Despite not having much of a financial stake with the new domain extensions at this point, I’ve been reading the Donuts blog with great interest as the company shares renewal data and insight. Since the vast majority of companies in the space are private, I did not expect to learn much aside from observations made using data from nTLDStats (or NameStat.org).
As a privately held company, Donuts does not have to publicly share its private data. In fact, most private companies in this space do not share beyond what is required. Donuts has been sharing though, and it is nice to see.
The information that Donuts is sharing is of interest to me both as an investor and as someone who covers domain industry news. It is useful to see renewal numbers, and it is also interesting to read Donuts’ interpretation of what they are seeing. For instance, I thought it was very interesting that Donuts believes “more expensive domains will renew higher, other factors being equal, as the registrants have ascribed more value to those names.”
This level of sharing will likely be beneficial to other registries, especially those with fewer domain extensions and less data. Although other registries are competing for registrations to some degree, I think there is quite a bit of coopetition in the new TLD space. They are competing on the registration level, but they are also working together to drive awareness and usage, which will ultimately help all of the companies in the space.
Aside from when a company has filed to go public, I don’t recall seeing any domain registrar or registry share data like this before. Most companies seem to prefer to keep their proprietary data private, but Donuts is not afraid to share it and open discussion. I certainly hope it continues, regardless of the direction the renewal rate. It would also be great if other registries follow suit with this level of transparency. Kudos to Donuts for sharing.