Are New gTLDs Dead? Frank Schilling Says “Far From It”

I’ve been following the comments on Mike Berkens’ article  about Frank Schilling’s company deleting over 200k domain names and a discussion  thread on NamePros. In that NamePros thread, it looks like many  people are ready to declare the new gTLD program dead. In fact, the title of the thread is “New gTLDs are DEAD!! Frank Schilling drops 230,000 new gTLD domains.

I reached out to Frank Schilling to ask him if he would answer the question “Are new gTLDs dead?” for an article on my blog. Frank was kind enough to answer, which I published below.

In my email to Frank, I shared my interpretation of the news, which is that premium names weren’t selling well, so by letting them drop, Frank was opening up a revenue stream via the registrar channel. Essentially, instead of one of Frank’s companies paying the other (net zero, not including the small ICANN fees), it would make these names available for anyone to register. This would drive revenue for Uniregistry and may get some of these domain names developed by end user buyers, which in my opinion, is essential for the program to have success.

Although I only own a handful of new gTLD domain names, I don’t think the new gTLD program is dead. I don’t really think much has changed besides this model of selling domain names at a premium price. I still most likely won’t be buying the new domain names, but I don’t think it is dead at all.

When I asked Frank the question, I knew he wasn’t going to tell me he thinks it’s dead. However, I thought it would be interesting to read and share his perspective. Here’s what Frank told me:

“lol .. Far from it. : ) The cream is rising and new names are selling.. Many, many of these new names get strong type-in traffic (comparable to or better than .com names!). We are trying to put more good inventory into the available pool because our math says we can create a greater recurring revenue stream and make all our other new GTLDs more popular by getting names out there and in-use than we can by holding them back and boutiquing them. We are releasing a combination of 10 million registered and reserved names this month Elliot. So now imagine you’re a foreigner. You don;t speak English. Now you can register these names at your home registrar in your home language. We couldn’t just release them this way when we launched because we didn’t have a working relationship with many retail registrars at that time. The process was still too new.. Today we’re in the distribution mix at 200 registrar brands, so now the time is better for making these names available.. If you own one of our names this is the best thing the registry could have done for its registrants. Within 2 years you will be seeing many more of our names in use as websites.

Much of this is timed to coincide with our launch as the exclusive registrar partner of Grid site owners will be able to secure a Uniregistry name for FREE with their site. This will be big news this week.

Uniregistry is today (without these extra names in the mix) making more than we did on traffic at the heyday.. New GTLD’s are growing, they’re profitable and all our strings are solid and will be alive on the web in 10 years. .. we see them selling on the secondary market.. And as I said already (but would be a fool not to repeat) many of our names get more traffic than many of my .com names!!

New names make money.. They get dropped by one weak set of hands and a stronger set rolls in to pick them up.

This is a relaunch of our strings with the best names available at low prices.”

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. of course he is going to spin it a positive way but i think the bottom line is there were little to no offers for these “premium” domains so there was little point to hold them.

  2. Frank’s talking his book, can’t blame him, but..
    “The cream is rising” WTF??
    The only thing that’s rising is the number of upcoming deletes.

    Did he really say 10 million names are going to be released this month??? Wow that’s it then for the programm I guess. No way that amount of supply can be absorbed by an already saturated and currently weak market.

    • I don’t understand why more deletes means “that’s it then for the programm”

      My bet is that when registry-related entities let these names expire, others will buy a huge chunk of those deletes at registration fee or perhaps auction. Whether it’s a good decision or not remains to be seen, but these registries will generate quite a bit of cash as a result. Therefore, the new extension program is far from dead.

    • Who’s gonna take them Elliot? No one.
      10 million names, are you kidding me?
      Reg fee doesn’t mean 10 bucks like for your average .com.
      They will charge premium renewals. They made a mistake by reserving these names in the first place. Now they’re making another one. It’s over.

      • I don’t really agree that no one will take them.

        I think many of the names that have meaning will be hand registered.

        Time will tell of course, but my guess is that people will buy them, especially investors.

        The key for those in the business of operating these domain name registries is that they are developed.

      • Did you see the list? What meaning are you talking about? ?, what is that? No one is going to hand reg. these names. And developing? Who is going to develop 10 million names? Or a million names? There are even more .com domains that are undeveloped than developed, and we are talking about delevoping nTLDs… It’s just not going to happen.

