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.
The recent news broke by Domain Incite that Uniregistry will “massively increase the price of some of its under-performing new gTLDs in an effort to keep them afloat” is surely an overreaction.
According to the report, Uniregistry will increase the fees on 16 of its underperforming new generic Top Level Domains by up to 3,000% from 8 September. Currently Uniregistry operates 27 new gTLDs with 871,000 domains under management, although nTLDstats.com lists only 26 new gTLDs. All of the new gTLDs have less than 10,000 registrations.
“We need more revenue from these strings, especially the low volume ones, without question,” Uniregistry CEO Frank Schilling told Domain Incite. “We can’t push on a string and stoke demand overnight. So in order for that string to survive as a standalone it has to be profitable.”
Increasing the registration fee does not necessarily impact on registrations. One new gTLD registry operator Domain Pulse spoke to pointed to .berlin’s recent experience where they increased their registry fee by 50% without any detrimental impact on registrations.
“Increasing the registry fee from €20 to €30 had no detrimental impact on registrations. OK, that´s not 3000% but it’s a huge step.”
“It is also very clear, that a TLD, or better a registry, could not survive with less than 5,000 domains, if the price is in the range between $10 to $50,” the registry operator went on to say.
It’s also something that DotBerlin’s Katrin Ohlmer explained at the Domain Pulse conference in Vienna in February. Speaking on a panel on the future of TLDs, not just new gTLDs, Ohlmer who was speaking with her Dotzon CEO hat on said “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, 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.”
And while paid registrations are important to pay the bills, Ohlmer explained it’s “not just 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.”
Probably a more important issue though is the future of some of the new gTLDs. There are currently at least 200 new gTLDs that have less than 5,000 registrations. Some of these have less than a hundred registrations and have been in General Availability for over 2 years. So their future is grim. And there are thousands of registrants in these underperforming new gTLDs that face an uncertain future after investing not so much in buying the domain, but developing a brand and face online with that domain.
Registrants in underperforming new gTLDs face some problems. “They’ve registered domain names in TLD´s that are special, for example .tatoo and .diet. and these registrants can´t just move to any other TLD,” our registry operator told Domain Pulse. “I guess for a few thousand people around the world asking over $300 per year is really not a problem. Of course for domainers or SEO folks, it is a problem and this pricing very unattractive.”
So what is the future? Research presented at the 2015 Domain Pulse conference by Godefroy Jordan from new gTLD operator StartingDot, now owned by Afilias, found that most new gTLDs sold for between €5 and €50. They also found there was a very poor correlation between volume and price and when the registrar fee for the domains gets above €50, it “really starts to have impact on registration volumes.”
“Many of the new gTLD will disappear from the market in the next 5 years,” said our registry operator. “For example Donuts with a few hundred gTLD´s may have problems sustaining all of them and they have huge scaling effects because the high number.”
But some specialised new gTLDs can sustain high prices, such as those for the financial and insurance industries where the fee is really not an object.
Certainly there is an uncertain future for some new gTLDs. But there are 28.5 million domains under management across the 1,216 new gTLDs and there are 173 with more than 10,000 registrations, 278 with more than 5,000 and many more that are still getting going. Add in the hundreds of brand .gTLDs and it would be safe to say that well over half, probably three-quarters, are safe.
And back to Uniregistry and Frank Schilling. According to our registry operator “he’s very clever and very good at marketing. It could be his view to give these underperforming new gTLDs a last chance, to try and increase the fee and if the revenue in the next 3 to 5 years is not enough to survive he may look at selling or closing down the gTLD after the initial 10 year contract with ICANN ends.”
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).
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.
|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:
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.
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.
