My Take on New gTLD Registration Numbers

I’ve been following along on the reported numbers of registrations for new gTLD domain names. Earlier this morning, I shared my thoughts on what  sunrise registrations  might mean.  According to Domain Incite, as of March 5, there were just over 200,000 domain names registered in the new gTLD extensions (As Kevin comments below, this figure doesn’t include brands protected with Donuts’ DPML).

This is a lighter number than I anticipated would be registered by this time. My anticipation isn’t based on anything more than a gut feel I had along with an assumption that there would be more companies looking for “brand protection.” I don’t know for sure if this number is lower than the domain registries anticipated and projected, but I have a feeling the registration numbers aren’t as strong as many hoped.

Despite this, I don’t think these numbers are all that critical at this juncture. Yes, I am sure the registries would have loved to get more revenue at the outset, but I would imagine most are looking at the new TLDs as a long term play. It’s going to take time for companies and people to learn about these domain names, and suffice it to say, domain names aren’t a high priority for many businesses who may only care about their domain names when they are renewing them and when they need to buy a new domain name for a business or special project.

If this trend continues over the long term, it may not bode well for some registries, especially niche registries that may not have great expectations as is. Break even and profitability for individual registries isn’t a huge number, but if they didn’t (or don’t) get as many defensive registrations as they predicted, it’s probably going to throw off projections and make it more challenging to reach break even and profitability.

For most registries, especially those whose extensions have a big footprint and potential user base, I think it’s still far too early to offer any accurate prediction of success or failure based on the numbers that are being reported at this point. From my perspective as an observer, the most critical aspect for registries is the development and usage of their domain names, which will contribute to awareness and growth. As evidenced by the growth of .CO, if people use the domain names, the money will continue to flow.

While the number of registrations may not appear to be strong at the outset, especially compared to previous TLD launches (.XXX, .CO, .EU…etc), I think it’s too early to determine how things will go in the long term.

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. Remember that the 200,000 doesn’t include brands protected with Donuts’ Domain Protected Marks List. If DPML didn’t exist, I expect the number would be larger than 200,000.

  2. To add perspective to Elliot’s comments I would like to add that as of 6:00am ET, 3:00am PT Friday according to

    registrarstats . com/TLDDomainCounts.aspx:

    There is :

    5,703,555* DOT Info (3200 New on that date)

    2,659,376* Dot Biz (nearly 3000 new on that date)

    1,818,066 Dot US (also nearly 3000 new on that date)

    1,051,781 Dot Mobi (259 registred that date)

    158,620 Dot Name

    146,901 Dot Tel

    113,307 Dopt Pro

    Not sure where to find the Dot Tv data.

    Draw your conclusions.

    *domains registred

  3. The reg fee for a lot of these GTLD’s is pretty high, and considering GTLD’s have a long history of pooping out, I’m actually surprised they registered as many as they did.

  4. In my opinion it is pretty phenomenal considering most of the domains actually worth registering are reserved for future auctions or direct negotiations with the registries. If most of the good stuff wasn’t reserved the registration numbers would be probably 10x higher or more.

  5. If Google starts giving away .whatever domain names complete with free hosting and easy website development so that it’s very easy for the average Joe to get a name and build a community, then a lot of the new gTLDs will be finished.

    • Kassey- Yep I keep saying this. With that in mind it so important to save your money for a just a few extensions and go with a generic one word. To many people are buying two words with the new extensions UGHHH.

      As I have said BIG G has around 450 gmail accounts, drop a Free domain name in the promotions box and your done. I see only two extensions doing any good, .web and .app but it depends on who ends up owning them in the end. That will be the kicker.


  6. “I think it’s too early to determine how things will go in the long term.”

    Not really, I think it’s a pretty good indication and not a good one. You mentioned .co but it’s like .com and the upcoming .web, in that you can put any keyword with it, unlimited supply of keywords. These extensions that are out now, not the case. Limited supply of keywords that make sense and usually gobbled up quickly by domainers.

    • I think dot web is going to be a big flop as well. There are plenty of other tlds that mean the same as dot web. If I could short it I would. The positive of dot web is it sounds like it came out 15 years ago….. and already flopped

    • “There are plenty of other tlds that mean the same as dot web.”

