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: