Wednesday, December 13, 2017

New domains for companies: were we right?

In 2016 we started to select a certain number of domain name extensions in which we believed that companies should secure their (second level) domain names with: because they'd want to use it, or..."just in case". In 2017, from January to December, we tracked the variations of these registration volumes to see if they attracted consumers (Registrants) or not, and we're happy to see that we were not so wrong.


Note that if the number of domain names registered in a certain extension is not the only criteria for a successful new gTLD, it remains an important one.

Our selection
Here is the list of TLDs that that we believe companies should secure their domain name with:
  1. New gTLDs: .VIP - .SITE - .WEBSITE - .BLOG - .WORLD - .SOLUTIONS - .EMAIL - .COMPANY - .公司 (company) - .GLOBAL - .INTERNATIONAL - .EXPERT - .SUPPORT - .TEAM - .BUZZ - .商标 (".trademark" in Chinese) - .世界 (world) - .集团 (corporate group) - .CEO - .FEEDBACK - .WHOSWHO - .CONTACT - .WEB (coming).
  2. Legacy TLDs: .COM - .PRO - .TEL
What about 2017: blue or red?
With such an important list of more than 750 new domain name extensions, we did not want to select too many: just the one that we think are generic and international enough to be registered by a Trademark.

A certain number of TLDs have been very successful in 2017: the .VIP new gTLD gained 200,000 more registrations between January and December. This is mainly due to the chinese market.

The .BLOG - a must have - received almost 100,000 more registrations in one year and 50,000 more for the .WORLD new gTLD. The .SOLUTIONS received 20,000 more and 15,000 more for .EMAIL (let's hope that .MAIL does not see the day). 10,000 more registrations for the .COMPANY and .GLOBAL new gTLDs. With .TEAM, all of these extensions just kept receiving registrations from a month to the other (understand that they sticked to the blue). The .WHOSWHO TLD which received 15 registrations in one year ;-)

The .SITE lost 48,000 registrations: this is a surprise since the .WEBSITE belongs to the same Registry and gained 40,000 more domains during the same period. The .世界 (.world) new gTLD lost...28,400 domain name registrations between January and December. Few TLDs from this report have lost registrations and when they did, except for .SITE and .世界 (.world), they lost very few, they stagnated during one year.

Did Jean Guillon secure his trademarks in these extensions?
Let's admit it: securing a Trademark in "just" all of these extensions is an investment and as a very small company, I admit that I used my budget a different way. I use a .CONSULTING domain name for my company but I secured in .BLOG - .EMAIL - .COMPANY - .COM and .TEL. I also own other domain names in the .INTERNATIONAL and .BUZZ new gTLDs from this list.

What about 2018?
We will probably remove the .TEL from our list and it is yet unclear if .SITE and .WEBSITE are absolutely necessary for a Trademark to secure: unfortunately, they are not the only generic TLDs and when their number is too important (there is a .ONLINE too), we think that it drops their value. Not to forget that .WEB - a possible game changer - will come at some point too. By the way, I will combine two reports in a single one in 2018: "Company" and "Generics" will come as one.

Check the full report here.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Isn't it better is .WED dies?

I wanted to name this post "Can .WED revive .WEDDING?" but actually, the .WEDDING new gTLD does not need to be revived since it is doing fine: its progression curve in terms of domain names created is positive until beginning of december 2017.

Can WEB revive .WED?
I previously wrote an article entitled "Can WEB revive .WED?", wondering if the future activation of the .WEB new gTLD (which seems far from being activated apparently) would fear enough owners of a domain name ending in ".web" to register the same in ".wed".


It seems that nothing of this will happen since the .WED new gTLD was just placed in the Emergency Back-End Registry Operator (EBERO) Program by the ICANN. This program allows existing Registrants to keep their ".wed" domain name activated until...something happens.

Twins are a problem
If many already wrote about the .WED new gTLD and its 35 registered domain names, my tortured mind think that it might be a positive thing if this TLD just stopped. The reason for this is that it is on the list of similar new gTLDs (also called "confusing TLDs").

