Poll: Will .com “Lose Dominance” by 2020?

There’s an interesting article in The Telegraph today that discusses domain names and cites a report from NetNames.  From the article:

“According to NetNames’ Internet 2020 report, 92 per cent of large companies in the US, Britain, France and Germany are planning to invest in new domain names over the next three years, and 46 per cent say they already have begun to invest in this area.

Although .com will remain popular, registrations of new domain names will significantly overtake new registrations of .com and .net, as these established domains become saturated, according to NetNames.

I haven’t seen or read the NetNames report (and I don’t see where the report can be downloaded), but I would certainly say this prediction is provocative.

I am unsure if the prediction is that there will be fewer .com and .net registrations than other TLDs by 2020 or if they are predicting that the velocity of .com and .net domain name registrations will be surpassed by other TLDs by 2020. For instance, I can’t tell if they think the total new gTLD registrations will be greater than .com and .net or if they think in 2020 more people will be choosing gTLDs over .com and .net names.

With the ICANN 50 meeting taking place in London this week, I am sure this article and report will be a talking point today.

I invite you to vote in the poll below to share whether you think this prediction will come true. As always, you are invited to share your thoughts on this in the comment section, especially because the prediction mentioned in the article can be interpreted in different ways.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com 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. GTLD’s are looking more, and more like a bust week after week. End users do no like uncertainty in renewal rates going forward with a lack of price caps. Also premium renewals are a sticking point. I see continued dismal numbers as domainers are starting to pull investment from the space as well. The more I look at the keyword dot ending, the stupider it seems. Reminds me a lot of AOL and their keyword system
    back in the day. Best of luck to you investors, I just can’t find reasoning enough to back it.

  2. I assume they mean more new registrations as again, the tired inaccurate “all good .com’s are taken” line makes an appearance. since there are no more good .com to register, people will register the new gtlds. if they think there are going to be more than 100 million new gtld domains by 2020, they are out to lunch.

  3. 2001, it was .biz and .info “will surpass .com by 2010”, 2006 “.mobi and mobile web will kill .com in 5 years”

    If anything, domains in general will be fighting for their life by 2020 from mobile apps, voice search, wearable tech, virtual reality, etc. Where will desktop web and direct navigation be in 2020?

  4. I think it is more likely that an alternative solution entirely to corporate identity / personal identity online – without a url or domain name – will be created before .com loses it’s stature as the most recognisable, respected and valuable resource. That will probably be more dependent on the global replacement of email as a communication medium than anything else and the closest anyone has probably come to that is twitter with @handles.

  5. Elliot, you had the same questions I had when I read the report this morning.

    If Icann continues to roll out thousands and thousands of gtlds, the total numbers probably will over .com (and net) total registrations. How many will be defensive registrations? At some point, Unilever, P&G, etc will say – “enough is enough”.

    The major winner from rolling out all of the gtlds will be google and yahoo because of the confusion. Someone looking for a particular company, product or service will not be able to remember the url. Or much less guess.
    (.ie, I can not remember – is my real estate agent at
    Elliot.realtor , Elliot.realestate , Elliot.realty , Elliot.land , Elliot.farm , Elliot.coldwellbanker , Elliot.broker , elliot.properties , Elliot.agency , Elliot.global , Elliot.sales , Elliot.casa , Elliot.link , Elliot.community , Elliot.xyz , Elliot.nyc , Elliot.email , Elliot.company , .)

  6. We like real estate analogies in the domain game. So I will use another one. In all likely hood 80% of the domains registered by 2020 will already exist today.

  7. I don’t think it will “lose dominance” in 2020 but dot com will certainly have noteworthy competition by then. Sooner or later large companies will start to play with new gtlds in their marketing, that’s for sure. They can always go back to .com if things don’t work out so there isn’t much to lose for them…

  8. *

    Companies MIGHT use their .brand in their marketing, both on TV and the web.

    If they don’t, then the new gTLDs are pretty much dead in the water.

    Of course, predicting the future is tricky, and one does not know what technological “disruption” might occur that could turn everything on its head.

    For now, .com is safe.


    • Who is putting out these stupid PR’s, I bet you Donuts is on the phone right now trying to unload some of their reserves, no way .com’s will be sucked into this end vaccum… GTLD’s are the twilight zone, everything that has been predicted has pretty well come true. Keep on gaming boys

      • I didn’t receive a press release – I saw a Google News alert about the article in The Telegraph.

        I am a bit surprised I didn’t receive the report from NetNames though.

      • I couldn’t see anything on the netnames blog or their website. Sounds like pr. Doesn’t look like anyone but the torygraph has picked it up though. Probably because it’s pointless fluff.

  9. Wait – a company that sells corporate domain names has put out a report that says more corporates should buy more domain names? I AM SHOCKED

  10. Shocking nobody has a link or has actually seen the report (sarcasm).

    Puff piece where the source of information is selling new gtld services.

  11. This is a total side note. I think it’s important, however, and not sure how many would even be familiar with it. I wasn’t:

    “Exposing hidden domain registrations could hurt innocent users more than criminals”


    PC World is of course a top publication. Apparently this change is set to happen in a few weeks:

    “An ICANN spokeswoman could not immediately comment on the researcher’s findings. The organization is scheduled to kick off the development of its Online Accuracy Reporting System on July 15.”

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