1. Acquisitions in the domain industry
2. New TLD launches
3. The future of Dot Brands
4. The Chinese domain market
5. New TLD marketing and awareness
6. What about the next round of nTLD applications?
7. The numbers game
Jeff Sass, CMO at .CLUB Domains LLC. Follow Jeff on Twitter.
Joseph Peterson, Branding Consultant and writes about expired domains at DomainNameWire.
In 2016, I could see the Chinese domain investors continuing to invest in more domains, especially in certain new gTLD domains. This investment will drive more US domain investors to reconsider their investments, and perhaps start investing in more new gTLD domains. We'll see more companies start to move their websites away from .com for a better, more descriptive new gTLD domain. And finally, I predict that we'll see more digital marketers finally realize that recommending that their clients move to a better, more descriptive new gTLD domain (away from a lengthy dot com). They'll start to realize that the right new gTLD is better for branding, and better for SEM and SEO.I could easily see us reaching the 25M registrations in 2016, especially as we'll see more brands start to move to their own Dot Brand domain. Once we see major brands start to use and promote their own Dot Brand domain, consumers will start to "hear about" and embrace the new gTLDs. The average consumer doesn't even know that the new gTLD exist yet, and I think Dot Brand is going to be the turning point to tip it over the edge, making new gTLDs more "household names" like .COM, .NET, and .ORG are. There are several hundred Dot Brand applicants that have been approved, and it's just a matter of time before they start using and promoting their Dot Brand. I won't make any predictions as to which ones will be launching their Dot Brand in 2016, but I suspect that we'll see at least two dozen launch their Dot Brand TLDs during 2016. In the case of .tickets, a premium pricing strategy works because of the particular industry and market. The tickets industry as a whole is very competitive, and .tickets was perfect for that industry. With other new gTLDs, a certain industry hasn't been tied to the TLD, so it's made it more difficult to sell domains and get those domain owners to launch websites. I believe the key to having a successful new gTLD is encouraging website development. I believe a successful launch formula involves getting in front of your ideal domain buyer, not domain investors. Domain buyers who are actually going to move their site to a new domain on that nTLD or develop a new site on that domain. Once actual sites are being built and they start to be visible in an industry, others in the same industry, as well as competitors, will want to follow suit. The key to having a successful launch is connecting with domain buyers and explaining the benefits of owning a new gTLD domain.
New top level domain registrations soar toward 100 million as mass brand adoption, development and education efforts gain traction.
Late 2016 - as new top level domain registration totals plow through 80 million strong – the domain.buzz focus is on which registry and domain registration will become the 100 millionth new top level domain registered. Bloggers feed the momentum with endless speculative posts, complete with the daily count to 100 million. Michael Berkens runs his most successful TheDomains.Com poll ever. Registry operators fuel the new registration energy by offering – BUY 1 DOMAIN GET 10 FREE!!! deals. All aspire to be a part of this 2016 industry event of the year.
Acceptance of these cool, fun and meaningful new domains sweep the globe. New websites increase awareness, boosting 2016 registration totals exponentially. .nyc registration totals explode as City Hall opens new registrations to the world. Pre-launch – in those early application days - the idea of limiting .nyc registrations to residents of the five boroughs certainly seemed a just and noble cause. Supported by city government, this new massive digital undertaking- provided as a service to the people -looked great on paper. In 2016, New York City now operates one of the most valuable Internet properties ever. Attaching a governor to this most dynamic of city based top level domains appears to be a small slip-up, perhaps occurring during a confusing application process. No big deal. Many new registry applicants would take a mulligan on their initial registry application. The good news is this will be corrected. NYC, recognizing the positive global potential of .nyc for both the City and its residents moves to open up .nyc domain registrations for all. A world of new business prospects and web developers anxiously wait. ICANN announces top level domain registry application round two is postponed spurring a malady referred to as RHAA. The continuing chaos that is ICANN forces the industry overseer to postpone top level domain application round two. New registry operators emboldened by this development, and the ongoing successes of 2016, hold tightly to their treasured registries and new opportunities.
‘Registry Heightened Acquisition Anxiety’ expands to epidemic status. The only known RHAA cure is registry ownership and the feel good opportunity to be a player in the new Internet age. In 2016, industry consolidation occurs through numerous registry acquisitions. Acquiring principals from outside the domain community make themselves and their desires known -driving offerings for all domain registries to new high multiples.
I also like to predict that luxury trademarks who invested so much money in their .BRAND will "wake up" and start to demonstrate their capacity to innovate using their new domain names. I am confident city TLDs will see their registration volumes increase too: geo TLDs are the best opportunity for local businesses. I am not against ".com" and 2016 is far too early to say that it is the end of this extension but many ".com" owners that I meet tell me: "hey, I didn't know about these new domain names but I definitely need mine"; so I guess new gTLDs are a fashion that will take time to install but...it will install.
I also like to predict that luxury trademarks who invested so much money in their .BRAND will "wake up" and start to demonstrate their capacity to innovate using their new domain names.
I am confident city TLDs will see their registration volumes increase too: geo TLDs are the best opportunity for local businesses. I am not against ".com" and 2016 is far too early to say that it is the end of this extension but many ".com" owners that I meet tell me: "hey, I didn't know about these new domain names but I definitely need mine"; so I guess new gTLDs are a fashion that will take time to install but...it will install.