      • No, but did you go through 10 million names?

        I would imagine some names like (city).Flowers or whatever will be of interest to registrants.

        I wouldn’t have registered the vast majority of names that investors bought, so I shouldn’t be one to judge.

      • Release them all. All 10 million names and charge 5 bucks reg fee and 5 bucks renewal. No premiums no nothing. No strings attached. That way you might be able to get a million names registered across the board. Maybe.

      • “Let the market decide what is a premium and what is not.”

        That what I have been preaching all along and isn’t what this USA market system is base on….?

        Economics 101- let the market decides!!

  3. Bottom line though.
    These domains were not worth premium pricing.
    Me thinks they aren’t even worth 10 dollar reg.
    The perceived value has dropped.
    Most are pigeon crapola.

  4. Much like my post on Namepros, we are seeing a repeat of the early 2000’s with .biz, .mobi, .info but on a much larger scale. After close to 3 years it is safe to say that the release of all of the new gTLD’s has been a failure and will continue to be.

    That does not mean a few of these TLD’s will succeed marginally, I believe a handful may be as popular as .info (which I think is a better TLD than any of the new ones released) but they will never rise to the popularity of .com.

    Frank Schilling is a smart guy and a worthy person to look up to if domain names are your business, but it is clear to see his financial stake in the game, and because of that consider whatever he has to stay regarding new gTLD’s objectively and do your own research!

  5. “We are trying to put more good inventory into the available pool because our math says we can create a greater recurring revenue stream and make all our other new GTLDs more popular by getting names out there and in-use than we can by holding them back and boutiquing them.”

    So what did the math say last year when he registered all these domains? Math itself doesn’t change, only the variables. Last year he thought he could be greedy and sell these in the aftermarket. After they didn’t sell for his aftermarket price now he’s trying to get the next highest price, which is the registry fee. Maybe next year the “math” will say he should run the .xyz $0.01 per domain promotion.

    Gordon Gecko would love Frank.

    • Anticareer the math did change and that’s addressed in his post. “…we didn’t have a working relationship with many retail registrars at that time”. I believe this is the reason they can feel comfortable letting this large pool of inventory into the wild. Just like anyone else selling a name you’d want to make sure you had enough market exposure and audience reach to get the fair market value price at time of sale. Now that they have the reach, it makes sense to scale this up even further.

      I believe the ultra premiums in all gtlds are going to rise in price much faster than people expect, and the counter to that is the long tail stuff, 2-3 words and others… will take much, much longer to sell.

  6. ” Last year he thought he could be greedy and sell these in the aftermarket. After they didn’t sell for his aftermarket price now he’s trying to get the next highest price”

    Trying to get the most for your names is a pretty standard business model.

    • He’s not transparent. Everything he does is in his best interest (which is fine) but he’ll tell you that it is in the best interest of everyone one (which it is not). In my eyes he’s gone from a good guy domainer to a used car salesman.

    • You are most likely right about Frank. He mainly says things to the domain investor community that is in his best interest, not that of domainers. After all, “domainers are supposedly his newgtld customers”.

      I also think Frank is lying when he said:

      “lol .. Far from it. : ) The cream is rising and new names are selling.. Many, many of these new names get strong type-in traffic (comparable to or better than .com names!).”

      Where is his proof that newgtlds are getting better type-in traffic than .com names? What a joke!

      Frank must be a politician; he sure knows how to make up good lies.

      We do own a handful of newgtlds, especially .NEWS and .LIVE domains, but to say they get better type-in traffic than .COM would be absurd—to be realistic.

      After all, most newgtld type-in traffics are from fellow domainers, not real end-users.


    • Well said. Why is he trying to convince us. Just act like a registry Frank. You have lost your credibility for domaining which i think you dont give a sh@t any more

  7. As a old traffic buyer myself I have a hard time believing traffic being greater on these new TLDs.

    Go take .biz, .mobi, .tv, .net, or any other legacy domain extension and none of them come remotely close to the traffic on .com unless there was traffic leakage from an existing site in those other extensions. Why would .shop or .club or .link be any different than any of the old legacy extensions?

