Recently I’ve had a few people ask my thoughts on how the introduction of new gTLD’s will affect values of existing TLD’s so I’m going to share my thoughts in this post.
First of all, I think this process is still going to take longer than many people realize. Sure, applications will start in January and by 2013 you may be able to start registering these new TLD’s that have been approved and successfully implemented in the the DNS system. There are however, many hurdles that still lie ahead before this happens as Kevin Murphy points out in this interesting article he published recently. I expect to see more setbacks, glitches and legal battles that will draw out this process for years to come. This does not mean the those applicants that really have their ducks in a row should be too worried, just prepared.
How will new TLD’s affect .COM? I’ve said this many times to domain investors I’ve talked to over the last few months. I believe that the value of .com domains will really begin to soar over the next 2-5 years and will continue to rise for at least for the next 15 years beyond that during the ‘consumer confusion stage’. This mass confusion will make new and existing website operators really consider paying top dollar for the .COM they want. I think it will take at least 15 years before .whatever’s really start to dilute the value of .COM. Another bubble? Maybe. I hadn’t really thought of this, but when Rick Schwartz said that new TLD operators need the .com counterpart to their .whatever on his blog, that really made sense.. duh!
The affect on .NET? Tough for me to say this but I think that the introduction and marketing efforts of .CO has already hurt the value of .NET and I think new gTLD’s will offer more brandable solutions than .NET domains. In short, I think .NET is the biggest loser in this whole deal.
.ORG – I believe .ORG domains will at the very least hold their value but will most likely see an increase as well over the next 5 years. I read somewhere that .org will probably be vying for the .NGO TLD (could stand for ‘Non Governmental Organization’). I wonder what they would do with it if they won it? Probably be best if they didn’t even open up registrations to the public.
.TV and .BIZ – I have been fans of these TLD’s for a long time and I believe their values will rise significantly as new gTLD extensions continue to grow. These two specific TLD’s are extremely recognizable words and are already established in both the domain and business communities. Which will do better? If you know me you know my answer.. .TV!
.INFO and .CO – I think these TLD’s will continue to operate in large numbers and have their loyal users. I don’t see the value of these TLD’s rising because of the new TLD’s, I don’t see the value falling drastically either – of course, there must be value in the first place in order for it to fall. You could use some of the same points I mentioned about TV/BIZ above to argue with me on these extensions but I’m writing from my gut here.
ccTLD’s – I don’t have a clue. This is really tough to predict and I think a lot of it has to do with how country and city TLD’s are distributed. I definitely don’t think that countries with deeply entrenched ccTLD’s will see many website operators jumping aboard a new country TLD or even worrying about securing their name + .country but they may look to expand to city TLD’s. With more options (eventually) I could see new companies and startups utilizing something like .CANADA instead of paying a premium for a .CA. Honestly though I really don’t have an opinion on how this will play out.
Sponsored TLD’s (.JOBS, .MOBI, .TEL, .TRAVEL) – Well, I do think that since these TLD’s are somewhat established in some markets and part of the general public knows they exist already, that the new gTLD’s will push new investors to start picking up more domains with these extensions, ultimately increasing their value in the eyes of some. I personally think they will be worth what new hand reg .whatever’s will be worth, which is not going to be very much.