That answer depends on who you ask. Let’s be honest – anyone that has some skin in the domaining game will be biased to a certain extent. On one side, you have the old school domain investors who live and breathe .COMs. Then you have the new school domainers and startups that are investing in the new gTLDs. To be fair, there are a handful of old school domainers who do invest in some of the new extensions, but it only represents a small fraction of their total investment.
I’m only a hobby domainer, so I don’t think my bias is as deeply rooted as many others who have more money vested. However, I do have my opinions about the new gTLDs. My guess is that a very few of the new gTLDs will survive in the long run. I may be alienating some of my readers by taking sides on this issue, but it is my honest opinion and nothing more.
Why do I think that most of the new gTLDs will fail?
- The domain industry is flooded with these new gTLDs. Many of the new domain extensions are repetitive in nature. Which should I go with? .NET, .WEB, .WEBSITE, or .SITE?
- Too much supply and not enough demand. Eventually, registrants will drop them and go with better options.
- ICANN originally predicted 33 million new gTLD domain name registrations by Fiscal Year 2015: July 1, 2014-June 30, 2015. They were way off… we’re currently at only 6.7 million new gTLD registrations. And sadly, a very small fraction of this number actually represents end-users.
- Most consumers do not even know these new gTLDs exist! And for some that do come across them, they won’t understand what they are.
- Most of the registries are hoarding most of the good/premium domains. What?! What happened? I thought the whole purpose of releasing these new gTLDs was to create a level-playing field for everyone. Now you want to charge premium prices on all the good domains?! Might as well go buy a premium .COM.
- .COM is not the only competitor to the new gTLDs. You still have to contend with .NET and .ORG in the 2nd and 3rd spots.
Now, why do I believe .COM is king and will continue to be?
- Over 50% of all developed websites use a .COM as the domain. There are nearly a billion active websites as I write this. No other TLD comes even close.
- .COM is the most trusted domain extension in the eyes of consumers.
- .COM is deeply engraved into the minds of consumers. When people think of a website, they immediately think of “keyword + .COM”.
- .COM is still in great demand. We’re seeing record-breaking .COM sales despite the availability of the new gTLDs.
- The world domain market, especially China, is pushing the overall value of .COMs up.