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:
.CLUB announced last Friday they are the first of the new gTLDs to reach 100,000 domain names sold – and in just over 100 days. It appears there are around 200 to 400 .club domains continuing to be registered every day.While the gTLD is third on the list for most domain names registered, according to nTLDstats.com, the two above, .xyz and .berlin, have ran promotional campaigns where domains have been reportedly given away. In the case of .xyz, it appears this could be as many as four in five (81.1%) of the gTLDs registered, as this is the market share of Network Solutions for .club domains, and NetSol have been giving away the equivalent .xyz domains to existing .com registrants, unless they actively opt out of the promotion. For .berlin, a promotion that saw at least one registrar giving away domains that led to around 90,000 domains being registered during a promotion.The registry is claiming .club is continuing its streak as the best-selling new domain extension. Entrepreneurs, brand owners, popular entertainers, corporations, domain investors and more from around the world have registered their own .CLUB websites, including entertainer 50 Cent’s 50InDa.Club, singer Demi Lovato’s Lovato.club, fitness expert Tiffany Rothe’s ICFC.club and many established Rotary, golf, country, yacht, auto, and sports clubs. According to data compiled by Namestat.org, there are already over 150 .CLUB websites in the Alexa top 1 million websites by traffic, more than any other new top level domain name.In just over 100 days since its launch, .CLUB websites have continued to grow in popularity, with some very interesting names and website concepts. TheDudes.Club has launched as the “go-to place for all the things men find interesting;” LuckyDuck.club will soon launch as a gourmet coffee service; RoswellRotary.club, the Rowell Georgia Rotary chapter now forwards its old .com address to the new .club address; and many clubs, bloggers and businesses are registering from around the world every day.”We’ve seen an increase in not only entirely new businesses springing up specifically around the .CLUB domain, such as shaving.club, but also from companies that are creating micro sites within their larger sites as a private, members-only address that offers additional benefits and privileges for `club’ insiders,” said Colin Campbell, president and CEO of .CLUB Domains. “We believe we have sold more than any other new domain because the word CLUB is so meaningful, and has recognition all over the world. It is easy to remember and allows for a great, catchy domain name.Many premium .CLUB domains have also been sold to corporations and investors, including eat.club selling for $20,000; baby.club and Barbie.club each selling for $5,000; Ritz.club selling for $7,500; Mary Kay’s purchasing beauty.club and skincare.club; and many more. “But there are still many, many great .CLUB names still available for under $15 a year,” added Campbell.
Registrations of new gTLDs domains broke the two million mark over the weekend across the 367 gTLDs that have been delegated, 195 of which having entered General Availability. As of Sunday there were over 2,031,000 registrations according to nTLDstats.com.The gTLD with the most registrations, or Domains Under Management, continues to be .xyz with 455,926 registrations, or 22.7 percent of all registrations, down from around a quarter only a few weeks ago as more gTLDs launch.In second place remains .berlin with 138,000 registrations and then .club with over 98,600, .guru with over 69,000 and then .wang which is closing in on 56,400, being the only gTLDs with more than 50,000 registrations.But what of the registrations. There is certain to be a shakeout at the end of years one and two as it can be expected that many domains won’t be renewed. Especially .xyz that has seen almost 83 percent of its registrations through one registrar, Network Solutions, which has been giving its .com registrants the equivalent .xyz domain unless they opted out. Additionally, .berlin ran a heavily discounted promotion for a few weeks that saw registrations jump around 90,000 in a few days.Additionally, almost four in five (79.51%) of the new gTLD domains registered are currently parked meaning very few are being used for productive websites, nor likely any other use like email. Six percent (120,664) are currently being redirected to another website.The gTLD, according to nTLDstats.com, with the highest proportion of parked domains is unsurprisingly .xyz with 93.63 percent of all their registered domains currently being parked followed by .berlin with 83.25 percent.Interestingly the gTLDs among the top ten with the least domains parked proportionally are .photography (63.19%) and .email (65.23%) while .wien with 8,149 registrations and .webcam with 9,071 have the lowest proportion of parked domains with 53.94 and 47.27 percent respectively. Could this be an indicator of future success?Of the registries, the largest is Donuts with 145 of the 371 gTLDs released into the wild (delegated) that cover over 839,600 of the registrations, or 41.72 percent. There are also 182 registrars that are taking registrations for at least one of the new gTLDs.In broader registration statistics, there are also 18 gTLDs that have passed the 20,000 mark, 37 have passed 10,000, 76 passed 5,000 and 176 have passed 1,000.