jmccormac - 4:00 am on Nov 22, 2013 (gmt 0)
There is a global trend away from the non-core gTLDs towards .com and the local .ccTLDs. In many countries where there is a mature market, the local ccTLD has more registered domains than the numbers of .com domains registered in that country. I do a rough gTLD count by country of hoster table each month and these trends have been evident for a while now. Just on the Irish market alone, where the .ie domains are three times more expensive than .com domains, these are the market percentage breakdowns of the core TLDs (.ie/.com/.net/.org/.biz/.info/.eu):
TLD share of Irish domain market: IE:48.64% COM:41.16% NET:3.82% ORG:2.40% BIZ:0.59% INFO:0.77% EU:2.61%
TLD share of Irish website market IE:50.96% COM:39.95% NET:3.39% ORG:2.22% BIZ:0.51% INFO:0.62% EU:2.33%
The .eu figures are probably more accuate than Eurid's as they consider Irish registered and hosted .eu domains rather than cyberwarehousing operations using Irish front companies. The number of identified Irish .eu domains is approximately 10,051.
The com/cctld axis in the Irish market accounts for approximately 89.80% of the core TLD footprint. The same com/ccTLD axis exists in other countries and this is what the new gTLDs will be up against.
I think that much of what drives the new gTLDs is the greed that drove Domain Tasting. Indeed some of the players are the same. While there is a need for some of the new gTLDs, the reality is that many new gTLDs have their genesis in what was a period of artificial scarcity of domain names in .com and other TLDs. This was because domains were being tasted on an industrial scale and I consider the board of ICANN to have been complicit. The average would-be registrant didn't even get a chance of registering a domain in the normal drop process because the drop process itself was subverted. ICANN was shamed into introducing what was effectively a restocking fee in order to limit Domain Tasting. It worked. And then the registrars moved on to creating their own aftermarket auctions thereby subverting the drop process again for their own benefit. And now we have all these new gTLDs for which most people never asked and about which they couldn't care less. And that's the kicker. If people don't care about these new gTLDs, they will just go on registering their ccTLDs and .com at the same rates as before.
The advertising for some of these new gTLDs is heavy on using fear as a motivation: "register your name now before somebody else does". There's even a bit of a whiff of 2007 Domain Tasting off some of the strings. The seem to exist in a world without ccTLDs. Perhaps the US market is big enough to accommodate them all but many of them will fail to get traction and I think that's why some are moving to convert as many of the reservations as possible to registrations. For them, there will be no Landrush frenzy. However the fanboys, fangirls and new gTLD "experts" will all be saying how great things are... for a while. But there will be some successful new gTLDs and for every .tel there may be a .mobi or a .info.