    I have not played in any of the new TLDs so maybe I’m being shortsighted and commenting from an uninformed position, but why would the public start typing in these new TLD’s, especially if they don’t even know they exist? Awareness is next to nothing with the public.

    It would be nice for if someone, anyone, would share some of that hard data as an example. I have never seen one anywhere, shared by anyone.

  8. “I have not played in any of the new TLDs so maybe I’m being shortsighted and commenting from an uninformed position, but why would the public start typing in these new TLD’s, especially if they don’t even know they exist?”

    Yes, on “an uninformed position”.

    If you don’t own em you don’t know em.

    The public does not need to know an extension exists to type it in.

    • Gee that was helpful.

      Why does the public not know about them to type them in?

      I don’t know about you, but I have been buying traffic domains for 20 years, and know very well about other existing extensions and how those traffic patterns work. What’s different with these new, expensive domains?

      Answer this: Why do the old legacy extensions not have the traffic that .com has? And, why do these new extensions have traffic that’s strong, as you seem to be suggesting? I’d love to know a real answer other then you just making some blanket statement and not giving specifics.

  9. “Gee that was helpful.”

    Just replying since I have experience with these when you said you didn’t.

    Also just backing up what another long time player said here.

    Take it as you will.

  10. I would guess the great traffic he’s talking about was domainers looking to see if something was there.
    I can’t imagine people from the general public are typing in are thinking real sites will be there.

    It’s not “real” traffic going to expecting to apply for a loan or something.

  11. So, instead of Schilling’s registry holding these domains to sell, his registry is going to hold them until they’re sold. Sorry if I got that wrong, I’m a bit dizzy from all the spin.

    It’s time to admit the new gTLDs are dead. Always were. They weren’t needed, and the public doesn’t care.

    • Well said, Reality! The gtlds were snoozers from day one and were bound to suffer the same fate as mobi, tel, name, info, museum, travel, tel, xxx, biz, cat and coop. The new G’s never made sense to me, were too expensive and forced one to say the word “dot” in the middle. They leaked traffic, usually had high renewal fees and failed many email validation scripts. With so many synonyms available, the few consumers who actually cared were bound to get confused. Yep, it looks like the new gtlds have failed, yet again. No one reading this should be too surprised.

  12. “I would guess the great traffic he’s talking about was domainers looking to see if something was there.”

    I’m also inclined to think the traffic could just be “bull spit” on a basis like that, too; however, what about this possibility raised here:

    “Many do not realize, but gTLDs that form heavily searched for terms get a lot of traffic. I am sure it is by accident – people probably try to perform a Google search on their phone and hit . instead of the space bar, thus connecting the two words.”

    Do we have a “winner” with that in terms of valuable useful traffic or not?

  13. I Wish at this time we could hear from Mr. Rick Schwartz.
    I think this is what he predicted a year before they even came out.
    I can’t remember but was it .guru and .tips a couple of the first so called [NEW G’S] that came out?.
    I remember Mr. Schwartz laughing at the numbers from .rich and saying at that time, these will ALL die on the vine.
    I call him Mr. Schwartz cause i have never met him, but if it wasn’t for Mr.Schwartz and Mr. Berken’s i never would have jumped ahead of the curve and bought good 5N and good 6N .com’s and had the chance to make some decent cash in 2015.
    I thank them both…

    • Well maybe a small fortune, even just for gambling? I distinctly remember him posting that he was buying a bunch despite everything he had written.

    • Maybe not new, but he spent something close to $200,000 for when .mobi was supposed to be the next big thing.

      What’s any different about that purchase in any of these new, available extensions? Nothing as far as I can see.

      You can call .mobi a new extension as well. They are all in the same boat. People are just getting excited because there’s new ones. Once they’re not new nobody cares anymore. History repeats itself over and over each time a new extension is released.

      Even way back when during the rollout of .US (year 2000 ?) everyone crapped themselves over the new extension. Here we are in 2016 and .US does not really matter to much of anyone.

      .US had about 17 years to gain traction and it still has not. I know it’s a ccTLD but really it’s the same thing, and cheaper than these new TLDs.

      .TV ? Arguably the best extension ever released yet it can’t gain traction. Everyone in the world recognizes “TV”, yet here we are with no traction after countless years.

