDs poses something of a threat to ccTLDs. Henneke noted that a few major Dutch companies have established their own TLDs and others, along with some regions, are interested in future applications. This could easily result in a decline in registrations in other areas as major brands often have hundreds, if not thousands, of registrations and small business may find a regional gTLD more appealing.
Even SIDN’s own research shows a worrying trend. Usage of websites is increasing but Google and Facebook are taking out an ever larger piece of the pie and it’s ambiguous as to whether young people are interested in domains.
But there is a bright spot – whenever EURid conducts a promotional campaign, .nl registrations rise!
Looking to the future, Henneke said “diversification not an option for every ccTLD as they’re answerable to government bodies. But SIDN has been experimenting with opportunities in similar areas. “DNS is required for e-billing so SIDN became a co-creator of a DNS billing service in the Netherlands, but there are few other markets that are as attractive when it comes to revenue as domain names and the e-billing service is just a small part of revenue. We’ve also taken over an e-identity company with 12 million users, so we believe this will be a significant contributor to future revenue.”
For Toby Hall, CEO of MMX who operates 26 new gTLDs, they have a focus on China where there are huge opportunities. But this is an opportunity that many ccTLDs don’t have. In a number of cultures where there’s an entrepreneurial spirit and energy that could have a positive outcome for all in the industry. Hall has found that the younger generation are wanting to use TLDs for other reasons than simply for a website or email, and that kids often relate to email as something in school.
“For the long term integrity of any domain name it has to resonate and have something of value,” Hall said. “We should be wanting to encourage new ways of thinking for new gTLDs”
For .berlin, they have had their own experiences. In a bid to stimulate registration growth in the early days, they gave away or sold cheaply around 90,000 domains in the early days, but they didn’t gain anything long term as many of these didn’t renew. Three years on from the launch of General Availability, registrations have now stabilised and are gradually increasing, now sitting at 59,000. These days the registry has even increased their registration fee with no detrimental impact on registrations.
Even MMX has had their own learning experiences. In the early days MMX set up a registrar to sell the registry’s own domains but they found this was “a wrong turn” as it created tension when doing deals with key registrars, and it was expensive. “It doesn’t make sense to create a distribution channel one will be competing with.”
Katrin Ohlmer, CEO of Dotzon, said it’s “not about the number of registrations but the usage and addressing the right target group. One of the main tasks for registries is to get message across is that a domain name is useful for a number of reasons, not just web and email.”
For .berlin which Ohlmer has been involved in from the start, 50% to 60% of .berlin domains are in active use.
On the threat to ccTLDs. Ohlmer observed that Audi has been setting up domain names for each of its dealers in Germany. Ohlmer also believes that with usage by brands, awareness of new gTLDs will increase and result in more registrations.
To drive registrations, Ohlmer wants to see it made easier for people to use their domains.
“For kids, it’s more about how easy is it to use for websites. If getting a website was as easy as getting a Facebook page, many more would have their own website and domain name,” she said.
“We need to change a lot of the language associate with domain names to appeal to a wider audience,” said Hall.
Christmas Comes For New gTLDs As Total Registrations Pass 11 Million
On 23 December, the number of domain names registered across all delegated new gTLDs passed the 11 million mark, according to nTLDstats.com, out of a total of just over 300 million domains registered across all TLDs.
According to the website that compiles a comprehensive tally of statistics for new gTLDs, they note that on 24 December there were 11,000,512 registrations. Going by how nTLDstats.com update their data, it means on the 23rd the 11 million mark was passed.
The largest of the 868 gTLDs that have been delegated continues to be .xyz with 1.769 million registrations, and still far ahead of the second largest, now .top with 955,000 registrations followed by .wang with 601,000.
Of the top 30 by registration numbers, the only strings that arenât generic are one brand gTLD (.ovh with 79,400 registrations) and the geographic gTLDs of .nyc (79,900), .london (62,300) and .berlin (58,300).
Of the 868 delegated gTLDs, around 410 have entered the General Availability phase while a large number of those delegated are ânot availableâ and are brand gTLDs.
Currently there are 16 gTLDs with more than 100,000 registrations, 33 with more than 50,000 and 140 with more than 10,000.
By registration numbers, the largest registry is XYZ.COM with 1.774 million domains across its six gTLDs, then Famous Four Media (15 and 1.686m), Donuts (191 and 1.543m). On gTLD numbers, Donuts is the largest followed by Rightside (40 gTLDs) and Uniregistry (23).
The largest backend registry provider is Neustar with 101 gTLDs and 2.354m domains followed by CentralNIC (34 and 2.331m), ZDNS (17 and 2.187m) and then Rightside (231 and 1.948m).
