By Duane J. Higgins
The new gTLD registrars are most certainly taking the "long view" regarding the prospective success of the new domain name extensions. With billions of dollars being invested in the new domain name extensions-the big time players are placing very calculated bets on the future of the Internet. (and the domain name industry as a whole) rather than much immediate success.
What will the Internet landscape look like in 10-20 years? No one has the slightest idea. What will the domain name landscape/marketplace look like in 10-20 years? No one worth their salt would place a bet in any direction there. There are so many question marks and only speculation.
Beyond the speculation I do have some givens that the new registrars are counting on as part of their calculus. Why else would the (at least four) largest players (Google, Uniregistry, Donuts and Amazon) be willing to pony up hundreds of millions of dollars each for just the chance at dictating this new domain name landscape?
Here are some givens that helped guide these big players to their investments:
1.) The registrars are counting on mostly slow and continued growth of their individual extensions. There likely won't be any wildly successful extensions right off the bat. Maybe .web or .shop and possibly others.
2.) Many (if not most with some extensions) of the registrations will be defensive in nature. Domain registrations done to protect name or proprietary interests. Defensive registrations. Some registries will have mostly defensive registrations and those numbers could number in the millions for those registries. That will be big profits.
3.) Speculative domain registrations will be rampant. There are already enough domain name speculators to cover this. Add in a few million new speculators to the mix and in some cases you will see a frenzy for certain extensions. That will be pure speculation. Registering domain names is too easy. All you need is credit card, paypal account or some form of payment. The costs are so low that theres essentially no barrier to entry. Why wouldn't many people jump on board and try to make some money? Why not take a chance on SanDiego.bike, Mystery.book, newage.music, or bankapp.financial? As I mentioned, the speculation (and frenzy) will be endless.
Some of the newest domain extensions are already available and hundreds and hundreds more will be introduced over the next few years.
Are you ready to place your bets?