      Good luck trying to turn a profit out of these new extensions. You’ll need it. If you want to make money make it while the iron is still hot, don’t wait until nobody cares about your extension anymore. Those in the past made most of their money at the beginning, not later when it was obvious the new extension was going to be a failure.

    • You make some good points, but I was there for the release of .US too. From the start, people didn’t really care at all, except for the few that did. And those with a vested interest in .com certainly did not want to see it rival that. It’s also obvious both Neustar and the US government never wanted it to gain traction either, but to be exactly what it has been – relatively obscure, scarcely even known among the American public, and cared about even less. That it did not simply “gain traction” on its own is sad, too, but in general the public simply does not care or think about domain names, and even smart people often scarcely know what they are or what’s involved in having one. Had there been the slightest push to make the public aware and market .US, things would probably be very different for it now, like night and day, including perhaps if Go Daddy had become the registry when there was talk of that.

  14. Same story as always. Small percentage of these extensions will stick and the majority will fail. Doesn’t matter if 90-95 percent of them fail as doesn’t take much for the registries to turn a profit. So a small percentage of domainer’s make a good return on them while the majority of domainer’s lose their ass on a pipe.dream Hype it up and sell the shovels instead of the gold and when domainer’s crash oh well as long as we profited and unto the next .crap.

  15. It would be great to hear from Rick Schwartz who warned about the GTLDS long before they launched.

    The GTLDS have been a failure for the most part.

    According to posts by users on Namepros, many new domain investors have expressed their disappointment and anguish about having invested in these GTLDS & lost lots of cash.

    But you can’t blame the salespersons who are eager to sell these GTLDS to potential customers. Their loyalty is to their bank accounts, their shareholders, their operations, NOT to the wide-eyed customers who buy into the amazing “opportunity” that will be even bigger “in ten years” (LOL)

    They will hawk their wares until the last miner has collapsed, broken and bankrupt on the digital road to nowhere.

    Some registries will turn a profit. But most of the investors will get slaughtered which could lead to financial ruin, divorces, emotional health issues, foreclosures —- the usual.

  16. I like to see everyone doing well in this business, but these new gTLDs have always concerned me because there never was any real public demand for them. And there’s the rub. No matter how smart or clever we think we are, the public always decides. My brother and I have never bought a name based on what other domainers were doing. It was solely based on public usage and when I read that some are pinning their hopes on the future value of these new gTLDs based upon what other domainers will be doing, I know it’s a huge red flag. Market value will always be dependent on public demand. Period.

  17. “Are new gTLDs dead?”
    Come on Eliot?!
    Why do you even ask him this. What do you expect from the guy who invested so much money in newTLDs to reply you?
    Apart from that he said many things in the past and never kept promises later (just watch Schilling vs Schwartz conference regarding newTLDs).
    He is very manipulative.

  18. Whats so funny that more and more newTLDs report losses these days and those extensions are from the top newTLDs list as far as number of registrations is concerned.

  19. Your industry heroes have used abhorrent techniques and deception to artificially prime and convey false value with everything they have touched in the new TLD world… Ranging from hiring offshore groups to purchase non-tangible character strings in bulk to boost perceptions of acceptance right down to pooling millions together to sprinkle over various internal buys to provide the illusion of initial market acceptance. They were called out a year ago on what would happen when their seeds came time for renewal and with hubris dismissed it. The domain world is now full of get-rich-quick seekers that owners of major companies literally laugh at as easy targets – while they market to and only to this small niche. While most ad agency owners still will not employ .tv domains due to the complete lack of end user recognition. Major industry leaders giggle at the concept of bulk naivety driving sales at everything from false positioning of 4N’s as “Chinese character conversions” (completely bogus – false trend built for the purpose of bypassing currency controls for money laundering)to decisions to market new tlds to only domainers and avoid any marketing outside of the industry. Half of these new extensions already have global spam flags through decisions to cut throat them out at a $1 which filled spammer resources but made smart mail programs auto tank them as trash. Compounded by NO INTENT by Google to ever alter their algorithms for legitimate ranking or natural traffic generation. They have been selling woof tickets since day one while ICANN is having a field day as part byproduct of our current administration further trying to weaken this country by giving away oversight and control of the net to foreign interests. Wake up!

