It’s widely believed that one of the reasons that the .CO Registry launch was so successful was due to the financial “support” of domain investors who purchased a great deal of .CO domain names.
Some investors bought domain names for development, and others bought them for speculative reasons. I’ve discussed at length the reasons I think .CO makes sense, so I will spare you those details, but I think the money that domain investors spent was a big reason for the very successful launch of .CO.
That brings me to ask this question: Would new gTLD registries survive and thrive without the support of domain investors?
I am sure companies that want to run registries will look at the .CO launch and maybe even .MOBI launch results to model out the potential for their own registry. Should domain investors not heavily invest in every new gTLD, one can assume these modeled numbers will be way off. If that’s the case, the ability to survive on much less cash flow could be compromised.
My gut says that with the considerable costs of applying for a gTLD, cost of legal defense related to trademark holders, and the expense of marketing the gTLD to a non-domain proficient audience (businesses in the local markets of geographic gTLDs), it will be difficult for new gTLDs to thrive without significant investment from domain investors.
Do you think a new gTLD would survive and thrive without investment from domain investors?