Over 72 percent (7.992m) of the registered domains are parked. And there are naturally, and unfortunately, domains that are linked to malware and phishing. But the percentage is tiny with 9,269 or 0.08 percent of all domains registered in new gTLDs having suspicious activity.
New gTLD Registrations Soar Past Ten Million As Generic Keywords Dominate Top Strings
The total number of domain names under management across all new gTLDs soared past the ten million mark on 17 November, with the increase in the DUM increasing markedly in recent months.It was only back in mid-August that the total number reached seven million, taking two months to increase from six million. But then in early October total registrations passed the eight million mark, and nine million was reached on 3 November.This out of a total of around 300 million registrations across all gTLDs, given that at the end of June 2015 there were 296 million domains registered across all TLDs, according to Verisign. So it means new gTLD registrations make up a small but sizeable figure of around 3.5 percent of all registrations. Total registrations though are still dwarfed by .com with around 123 million registrations, 27.1 million for .tk, 16.0 million for .de, 15.2 million for .net, 12.8 million for .cn and 10.8 million for .org.The largest of the new gTLDs by a long way continues to be .xyz with 1.621 million registrations or 16.04 percent of all new gTLD registrations. Registrations jumped a dramatic 200,000 over three days at the end of October and early November and by around 150,000 since.The second largest of the new gTLDs is now .top with over 890,000 registrations which saw registrations grow by around 300,000 in early November, then .wang (592,000), .win (474,000) and then .网址 (website), which for quite a while was the second largest of the new gTLDs now fifth, dropping from a maximum of almost 376,000 to 365,600 registrations today as many domains aren’t renewed come renewal time.One issue that is becoming clearer is the prominence of generic strings among the top gTLDs by registration numbers. Of the top 20, they dominate along with a few gTLDs aimed at the Chinese market such as .ren and .xin.Of the regional gTLDs, .nyc continues to be the largest with almost 87,500 registrations in 19th place while .london (70,600) and .berlin (68,300) in 21st and 22nd easily the best in this category. Depending on how one classifies gTLDs, it would be a fair assumption that of the top 30 by registration numbers, only four are non-generic word strings. The other being the French .ovh.There are now 795 gTLDs delegated, and around 410 of these have entered General Availability. There are 13 that have passed the 100,000 registrations mark, 30 have past 50,000 and 138 have passed 10,000.On backend registries, CentralNic is the largest with 2.1 million domains registered across its 30 new gTLDs followed by the Chinese ZDNS with 2.0 million across 17 new gTLDs then Neustar (1.9m and 68 gTLDs) and Rightside (1.9m and 230). On actual registries, XYZ.COM is the largest with 1.6 million registrations and six new gTLDs followed by Donuts (1.5m and 191) and Famous Four Media (1.4m and 14).
New gTLD Registrations Surge Past 6 Million With More Winners and a Few Losers
New gTLD registrations are still surging upwards with the six millionth registration occurring on 7 June according to nTLDstats.com. Currently there are over 6.033 million domains registered.The six million registrations are across 650 gTLDs, although 281 of these have less than 100 registrations with the bulk of these still in their Sunrise periods or are brand gTLDs. And 104 have more than 10,000 registrations.So there have been quite a few winners. And a few losers. Among the winners is .xyz, the market leader in the total registration count with well over 960,000 registrations. And even though it is estimated several hundred thousand of these were given away for free, it would still be far and away the largest gTLD when it comes to paid registrations.Second on the list of total gTLD registrations is .网址 (.website) however almost all of these registrations are to one registrar and it’s difficult to know how what they’re being used for. Third is .science that has gained close to 300,000 registrations in under four months with one registrar accounting for 85 percent of all registrations.Fourth is one of the big success stories – .club. The gTLD boasts that their 247,000 domains, along with all of the Donuts domains across their gTLDs, are fully paid for. Fifth is .party and it, like .science, has the same registrar making up 90 percent of its 187,000 registrations.The Chinese .wang is sixth with 173,600 registrations and appears to be doing well while .berlin is seventh but this includes a number of free domains. From a peak of over 157,000 registrations it is now down to 153,200 registrations three months into the first of the renewals. But next week over 60,000 domains that were either given away or sold cheaply come up for renewal and undoubtedly it will take a hit. But even if none of these are renewed, an unlikely worst case scenario, it would still be the eleventh largest of the new gTLDs.Rounding out the top ten are .top (129,300 registrations), .link (120,100) and .realtor (102,500). The latter’s numbers though are one of the more unlikely to be sustained. The registry operator has given away domains to real estate agents across North America, but with highly restrictive conditions, it’s unlikely that many will put up money when it comes time for a paid renewal.The .nyc gTLD is also performing well in eleventh place with 79,400 registrations, while .click (69,800) and one of the earliest gTLDs and a Donuts gTLD .guru (69,000) are also doing well.Indeed, while there are some that one could argue should have or could have done better, or even much better, the only other gTLD whose numbers one could question is .ovh among the top 103 with registrations above 10,000. The .ovh gTLD has close to 63,300 registrations but 90 are reserved and the rest through one registrar. And none appear to have been paid for.The most successful backend registry is Donuts with 1.365 million registrations across 186 gTLDs while CentralNic has 1.106 million registrations across 22 gTLDs followed by Neustar with 933,400 registrations across 48 gtLDs then ZDNS (588,100/14), Uniregistry (445,800/21), Rightside (281,500/36), Afilias (212,500/64), TLD-BOX (207,400/7) and Minds + Machines (199,645/24).Some of the losers would appear to be .whoswho, never likely to have big numbers of registrations, but seven months into General Availability has 61 registrations. And while there are others with lower numbers, .rich hasn’t proved very rich with 406 registrations so far and .HIV has struggled with the registry operator now offering the gTLD for sale hoping their unique model for raising funds for charity has some appeal to a larger registry that bring some economies of scale to the project. And in the battle of Democrat v Republicans, the Democrats are winning with 1,356 registrations to 805. But it couldn’t be said either has set the political establishment alight!
New gTLD Registrations Pass 5 Million Mark With Many Performing Well
The five millionth registration of domain names across the 588 new gTLDs for which there are at least one registration occurred last week. Currently there are 5,037,000 registrations according to nTLDstats.com.Registrations continue to grow for many of the new gTLDs, but many of the winners are starting to stand out. The largest of the new gTLDs is still .xyz with over 875,000 registrations or 17.32 percent of all registrations, but potentially 40 percent of these have been given away in a promotion by Network Solutions where their existing .com registrants were given the corresponding .xyz domain, and hence renewal rates would be expected to be low. But even so, it would still see .xyz easily the largest of the new gTLDs.The second largest going by registrations is .网址 (.website) but this currently has 349,226 registrations, with all but nine registered to the Internet Domain Name System Beijing Engineering Research Center LLC and the remaining nine registered to the registry.One of the biggest successes has been .club, third on the nTLDstats.com list, which boasts all of its 206,000 registrations are full paid for.Of all the city gTLDs, .berlin remains the largest with 157,000 registrations and the fourth largest gTLD, but in June they will face a big hit when up to 90,000 domains given away or sold cheaply in a promotion come up for renewal. So far the gTLD that commenced its General Availability in March has seen a good renewal rate and registrations are still increasing.A number of other city gTLDs have also done well, with success varying largely due to eligibility policies and marketing. The .nyc (New York City) gTLD is the eleventh largest, has almost 75,000 registrations and eligibility is restricted to New Yorkers, while .london is the thirteenth largest with over 60,300 registrations and no eligibility restrictions. And numbers don’t tell the whole story with many of the geographical gTLDs. Several operators such as .tirol are using theirs as a promotional tool for tourism and business.There are seven gTLDs in total with over 100,000 registrations. The others are .wang with 138,800 registrations, .science (108,800) and .link (106,500). But the .science gTLD has over three-quarters of its registrations (77.92%) with one registrar.And there are 94 gTLDs with over 10,000 registrations and 163 with more than 5,000.To date there are, from this writer’s counting, 334 gTLDs to have entered General Availability with 226 registrars handling registrations for at least one gTLD. On backend registries, Donuts is easily the largest and like .club, claim all 1.354 million domains registered (26.81% of all registrations) among their 173 gTLDs to be paid for. CentralNic is the second largest gTLD registry by registration numbers with 973,800 domains registered across their 21 gTLDs.But not all gTLDs can ever expect such large numbers. Small cities and organisations haven’t budgeted for such numbers. And there appear to be some gTLDs that just won’t make it.There are also a number of the new gTLDs that appear to be not making targets or registration numbers that would make them viable. One of these is .realtor aimed at the real estate agent market in North America. Even though there are 95,800 domains registered, they have all been given away free. The operator had plans to give away 500,000 domains in the first year but is falling well short, in part due to restrictive conditions on what strings could be registered. It seems sometimes even if something is free it’s not worth it.Others that would appear to be struggling would be .whoswho with 31 registrations, .rich (66), .संगठन (.organisation – 123), .ltda (153) and .wed (204). But time will tell.Overall there are 34 gTLDs with less than 1,000 registrations that have entered General Availability. One, .vote has 653 registrations while .voting has over 11,800 registrations. The latter has been in General Availability for eight months, the former for two months. But after two months in General Availability .voting had well over 10,000 registrations.