  20. When he says some of the new gtld domains are receiving more type-in traffic than better .coms, I’m pretty sure the traffic is coming from mostly resellers and not consumers. Consumer traffic is the only one that matters.

    And like most people, I don’t see this “demand” of the new gtlds that he’s talking about. Way too saturated and too many variables. Millions of keywords x thousands of extensions = too many options

    • And to think that it happened on Mulberry Street! NO ONE — I REPEAT — NO ONE — EVER says “Hmmm. I wonder what content I will find at _________.Crappy?”; whereas, people tack on .COM every minute of every day. For anyone to even suggest that new gtlds have a smidgeon of typein traffic is an insult to the intelligence of the readers of this domaining blog. Is this guy for real?

      Let’s nail up the coffin on the new gtld. Aside from spammers, registry insiders and overzealous trademark defenders, they have been dead since day one.

  21. “The Domainer” Frank vs. “The Registry” Frank

    two different things though he still wants us to believe they are the same.

    One is about quantity the other is about quality Frank.


  22. Okay, so speaking of TRAFFIC, is any real traffic the result of domain investors simply checking themselves to see if there’s a site or parking page up, or is the person I quoted from DomainNameWire above onto something, as in real accidental traffic by people searching? Scroll up to my post at September 19th, 2016 at 8:07 pm.

  23. New TLDs are new opportunity. Many of these domains will fail but (city-name).guide or (something).clothing will always win in the market because people travel and people wear clothes. .reviews and .software are very interesting too. I see that problem with new domains is small number of domain with a huge profit and others with zero value. .com domain rarely have a zero value except if domain name is like I am not sure what will happen with .somedomaintlds when company bankrupts. Will all domains be deleted including profitable domains or ….

  24. I really don’t feel people should blame an individual for trying to make a profit.

    The objective: to make revenues for the Company, NOT to put money into other peoples’ pockets

    I didn’t invest in the GTLDs, as I already owned an excellent domain portfolio, and even selling premium domains was challenging, so I passed on the GTLDs.

    But the owners of the GTLD strings, especially those who didn’t receive payouts for stepping out of auctions, had to come up with “creative methods” to salvage their investments…

    There has never been “demand” for these strings… most people know this.

    But whether it was .sucks, or .xyz, or .whatever, these persons would try to sell it. After all, it was easier than selling moonshine or snake oil, as there was no manufacturing involved….

    What I will predict: the credibility and reputations of many participants will plummet, and the naysayers, Schwartz, Mann, Berkins, will rise

  25. That’s one of the most amazing bit of spins I have seen. But then of course Frank can’t come out and admit that he got it wrong.

    I’m surprised the gTLDs have had this much time in the sun. The only reason they did is because the big players, seeing mega bucks, jumped in thinking they could drive the domain name market. Not surprisingly, that hasn’t been the case.

    Perhaps now we will see meaningful .com names get their true attention. I have seen so many great generics, which are their own brand, sell at ridiculously low prices because of this smokescreen created by Frank and his mates. I am thinking we will now see a new golden area for dot com, like in the late ’90s.

  26. With all due respect to Frank Shilling the market of not work as usual is not possible to search Google my domain name TLD. com and gTLD (xyz and club) and be a Marketplace which only Domain Brokers negotiate with one of the best Jeffrey Grabiel.

    I can not from where there is traffic on domain names in their domain parking I remember a post I leave out Frank from bad to do in your new domain parking, I have more traffic in one month that fly high in six months with Frank Shilling system, the fall be strong with news to be presented in the global market next year.

  27. The goal of the GTLD evangelists and participants was to extract monies from pockets, NOT to fill them

    Nothing wrong with that, if the products are NOT defective

    The pitch: a rainbow of coins, dreams, & amazing ROI, over that GTLD rainbow

    You can’t blame the sellers for not enough or too much rain.

    “more type in traffic than the .com domains” (LMFAO)

    & the Music Man plays on…

  28. Huh, the gtlds are still around? Based on consumer awareness, I thought they died two years ago. Why pay a premium to confuse your own prospective customers?

  29. Frank, are you dropping all the names with “traffic greater than .com” or are you keeping those for yourself?

    No need for anyone to search for traffic domains if you are keeping them.


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