      There is only 1 coming out that you can put any keyword with, one that registrars like GoDaddy could put some advertising dollars behind, like SB commercials. It’ll easily be #1 of the new extensions. It should pass .co numbers. If .pw did 250,000+ and .co about 1.6 million, .web will do more. It’s a no brainer.

    • I view .WEB as one of the better new TLDs but place it on par with .INFO Now, there have been some nice one-word .INFO sales but generally speaking .INFO is really difficult to sell. So we are still looking at an illiquid investment though probably better than many of the others. I have a broker marketing a couple of one-word .NETs of mine and when I read the replies from some of the companies for what I view as a very brandable name, it makes me cringe at the idea of regging any new TLD. How long has .NET been around? I see lots of small companies using .NET and yet many folks could care less about a .NET domain. Imagine their respone on a .whatever. Things could potentially change ten years down the road but that is a long time to be paying renewals without sales to cover them.

    • I suspect they’ll get a good number of domineer registrations, but the term is very dated, who talks about the “web” anymore?

    • Doesn’t matter, nobody called it the com.

      The fact is, it’s general in nature.

      Very common term, in fact if you check Google exact match:

      net – 368,000
      web – 1,000,000

      Look at the numbers now with the new ones. I only see 4 that passed 10,000, some more will get there soon. Many just a few thousand. Pretty bad.

      What did .co do, like 300,000 regs first week?

      I think .web is better, so the reg numbers should bear that out.

    • So far the only people who have touted .web, have been in the 40+ club, that seems to give me some direction of who thinks this is still relevant. Domain Shane has it right, it might get warehoused, and traded among domainers, but I don’t see an end user investment market for it.

  7. Long term play, make sure you have $$$ set aside for extreme renewals, and be ready to wait it out at least 5 years. Nobody can predict anything at this point. All I know is people are still buying .com on a daily basis.

  8. There are still a lot of TLDs to be released in the coming months and I don’t believe the top ones – .WEB etc have been released yet. If it were not for the reserved names, there may have been more registrations but the registries hopefully are looking at these reserved names as long-term plays just like those investing in these extensions should be. It is hard enough to sell a .COM even when your domain is better than what a business owns already. Try marketing a .Net, .Info, .TV etc and the challenge is even more difficult. I hate to imagine the effort involved to sell a typical new TLD registration to an end user. Remember, your time has a value.

  9. “While the number of registrations may not appear to be strong at the outset, especially compared to previous TLD launches (.XXX, .CO, .EU…etc), I think it’s too early to determine how things will go in the long term.”

    The only reason these numbers are low is because these gTLDs are to niche specific and the obvious one is there is to much competition and the competition is only going to get more intense. There have been 32 new extensions launched but the only one that is truly universal is .Guru and .Guru sucks. These numbers will continue to be low until more universal extensions are launched.
    In the end this is going to be a huge bust for the independent extensions. Donuts, Uniregistry etc…..will succeed even if the numbers are low in their less popular extensions. As a business they could care less how many each one individually gets because the most important number is what the total between all of their extensions is. It takes a lot of people to run one of these new extensions but it only takes a few extra people to run 10 of them at once.

  10. Pretty clear that things are already falling apart. If a poll had been taken before the rollout very few people would have predicted as low as 200,000.

    The level of sunrise registrations suggest very low corporate interest (and it isn’t just donuts, look at the other extensions). For domineers, you can see from blog comments that 2/3 are not interested in buying any of these. These are major cracks to be happening so early in my view and it isn’t boding well for later releases which will get even less interest in the main (except for some very broad extensions).

    Most registries will probably survive but it is going to be a terrible return for investors, would expect the layoffs to start in 12 months or less.

    • Most people have publicly stated they’re not interested in the new gTLDs, but yet on the forums, yet it seems a lot of those same detractors are “taking a chance” on the new gTLDs, sometimes into the dozens. I find it interesting that even some veteran .”com” guys have ventured into speculating in gTLDs. I’ve pre-registered exactly one.

