Who Will Be The Winner?

After looking at the lists of new gTLD applications you have to wonder – who’s going to be the big winner? Like a beauty pageant, this latest round of new extension proposals sure has some pretty options. Some will do well. But it’s very likely that one will be the big winner, at least of the popularity contest. The vote will be decided partly by the number of registrations. The numbers will speak for themselves.

An interesting way to look at it right now, in the ‘pre-voting’ period, is by taking a look at the pre-registrations. UnitedDomains.com has some interesting data to share. They’re allowing people to pre-register names at no obligation. It shows some preferences towards some extensions.

The domain speculators are as busy as ever, and it almost reminds me of a Gold Rush mentality. Not too unlike filing mining claims on raw and unseen land far away. Before even thinking about booking and paying for the ticket to get there and mine.

According to the UnitedDomains.com pre-registration list – the top 10 to date are:

  1. .web – 106k+
  2. .shop – 64k+
  3. .site  Р46k+
  4. .hotel – 24k+
  5. .music – 20k+
  6. .nyc – 18k+
  7. .film – 15k+
  8. .eco – 14k+
  9. .berlin – 14k+
  10. .sport – 12k+

Over at SEDO – Theis Lindenthal published a very insightful study of the new gTLD’s that included some other factors. Here is their list, by rank, from an article originally published at DNJournal:

  1. .shop
  2. .web
  3. .site
  4. .music
  5. .hotel
  6. .one
  7. .blog
  8. .eco
  9. .sport
  10. .love

Thies says that he used a formula made up from 5 criteria that typically affect a domain’s value:

  • Number of applicants for the gTLD
  • Number of Google searches for keywords or terms within the new gTLD
  • Expected Cost-per-Click of online advertisements that include the gTLD as a keyword
  • Number of registered .COM domains that include the gTLD at the end of the keyword (e.g. MyShop.com as compared with My.Shop)
  • Number of pre-registrations according to UnitedDomains.com

Like many things – it usually pays to follow the money, and the experts. They’re not always right, but like trading stocks – the trend is your friend. Some smart domain investors will be watching the money and the experts. Some will take action in a very aggressive way. They don’t want to risk being left behind on what may be one of the biggest domain opportunities in years. There is a great post by Frank Schilling and some interesting comments on his blog SevenMile.com.

I’ve heard some say that they think that the flood of strings will remove billions of dollars from the established name space. And this may deflate high end values. Others feel that the rising tide will float all boats.

Regardless of what really happens – the coming changes will bless some and punish others. But the sun will still rise, the sky won’t fall, and there will be many more interesting domain stories to come. And good sales will still happen. Maybe the sales numbers and the extensions in the reports will just move around a bit. Definitely an interesting time in the domain business…..

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