Do users need .WED and .WEDDING domain names? I don't think that they do since it becomes very confusing with all these similar domain name extensions. It is also risky and increases the risk of squatting: would a young couple to have published its wedding photos on a ".wed" website want a squatter to publish crap on the similar (second level) domain ending in ".wedding"?

Similar domain name extensions like .EMAIL and .MAIL (to be activated?) are a problem to the future and let's remind that there's no mechanism - yet- from blocking this to happen in the next round of the ICANN new gTLD program...or is there one planned?

Monday, December 11, 2017

City new gTLDs: blue or red?

Which have been the number of domain name registered for city names as a new domain name extension in 2017?

From January 2017 to December 2017, we took a monthly snapshot of each city domain name registration volume. There are 42 of them to which we added 2 domain name extension related to cities:  the .CITY and the .TOWN new gTLD. Tours is a famous city in France so we added it too.


Blue or Red?
As usual, blue is for the city names which gained domain name registrations from a month to the other and red is for those who lost some.

In general, we can see that there's not so much red in the table but for a few TLDs. This is not the case for other groups of TLDs. As you will notice below the problem with city TLDs is that...they stagnate.

Some cities are successful: the .TOKYO Top-Level Domain gained 25,000 registrations in one year and 16,000 for .LONDON while the .NYC gained almost...no registration on a 12 months period of time.

There is an interesting project out there which explains the success of the .CITY new gTLD: one registrant own 22,000 of them: let's hope that this project is a success! The .TOWN knew a constant progression curve until beginning of december 2017. These two generic TLDs do progress.

If .TOKYO is a success, the .VEGAS is another one, it gained 6,000 registrations in one year and never went backward from a month to the other. Other city TLDs which have sticked to the blue:
  • The .BOSTON new gTLD which launched in September 2017;
  • The .YOKOHAMA Japanese TLD;
  • The .TOURS (not a city TLD but I don't mind, it is a city too in France);
  • The .BRUSSELS extension;
  • The .OKINAWA extension from Japan;
  • The .KYOTO extension from Japan.
Some city TLDs are still in "we have no idea what to do with our TLD" mode and have registered very few domains: .DUBAI - .MADRID - .ABUDHABI and .STOCKHOLM (when a TLD registers a very limited number of domain names, it can mean that it is doing tests and there nothing more coming).

January was better than December
Some cities had more domain names registered in the beginning of the year, in January 2017 than in December 2017. It is the case for .NYC - .BERLIN - .KOELN - .HAMBURG - .PARIS - .MOSCOW and its IDN, the .МОСКВА new gTLD - .WIEN - .ISTANBUL - .MIAMI - .IST -.QUEBEC - .BARCELONA - .COLOGNE - .DURBAN and the .RIO new gTLD. Some of these registration volumes stagnate, let's hope 2018 will be better year.

Check the full report here.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Photography and new gTLDs: blue or red?

This is the "recap" of the 2017 new gTLD report related to photography and a few other digital things. You might have noticed that the title of the report has been changed to "Photo / Digital new gTLDs". The reason for this is that the report informs about more than photography and I was requested to add the .DESIGN new gTLD. This new TLD will be added to the report in 2018.


Blue or Red?
Blue and red are the two colors that I used to qualify the extensions that gained registrations (in blue) and those who lost some (in red) from a month to the other.

One can easily notice that the .MEDIA - .STUDIO - .DIGITAL - .ART and .CAM new gTLDs have sticked together and known a successful year in terms of registrations. The .ART launched late and is a pretty interesting example since its Premium domain name strategy was criticized, blocking hundreds (thousands?) of domains from being registered through the network of accredited Registrars.

The .FILM and .MOVIE Top-Level Domains are interesting too since they are niche TLDs. Their progression curve is slow but constant. The film (and movie) industry seems to be attracted by these two highly descriptive extensions.