  11. Elliot,

    I compare the new tlds with the introduction of additional toll-free phone numbers.The .com is equal in importance to the “800” and will remain so albeit the “888” is in strong demand. 877,866 and 855 are just after thoughts.The success of the new tlds will require tremendous investments on the part of their sponsers and will be measured by the acceptance of consumers.The big corporations will always want their 800 numbers and .com addresses.

  12. The numbers don’t necessarily need to be high to sustain the registry if the registry operates efficiently. I think Donut’s higher prices for registrations is a smart play, because they have already taken in millions of dollars in revenue and it has just been a few weeks. And the company has over $100 million in VC financing as a startup, which is a remarkable accomplishment in itself.

    I see the making of a disruptive business model, and I am sure the company will achieve profitability and sustainability without hoards of domainers jumping on the bandwagon. Wait until there are a few big sales and more domain investors will be running to the mountains to search for gold, but they are going to have to work a lot harder for it.

    I’m betting on the registry as much as or more than any specific gTLD extension. Can the registry achieve profitability and sustainability?

  13. It all depends on how much the large corporations push them.

    Think about marketing campaigns. Think of how nice it would be for a company such Intuit to have a marketing campaign for TurboTax. “”

    Plus, seeing that many of the larger corporations operate as the Registry for these gTLDs, I’m positive there will be gTLDs used in various marketing campaigns (Commercials, magazines, etc.).

    Corporations use the names and put it right in everyones face, allowing the gTLD’s to be come more relevant. And then you have consumers and small/medium sized businesses buying them up.

  14. Dot Web…The Web… La web …the World Wide Web

    It sounds so Stone Age, last century (which it is), back to the 1990’s, so passé
    who on earth still says that…?
    I am on the web. uh!
    Homer Simpson?

    I am amazed to hear some domainers are interested on this extension…

    Good luck finding buyers in the aftermarket (and that really goes for nearly ALL the new gTLDs/ aka upcoming Rolling Tumbleweeds)


  15. gTLD’s should be considered very high risk investments. Every successful investor’s asset portfolio should have a small percentage allocated for high risk investments. Those offer incredible returns when and if they hit. Most all will be an investment loss however. But, you’ve got to hope you get one or two winners to cover all your losses and make a profit. And of course you get the fun and rush that high risk speculation like gambling provides.

    I don’t think the focus should be on the extension, instead try to focus on acquiring great one worders. The keyword quality is always the key to increasing your resale odds.

    P.S. Hey Elliot what happened to the Like / Dislike buttons?

  16. What’s Stone Age are people thinking it just stands for World Wide Web. Ever hear of website? Where you just posted your comment? Missed the part about 1 million searches a month, or that it’s the most watched new gtld, etc?

  17. Two more very important considerations that will impact domain name investing.

    1. The ultimate game plan is to have way more TLDs than just this first batch of a couple thousand. Who knows how far this will go. What happens if they open the floodgates?

    2. Domains are becoming less relevant. I saw a very eye opening infographic last week showing the majority of Internet users are not only surfing the Net via smartphones and tablets now, but also using apps for the majority of their Net website engagements instead of traditional direct URL input and search style surfing. And as the sophistication of Search Assistants evolves at the rapid pace it is, this will even further erode natural type-in traffic.

  18. Now trending … really make that “free falling”
    3)Sri Lanka
    5)South Africa….

    Instead of a coward/anonymous “Dislike” how about debating the issues…

    Dot Web is Better than Dot Net because…?

    Explain why there is 400 to 500,000 Dot TV registrations, some which are extremely intuitive keywords (such as and others from the same portfolio) and yet the extension has gone nowhere?
    in spite of beign one of the most beautiful shortest and already positioned/cemented in our daily talk/life/culture extension?
    I am all ears.

    • Because the percentage of domain names in extensions beyond .COM ever being successfully developed, advertised, marketed and grown into anything of significance and public awareness to the extent of .COM’s is virtually nil.

      All anyone has to do is look at your own surfing history and do a graph of the number of .com websites you go to every day vs all the other extensions.
      99.999999% are .com websites for everyone. It’s a .COM Internet.

      Hundreds of Trillions have been invested in branding .COM domains since the Net began. No other extension has that kind of massive capital investment for branding, advertising and marketing behind it nor ever will.

    • Yes, .TV seems to be intuitive but admittedly is illiquid. Some developers use it for video-oriented websites but tend to go with reg fee domains rather than acquiring aftermarket .TV domains. That is the likely scenario for many of these new extensions. End users which decide to run a short campaign on one of these extensions will have plenty of choices to choose from and will easily be able to find a two-word reg fee option – kind of like Hollywood when they launch a new movie and use

  19. It seems that the registrar are keeping all of the names that make sense or are premium back for their auctions..

    I am surprised by the numbers, and even more surprised that i have taken a few punts and registered a few (under 10). With all these new gTLD i think the more they release the less domineers will have interest and the numbers will fall.. just my 2cents

  20. This all will lead to the ‘Great Domain Collapse’ where every extension will collapse except for .Com, .Info, and country codes. This was a terrible idea from the start and reminded me of early pyramid schemes where the bulk of money was made in applications and new member registrations. They tried to convince anyone that was signing up that they had a product and they weren’t a scheme, but in the end thats all it was; a revenue generating scheme. I pick .Com, .Info, and country codes because Most companies and businesses still don’t understand the true value of a .COM, and .info along with country codes sales are growing every day. By 2016 the .whatever collapse will bring awareness to what ‘good’ domains are, increasing their value, and sinking extraordinarily bad names like

  21. Personally, I’m not interested in new TLDs.
    I may be called old fashioned but, why being a “guinea pig” buying new TLDs when there’s plenty of .com, net and org available?
    Just takes a bit of creativity and thinking out of the box.
    In other words. Do what others are not doing.
    Of course, this is what works for me so far.

  22. Personally, I’m not interested in new TLDs.

    I may be called old fashioned but,
    why being a “guinea pig” buying new
    TLDs when there’s plenty of .com, net
    and org available?

    Just takes a bit of creativity and thinking
    out of the box.
    In other words. Do what others are not doing.

    Of course, this is what works for me so far.

  23. Well guys. I thing that we are in a point were INTERNET will change forever. It´s true that the .COM extension is the most , valuable and brandable extension (UNTIL NOW) but the things are goin to change. In the NEW internet with more tan 1000 extension shorter domains will be better & brandable domains as well.
    Example: is better than (sold for $13M) is better tan (see the diffrence, is shorter) is better tan (sold for $36M) is better tan

    I own the domain name “” and I thing that this is one of the most valuables domain names for the domain industry/business. I will accept offers but I wont sell under $2,000,000 USD

    TRADE is defined as ‘the exchange of goods, services and currencies between two or more parties’, and for most countries worldwide, international trade forms a significant element of their gross domestic product. In recent decades, retail businesses have witnessed enormous changes in the way their trade is most successfully conducted, largely moving away from a focus on the high street to a boom in online retail, or ‘e-commerce’.

    • The problem with your references is that those domains are in the extreme minority. I think by now everyone knows that any of the new.whatevers That make linguistic sense are worth some money. However the problem is that the rest of them are such garbage that you might as well just buy a .mobi because it makes no difference. The whole “internet will change forever” mantra sounds like you have been sold on a pitch that registrars don’t even believe themselves. Since there are so few that make linguistic sense, it will tank the rest of them devaluating all names in that extension. Also. People like uniformity. 1000+ new extentions is confusing to the average internet user today, which means it will most likley take 30+ years for the masses to even ‘get’ the new extensions. Most people ise the internet, but I promise you that there is a HUGE segment of the population that doesnt even know that .net exists. Your $2m pricetag is sitting 30 years in the future, and thats a long shot.

    • “I own the domain name “” and I thing that this is one of the most valuables domain names for the domain industry/business. I will accept offers but I wont sell under $2,000,000 USD”

      Nice catch, You should be able to get that no problem on Ebay, maybe more.

      Never mind the others, they are nothing but naysayers that don’t know how valuable GTLD’s will be, I just bought one the other day, it’s very close to and since you trade in domains I’m making this one time offer, I’m willing to trade mine for your domain plus $2 Million more, I’d ask $15 Million but since were GTLD amigos, I’m offering it at a reduced price, Please thing about it OK?

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