Is 85% A Realistic Renewal Rate For New gTLDs?

With the one-year mark hitting for a number of new gTLDs (new domain extensions) companies are trying to determine how to define their KPI around renewal rate. Donuts, the largest company in the new gTLD space and owner of the most gTLDs came out and said that they expected to see a renewal rate of 85%. I think that is high, very high, but I don’t mean this to be a slam on Donuts, in fact I’d say the opposite, I think they are absolutely crushing it, it’s the expectation around renewal rates that needs to change.

One of the things that has really impressed me with Donuts is their level of transparency. On their blog they share current renewal rates which now sit at 68.4%, in my opinion this is still high and I think any registry seeing these kind of renewal rates is hitting it out of the park.

With .COM the renewal rates hovers close to 50% (this is the last I’ve heard, correct me if I’m wrong!) I think new gTLDs should be expecting closer to a 30% – 40% renewal rate. Even at this rate most new gTLD operators turn a nice profit and with new registrations coming in every day that 30% – 40% only becomes a bigger number every year.

So while I commend Donuts on setting a high bar, I think they set the bar too high, they shouldn’t be disappointed with a 68% renewal rate, I’d be thrilled.

What do you think? Is 85% a realistic renewal rate for new gTLDs? If not what is? Comment and let your voice be heard!


{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Brad Mugford April 7, 2015, 8:44 am

    1.) The .COM renewal rate is way higher than 50%. That number which Donuts keeps citing is the .COM renewal rate of domains registered in the last year. This is highly deceptive. They are basically comparing the worst of .COM to the best new gTLD.

    2.) Donuts said they were going to post updated numbers daily, or every few days. However, when their numbers when south their reporting has become more and more infrequent. I am pretty sure their numbers are well below the last update.

    New registries are doing no favors to themselves by making unrealistic projections & predictions. It makes them look delusional and desperate.

    Donuts has consistently been wrong about almost everything they have said. Even a “success” like .CLUB has 200K registrations in a year. Well short of the predictions they made of 300K – 400K in the first week of general availability and 1M in the first year.


  • Jean Guillon April 7, 2015, 9:22 am

    I’d say renewal rate for .com is higher than this.

  • A. Pace, TX April 8, 2015, 11:26 am

    Great information. I would be curious to know how many .COM’s were registered (new and expired ones, by new owners) since the launch of the new gTLD program. That would be an interesting number.


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