My Take on The gTLD Winners

Last week, I shared my gTLD  predictions, and today I want to discuss who I think will come out ahead when it comes to new gTLDs and why I believe they are going to do well. Ultimately, this is about who will benefit financially from the introduction and sale of gTLD domain names.

ICANN – At $185,000 per application plus fees from auctions, ICANN will certainly make a whole lot of money from the introduction of gTLDs. ICANN has also been mentioned in just about every tech and mainstream article about the new domain extensions, and that publicity probably helps the organization that is looked at as the “governing body of the Internet.”

Domain Registrars – Domain registrars such as Go Daddy,, NameCheap, and others are going to sell a lot of gTLD domain names. Domain registries are going to rely on consumer facing domain registrars for “shelf space” on the registration and checkout pages, and registrars will probably be given solid commissions for sales. I am sure the registrar executives will also receive perks from the registries to ensure good placement.

Domain Registries – The companies that sell gTLDs are arguably taking on most of the risk when it comes to the new TLDs. They have put up the most capital, and they have the most to lose. While I am quite sure there will be a number of registries that lose money, there are going to be plenty that make a mint. I also imagine there will be registry sales to larger companies once revenue streams are established. This is going to be a profitable endeavor for many.

gTLD Consultants – There’s an adage that during the gold rush, the people who made the most money were those selling picks and shovels to gold miners. There are a number of highly experienced domain consultants working with registries and auction houses on new TLDs. Because this market is so specialized, there aren’t that many qualified people to assist with applications, sales, and auctions. Therefore, these specialized gTLD consultants can charge premium consulting fees for their expertise.

Small Business Owners – Assuming Google will rank local business that use gTLDs in its search results, and I think it’s a safe assumption given Google’s own gTLD applications, small businesses will gain from having the opportunity to register better keyword (and possibly more memorable) domain names.

IP Lawyers – There will be lots of lawsuits I would imagine, and the lawyers will be paid win or lose. Lawyers with intellectual property experience who represent brands and trademark owners will be tasked to litigate, and they will make a fortune.

Sales Venues and Auction Providers – A strong aftermarket will help fuel gTLD sales, and registries will need the assistance of aftermarket sales venues and auction houses to hold special auctions.The market is going to get crowded with hundreds of new gTLDs, so these venues should be able to make out very well by brokering sales and holding auctions.

Domain Investors  – As I said in my predictions, I think there is likely going to be confusion and  convertible  error traffic. I also think some gTLD users will want to buy the matching .com domain names and will have to pay domain investor prices. I also believe that gTLD registries will need to have domain investors participate in the launch, and there will be deals to be had and flips to be made as a result. With all of the attention being paid to domain names, I think it will bring new money into the fold, although I think caution needs to be heeded with respect to new investors.

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. Great post Elliot!

    You pretty much have every base covered.

    I think just something along the lines of ‘consumers’ would be appropriate.

    When all is said and done the end users are the reason behind these radical changes in the Domain Name System.

    Anyone who wants to buy a domain name will benefit from more choice. One of the buzz words of the whole process. Bloggers have .blog, ecommercers have .shop and the list goes on.

    For me one of the most exciting parts of the New gTLD programme is the categorisation of the Internet. We could see a shift to more targeted groups, social networks, advertising and discussions. Targeting is the way forward.

    Just my 2c

  2. Good post, are you going to do one on who will be the gtld losers? It would make a good complementary post to this one. I would start with domainers who go out and register tons of keywords that don’t match the extension (eg:, registries who get a gtld that ends up failing, the public who will become confused. There are probably others.

  3. if we were to make a list of gTLD losers, we can put “the internet as a whole” at the top of the list … assuming Amazon and Google walk away with most or all of the gTLDs they are pursuing

  4. Another very nice well thought out rendition of what is to come from the gTLD frenzy. It looks as though the research I’ve done from my end is there seems to be some equilibrium on both sides of the fence.

    Nevertheless, change is good or at least to some degree. Stake holders will obviously win in the end if things go as planned, however, if not then the .com becomes even more soever powerful. Switching gears, I have heard rumblings over the fact ICANN now has deep pockets and because of this the ICANN fee should be lowered if not waived.