ICANN: Release of Country and Territory Names within the .EMERCK, .HAMBURG and .BERLIN TLDs
|Forum Announcement:||Comment Period Opens on||Date:||2 March 2015|
|Purpose (Brief):||Three (3) Registry Services Evaluation Policy (RSEP) requests were submitted by the registry operators listed below to allow the release of country and territory names for the below TLDs. In total, the requests concern 3 New gTLDs.
Currently, .EMERCK, .HAMBURG and .BERLIN Registry Agreements require country and territory names contained in specific internationally recognized lists to be withheld from registration or allocated to the registry operator at all levels.
As required by the RSEP, ICANN has undertaken a preliminary determination on whether these RSEP proposals might raise significant competition, security or stability issues. ICANN‘s preliminary review (based on the information provided) did not identify any such issues.
Following ICANN‘s preliminary determination that the proposals do not raise significant competition, security or stability issues, it was further determined that the change would require a material change to the respective Registry Agreements and that an amendment is needed in order to effect the change.
The proposed amendments, which are being posted for comment, would allow the registration of country and territory names at all levels in .EMERCK, .HAMBURG and .BERLIN TLDs. It should be noted that as of 13 November 2014, Specification 13 is granted for .EMERCK, whereas Registry Agreements for .HAMBURG and .BERLIN do not include Specification 13 provisions in place and these two TLDs are Geo TLDs.
|Public Comment Box Link:||https://www.icann.org/public-comments/emerck-hamburg-berlin-amendment-2015-03-02-en|
This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
Four Million Domains Registered In New gTLDs In Under 12 Months
If registration numbers are what you go by, four million domains registered in under 12 months for the 461 gTLDs across 318 registries and 224 registrars taking registrations is pretty good going. But it is still early days and not one domain name in any of the new gTLDs has come up for renewal yet.The four millionth registration occurred on 7 January according to statistics published by nTLDstats.com, boosted in recent days by the launch of the .Q@ (website) gTLD which rocketed into second place on the chart for most registrations and now has passed 354,400 domains under management (DUM). However 354,414 of these domains to date are registered through one registrar – Internet Domain Name System Beijing Engineering Research Center LLC (ZDNS) and the remaining four to the registry operator. So it’s not likely the public has been registering these domains.Domain Incite has explained the anomaly as the “registry, Knet, which acquired original applicant Hu Yi last year, operates a keyword-based navigation system in China that predates Chinese-script gTLDs.””The company has simply grandfathered its keyword customers into .Q@, I’m told.”The keyword system allows Latin-script domains too, which explains the large number of western brands that appear in the .Q@ zone.”The second reason for the huge bump is the fact that many of the domains are essentially duplicates.”Meanwhile the .xyz gTLD continues to blow all other gTLDs out of the water when it comes to total registrations with over three-quarters of a million (767,883), however the vast majority of these have been “given” to the unsuspecting registrants of the .com equivalent in a deal with Network Solutions.In third place is .club with 165,973 DUMs who, like Donuts with their 158 gTLDs up and running, claim that none of their domains have been given away. Which puts them in a great place for when domains come up for renewal as if someone has made the effort to pay for a domain, they’re much more likely to want to renew it.The top 11 includes three city gTLDs – .berlin in fourth with 155,466, .nyc (New York City) with 66,838 in eighth and .london in eleventh with 54,002 DUMs. While .berlin appear to have given away or sold cheaply around 90,000 domains, they like other city gTLDs should expect high renewal numbers. And their future seems safe.But it’s not all big registration numbers. Some gTLDs charge a higher premium than others and one such gTLD is .luxury. It may only have 1,294 DUMs, but they have much higher registration fees and are aimed at (naturally) luxury brands. So its future would seem safer than many of those with similar registration numbers.A couple of gTLDs one would have to question their future are .rich and .wed, the latter aimed at short term use for those getting married. Both gTLDs have been around for months and still only have 59* and 125 DUMs respectively. It seems luxury is a better deal than being rich when it comes to domains.Overall it seems that city and regional gTLDs are being very successful, as are those with a good idea and good marketing behind them such as .club and a number of Donuts gTLDs such as .guru, .photography and .email. But for many, it’s when domains come up for renewal, the first of which start happening in the next few months. Stay tuned. * [updated] although with registration prices of around $2,5000 per domain, they do have more of a chance of survival than quite a few others.
Donuts Among Big Winners As Total New gTLD Registrations Pass 3 Million In 9 Months
There are now over three million domain names registered across the 254 new gTLDs that have entered General Availability and another 173 that have been delegated according to figures compiled by nTLDstats.com.The three million mark was passed on 24 October and the figure stood at 3,071,575 at the end of 30 October.The new gTLD with the most registrations continues to be .xyz with 684,256 registrations, or 22.51 percent of all the domains. But this figure is boosted by a controversial promotion run by Network Solutions where over half (376,901 or 55.08%) of all its domains are registered. One in five (142,905 – 20.88%) are registered through the Chinese registrar Xin Net Technology Corporation.Second on the list continues to be .berlin with 152,355 registrations, which despite a promotion that went awry that saw almost 90,000 domains either given away or registered cheaply in three days, continues to do well.For both gTLDs it will be interesting to see what their renewal rates are when domains come due for re-registration.Coming in third is the .club gTLD that boasts all its domains registered are paid for. Meaning if paid for domains were only included it could easily be the largest of all the new gTLDs.Coming in fourth and seventh are .realtor and .ovh with 79,571 and 53,674 registrations respectively and that appear to have given away all, or almost all, their domains.Rounding out the top ten are two more city gTLDs – .london and .nyc that come in at eighth and ninth respectively with 48,203 and 47,497 registrations respectively. And .guru and .photography, two Donuts gTLDs, come in at sixth and tenth with 74,941 and 47,296 registrations respectively.Donuts now have well over one million registrations across all 151 of their gTLDs that have been delegated, 140 in General Availability. The latest count is 1,029,049 according to nTLDstats.com. “All fully paid,” Dan Schindler, co-founder and Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, for Donuts told the Goldstein Report.Donuts are particularly happy with all their gTLDs to date, but they’re even more chuffed with the success of .guru and .photography.”.guru was an enormous surprise to us,” said Schindler. “We were really surprised and we’ve tried to analyse why.””It’s fun and everyone can claim to be a .guru,” Schindler thinks is the reason behind the success. “Photography has also been a very pleasant surprise. In a world of two and three letter TLDs, it is a surprise longer names do so well.” Another to surprise Donuts Schindler said was .technology, currently coming in at 26th place with 21,200 registrations. Others Schindler expects to do well for them are .company, .email and .today.It’s not just total registration numbers for gTLDs. Renewal rates will be something to look out for a year or two down the track. But Schindler thinks Donuts will have high renewal rates for four reasons:
- where names paid for, the early renewal rates are high for those early adopters
- people cherish something they paid for
- they got in early and got the pick of the bunch
- these names don’t have enormous type in traffic so not bought by speculators, bought for longer term investments.
ICANN: Introduction of Two-Character Domain Names for .JETZT, .GLOBAL, .NEUSTAR, .KIWI & .BERLIN
Purpose (Brief): Five (5) Registry Services Evaluation Process (RSEP) requests were submitted by the registry operators listed below to allow the introduction of two-character domain names for the below TLDs. In total, the requests concern 5 New gTLDs.
|2014052||berlin||dotBERLIN GmbH & Co. KG||dotBERLIN GmbH & Co. KG Request 1 September 2014 [PDF, 17 KB]|
|2014051||kiwi||DOT KIWI LIMITED||DOT KIWI LIMITED Request 27 August 2014 [PDF, 16 KB]|
|2014050||global||Dot Global Domain Registry Limited||Dot Global Domain Registry Limited Request 22 August 2014 [PDF, 16 KB]|
|2014049||neustar||NeuStar, Inc.||NeuStar, Inc. Request 21 August 2014 [PDF, 19 KB]|
|2014046||jetzt||New TLD Company AB||New TLD Company AB Request 6 August 2014 [PDF, 14 KB]|
As part of these requests, each registry operator described which two-character domain names for which it would offer these registrations. These RSEP requests were posted for public information on the Registry Service Evaluation Process webpage, available at https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/rsep-2014-02-19-en.
As required by the Registry Services Evaluation Policy, ICANN has undertaken a preliminary determination on whether the proposals might raise significant competition, security or stability issues. ICANN‘s preliminary review (based on the information provided) did not identify any such issues for these requests.
Implementation of the proposal would require amendments to the Exhibit A, Approved Services of the respective Registry Agreements, which are being posted for public comment.
Public Comment Box Link: https://www.icann.org/public-comments/two-char-new-gtld-2014-09-12-en
This ICANN announcement was sourced from: