A couple of weeks ago, I posted an article about who I think will do well financially with the new gTLDs. That came on the heels of my gTLD prediction article. Today, I want to discuss who I think will be the losers when gTLDs are introduced and go to market.
Trademark and Brand Owners – No matter what is done by ICANN and domain registries to assist trademark owners, cybersquatting on new gTLDs is going to be a big problem, especially if/when consumer adoption takes hold. Brand owners will have a choice of spending money to secure their brand domain names or taking a risk that someone else will purchase them. I do realize that many don’t own their TM in ccTLDs, so the concern may be a bit overblown.
gTLD Registries – Some of the gTLD extensions don’t make any sense to me. Others make sense but the market is very limited. After spending $200k for the application, having hundreds of thousands of dollars locked in escrow, and spending much more money on operations, there are going to be some big failures.
Domain Speculators – If an extension makes public registrations available and there aren’t limits to how many a single entity can own, domain speculators will buy many keyword domain names. There will always be people buying worthless domain names, and there is going to be a lot of money spent buying names that won’t be worth anything. For instance, purchasing Insurance.Green doesn’t really make sense to me.
Non-.com Domain Investors – There are going to be hundreds of new choices when it comes to buying domain names, and I think it will be more difficult to sell alternative extensions like .net, .biz, .mobi, and others. Right now, many people buy them simply because the .com is unavailable and it’s the next best alternative. If there are more relevant keywords, there is less reason to buy those domain names, especially at premium prices.
Non-.com Domain Registries – Similar to the reason above, it’s likely that domain registries will see a drop off on registrations as domain investors and small businesses spend their money on more relevant gTLD extensions.
General Public – I think it’s going to get very confusing when brands start using .Brand and others begin promoting alternative extensions. People tend to flock to what they know when there is confusion, and I think there will be plenty of confusion at first.
Who else do you think will lose when it comes to new gTLDs?