I bet on the .PHOTO (with no "s") new gTLD when I launched these reports and wrote that the singular version of a TLD would beat the plural version in terms of interest. If registration volumes demonstrate "interest", I guess I was wrong since the .PHOTO domain name registration volume is seriously dropping down and lost 7,000 registrations in one year when the .PHOTOS gained 800. But hey...it is still too early to say since the figures that I see...don't match.

In regards to .PICS, the behaviour is strange since it is a short TLD, kind of descriptive too: every english speaking person knows what a "pic" is. I don't understand why it has lost almost 20,000 registrations since January 2017. In fact, I would be tempted to think that "pics" do not magnify the word "photography" so one interested in such extension would rather buy a ".photo", a ".photos" or a ".photography" instead of a ".pics". Or is it because there's a .PICTURES too?

The two .BRAND new gTLDs for Canon and Nikon have not been very active and seem to have been in tests during the year but the .NIKON extension recently increased its registrations to 30 ".nikon" domain names recently. 16 only for the .CANON TLD. Are the two competitors entering the arena with a project?

Check the full report here.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

New gTLDs and Catering: blue or red?

The year is finished and volumes of domain names registered in the Catering category are now available: it is now possible to check which domain name extension has been successful and which has not in terms of domain names registered.


Four extensions: .CAFE - .COFFEE - .PIZZA and .食品 (food) have received increasing domain name registrations month after month and sticked to the blue.

TLDs such as .KITCHEN - .MENU - .RECIPES and .COOKING have less domain names registered in December 2017 than they had in January 2017. I don't call these successful TLDs.

The .PUB domain name extension lost more than 10,000 registrations from January to December 2017.

Some Trademarks withdrew their application and Mcdonald's was one of them.

Check the full report here.


Monday, December 4, 2017

VOLVO is not testing the electric car...

...is is testing its .VOLVO new gTLD :-)

It is quite usual that Trademarks to have acquired their expensive .BRAND new gTLD don't do anything about it. When you look at the list of Automotive .BRANDs, you wonder why these companies applied for their extension: most of them have sticked to one domain name registration for the entire year.


Then, it happens
Tracking new gTLD domain name registration volumes allows to see when suddenly, something changes, and it is precisely what is happening with Volvo which had registered one ".volvo" domain name since 24 October 2016, the date when the TLD was delegated.

Volvo registered 26 more during the month of November. As a person used to noticing these registrations, it does not mean that the company is going to use them. First registrations are often a test but these also send a sign that the Trademark could start to deploy...its ".volvo" domains.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Using the ".bot" new gTLD

The .BOT new gTLD has not launched yet but, according to Domain Name Wire, it appears that it was presented in Las Vegas recently. This domain name extension was delegated in December 2015 - two years ago - and belongs to Amazon.


This is what the Registry says about it:
  1. Identity: use a .BOT domain name to communicate your bot offering to the world and claim your unique identity to represent yourself in the bot community.
  2. Pioneer: if you are an early adopter and use bots to engage your audience, get your .BOT domain name early. Go ahead, be the pioneer that you are.
  3. Innovate: .BOT will bring the bot developer and user community together with tools and an online space that is all about bots and associated services.
A TLD dedicated to...Bots
Obviously, these domain names were created to offer an identity to those willing to introduce the service of their bot online.

If this makes perfect sense to me since the word "bot" easily allows to identify the universe of bots, I know I shouldn't be writing this but I personally hate it when I receive an answer from a bot. I tried some of the one offered on Skype and I got rid of them since they sounded like stupid answering machine trying to remind me about things that I didn't really care about.

"Automation, automation and automation"
Bots are a developing, this is a reality. Banks want them, call centers are already using them, and whatever one think, it is more affordable to use a bot rather than an employee, it's even faster (and again, I hate to write this).

After introducing its Messenger bot platform in 2016 Facebook went from 33,000 bots to more than 100,000 to talk to its customers. Stock trading bots are already very efficient too. So, are bots part of the future? Possibly. Are .BOT domain names the TLD bots makers will use to introduce their work? That's quite possible too. In a close future? Time and how Amazon will market it will tell.

Amazon Lex
Buy the way, did you check amazon Lex?

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