Following the new gTLDs has been interesting from a business standpoint. It puts into question “Is the distribution partner the most important component in the success of the new gTLD?” Do you have to sign with Godaddy to move from profitable to one of the top? After further research the answer is…in most cases yes.
Here is a breakdown of some of the top gTLD based on number of Registrations
1. XYZ ….Cheaters. We’ll throw them out
United Domains …8.2%
1&1 Internet 9%
Chengdu West ….55%
Xin Net ….14%
Foshan YiDong 9%
As far as Chinese or foreign gTLDs it shows Godaddy has no bearing on the success. Most European and Chinese don’t use Godaddy. But if you want the North American and English speaking market Godaddy and Enom are crucial to your success. Ask Frank Schilling. I don’t know his business model, but it looked like Godaddy wasn’t in his plans originally. Uniregistry just recently added Godaddy as a registrar to many of his new gTLDs but it wasn’t until after the initial release and numbers that were, according to general consensus, less than great. Uniregistry has a bit of a conflict of interest in that they are trying to compete against Godaddy and why would Godaddy want to fund a company that is trying to take away their customers? From a business standpoint, if I were Godaddy, there would be no way I would sell the domains of a direct competitor. Especially a competitor with the finances and expertise of Frank Schilling behind it. But I’ll let these two companies figure this one out.
It’s a little early in the game to make a complete conclusion, but looking at the top 10 it shows that .Link is the only “North American” name that doesn’t have Godaddy selling for them. There is probably some data behind why .link has so many registrations. It makes the least sense to me of all the top 10. But as I said before, this is a business and just because you don’t have a top ten name it doesn’t mean you aren’t making money as a gTLD owner. The break even is actually pretty low. Schilling is still going to kill it. And he may actually be making more money but not splitting it with Godaddy.
After looking at the number I also come to one other conclusion. I’d love to have a successful Chinese gTLD. When it’s all said and done, foreign gTLDs are going to dominate. While the English market is divided between thousands of new names, each country and language will have only a few. It doesn’t take a high percentage of a few billion people to make money. If .888 was allowed it would easily be the biggest gTLD of all.