    I am all for this and I bet there will undoubtedly be some legal wrangling over this issue as well. After all, can ICANN really continue to charge such a fee? In a sense I would have to call it price gouging at its greatest feat. If there were a Grand Jury investigation into the expenditures and an actuary I bet we would see a whole bunch of EX-ICANN peeps on the run… Kev

  5. Biggest Winner = Internet Censorship + Decentralization (and ICANN/registrars)

    Biggest Loser = Internet Users

    Just you wait … if these extensions actually work, it will be so easy to censor and block that which one does not like. Countries, schools, etc can block ENTIRE extensions by clicking a button. Oh, there’s a lot of obscene material posted by people with blogs on .blog … BLOCKED.

    Country A hates Country B …. .country B- related extensions BLOCKED or blacklisted or damaged reputation for all sites on said extension

    Porn extensions … BLOCKED or blacklisted or damaged reputation for all sites on said extension

    Many hacking/data breaches on .randomextension … BLOCKED or blacklisted or damaged reputation for all sites on said extension

    A lot of filesharing websites live on .oneparticularextension … BLOCKED or blacklisted or damaged reputation for all sites on said extension

    Counterfeiters carve their niche on .SHOP or other .extension …… BLOCKED or blacklisted or damaged reputation for all sites on said extension

    You get the idea.

    None of this was possible since everything was on .COM … you can filter but you can’t straight up block out .COM- you’d block everything. But, IF these gTLD’s actually work, then you heard it here first!

    /my prediction

  6. @ Elliot

    What do think about domainers who have registered “gTLD+keyword.coms “, do you think that they are going to benefit from all the attention that’s on the New gTLDs or have they wasted their money.

    Here are a few examples of what I am talking about that I’ve registered myself:

  7. oJohn, clearly you are a believer but I do not want to take away from your question to the web author, however, if you permit me to commit I would say you are on the right track. The reason being is simple, the .com will never go away as we know it today. So then, a few of your domain names can be used on the flip side of the new gTLD’s.

    Such as, this is a fairly good one to develop a web property about education about gTLD’s and perhaps where to find the best deals as the gTLD’s will surely fly off the shelves. To it could be used for dropped names as well along with a zillion other ideas. But the gist here is that you took that magic step in looking into the future and can see the light as many cannot. I took a chance on 3 one being Why? Well, if the theory proves to be correct then you can only guess how I will develop the name.

    You my friend are ahead of the curve and I must tell you…that your investment will be the subject for criticism. There are always nay sayers and haters out there who really just do not get it. But that is okay that is what makes it healthy. Just to let you in on a little insight, I have been offered a nice pretty penny for my GTLD sight of which I will not mention the name here but I declined the offer as I believe I am way ahead of the curve. Yes, the curve is a learning curve…but really who the hell cares…it is a minimal investment and if you win….then you did well.

    Out of all the crazy ass domain names I have purchased…so many people said you will never sell them…well I am here to tell you that was far from the case and yes I laughed all the way to the bank. I sold one a few months ago that had hyphens in it and it had major traffic and revenue… well I remember a time when everyone said if a domain name has a hyphen in it …then it is basically worthless.

    What fools… I recently brokered a domain name with five words and four hyphens a giant long tail of keywords…and let me tell you it generates about 2 million a year in revenue and has major traffic… So, when you receive criticism…do what I do ignore it….Kev

  8. @ Elliot

    What do think that the gTLDs are going to be referred to and advertised by big registrars like godaddy or enom, because most likely that’s what people will get to know them by.

  9. @ Kev

    Thanks for the word of encouragement, I hope that some of these domains can become useful in the near future, but Elliot is right since we won’t know for sure what the public will call these New gTLDs. We can only guess at this point and take a gamble on a few names which considering the low risk to high reward ratio that these domains have it could be considered a wise move.

  10. If you ask 100 random people between the ages of 18 – 60 what “TLD” means, you’d be lucky to get 5 who know. You’d probably only get 80% of people to know what a “domain name” is!

  11. @ Elliot

    That was funny 🙂

    I don’t mean to dominate the whole market by these domains, even if a small percentage of people call them gTLDs I will be happy.

  12. *

    To m,

    As a user, I should have the right to block whoever I want. Just as I would not like to admit a thug into my home, I need not admit p0rners, scammers, and spammers into my personal cyberspace.

