From a peak of 29.5 million in April 2017, registrations in new gTLDs have plunged to 22.8 million today, a plunge that seems set to hit 7 million as the decline shows no sign of stopping.
The fall-off has been greatest among the 3 largest of the new generic top level domains. What was once the largest, .xyz, peaked at 6.8 million in December 2016 and today stands at 2.3 million according to nTLDstats. .loan peaked at 2.4 million in January 2018 and today stands at 2.2 million. While .top peaked at 4.8 million registrations in January 2017 and today stands at 1.9 million. And among the big 3 the decline is set to continue with a combined 707,000 domains listed in pending deletes, the vast majority of which won’t be renewed.
But why the decline? For .xyz in particular there were hugely discounted promotions with low renewal rates. Experience has shown that while large discounts, or even free domain names, can raise awareness of a TLD, renewal rates are always low. The experience of the early days of .berlin reinforced this.
So what happens when a new gTLD keeps a stable renewal fee and seeks to promote itself widely. A good name also helps. One only has to look at .club. It’s the fourth largest of the new gTLDs and prides itself on no giveaways and no discounts. Today registrations stand at 1.3 million, a drop of 26,000 from its peak in late January. Innovative marketing ideas with consistent pricing have seen consistent increases in registration numbers in the close to 4 years since general availability.