    I think it’s a good thing that someone can block .xxx or .perv if she/he wants to.

    In addition, people who sign up for .church should not be shocked if the .church registry won’t allow them to register

    Freedom of press extends to the public arena, not private areas.

    If I don’t want someone uttering the f-bomb in my home, I have every right to ask them to stop or leave my home.

    If that person drops the f-bomb on my blog, yes, I will zap his/her comment, and I will not worry about violating anyone’s so-called rights.

    Freedom of speech is never absolute.


  13. ” Freedom of press extends to the public arena, not private areas. ”

    @ Ms Domainer

    The problem here is that the generic keyword TLDs should have been considered public property and should not have been given to a few private entities in the first place. Whoever owns these generic keyword TLDs will be able to control how they are going to be used and there is no guaranty that they will be used for the benefit of the Internet community as a whole.

    In my opinion the generic keyword TLDs (such as .church or .shop) should have been treated with a lot more control and oversight as far as whom were going to get them and how they were going to be used, because there is a danger of abuse as far as censorship or discrimination when it comes to strings like .church and there is a danger of creating monopolies and anticompetitive behavior when you give an Industry wide string like .shop to just one company.

    This goes beyond blocking what you might consider to be obscene in your own blog, the problem arises when the generic keyword TLD owners start blocking whatever they think is against their business, political, social, religious, and cultural interests and beliefs.

    Since five years ago I have repeatedly said that the generic keyword TLDs should be run by nonprofit organizations for the benefit of all people, but it seems that the ICANN insiders who are now working for private companies who have applied for many of the generic keyword TLDs have managed to divide this valuable public asset among themselves and their friends.

    I remember reading somewhere that you were also concerned about giving all these generic keyword TLDs to private entities, but it seems that all of our concerns have been ignored by ICANN, soon we will be faced with something that is finished and done with and can not be reversed easily, and I think that’s exactly how the ICANN insiders had planned this from the very beginning.

  14. I am with M on this one. I have been involved with the selling of gTLD’s (mainly branded) and read/ watch/ listen to just about everything that is happening in this space.

    Greed and power are involved but even more so, is the fact that when the internet was first released to the public all those years ago as a means of communication, those who invented it (US Military) and those that run it (US Government) had no idea that they would not be able to regulate it. .COM as M said is anything and everything but a Generic Top Level Domain is far more specific and it is far easier to “regulate” content on it.

    Between Amazon and Google they will have massive control over what we are allowed to see, read, watch on the internet (if the gTLD’s take off) and that is a major concern to me plus the fact that Google new privacy policy states that all their information can be supplied to the US Government means that via Google (if their gTLD’s take off) they will have even further access to your information.

    Further to that ICANN is a self appointed regulator of the Internet and only because of its backing from the US and financial stakeholders does the public think that there is no alternative system but in fact ICANN itself is being taken to task of the fact that many of these gTLDs have already been operating under another internet structure.

    Then the kickbacks that Ex board members are getting by firstly introducing the gTLDs and then jumping on to private enterprise to reap the rewards is just hilarious. It’s not illegal but it certainly takes the shine off of the entire sales pitch over why we “need” these new domains.

    The potential here is that we could lose freedom of speech, we could find that the information we are given is only what “they” want us to read, see, listen to. gTLD increase control to the few over the many. Forward this concept many years from now and its not a pretty site IMO.

    I know its a little paranoid but with so many connecting links its hard not to feel like our freedoms, our choices are being further eroded.

    Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Recent Posts

It Pays to Know Random Phrases

My eyes bulge out of my head sometimes when I see a somewhat obscure term in a domain name coming up for auction. Oftentimes,...

Monitor Landing or Parking Page Downtime

When I first started developing my domain names, I learned the importance of downtime monitoring. On some of my growing websites, there would be...

Squadhelp is Reinvesting and So Am I

Squadhelp CEO Darpan Munjal shared a series of tweets about the growth of the platform. Darpan shared that revenue last month was higher than...

If You Want to See a Stampede, Look No Further Than This…

If you're seeking engagement on Twitter in the domain name space, the best thing you can do is tell people you're looking to buy...

Nick Huber: “drop a little coin” for a Premium Domain Name

I do not know Nick Huber, but I see he has a large following on Twitter and frequently offers advice to startup founders and...