Is the recent decline in .COM registrations a taste of what’s to come?


Popular domain name blog The Domains wrote an article today about .COM registrations falling below 128 million after hitting the new high back in September.

Verisign is reporting that the number of .Com domain names in the Domain Name Base have fallen below 128 Million. Back in September of this year we reported the number of .com domain name had broken through the 128 million mark for the first time. (Source – The Domains)

Now I don’t think this is any cause for concern, and I personally don’t think this represents any kind of trend. The article goes on to say that Verisign typically sees very strong numbers in Q4 so it’s definitely a real possibility that registrations will go back over 128 million by the end of the year. Still it does make you stop and wonder if the new domain name extensions are starting to have a meaningful impact on .COM registrations.

Just to be clear, I don’t think this has anything to do with the value of .COM. I still think .COM is the most valuable extension out there hands down and likely will be for a very long time. However it’s not hard to imagine that we’re moving into a time where someone looking to register a new domain now looks beyond .COM more so than they had ever done in the past.

Is this a taste of what’s to come or just a blip in the radar? What do you think?

{ 11 comments… add one }

  • December 16, 2016, 10:13 pm

    It’s mostly due to Chips speculation and crappy domains expiring for good.

    Quality over quanity.

  • Joseph Peterson December 16, 2016, 10:29 pm

    Yep. This has little if anything to do with the nTLDs.

    The Chinese surge ran out of steam around this time last year. The bubble collapsed. And 2016 has been the long anticipated correction to crazy.

    Abnormally high registrations in 2015
    x Low renewals for speculative purchases (e.g. long numerics and 5Ls)
    = A decrease in 2016

    No surprise. I was predicting this 15 months ago.

  • joe December 17, 2016, 12:02 am

    Words that want some new extensions many of them have no strength, only save a maximum of 10 the rest not be consistent.

    If we all look for keywords that users can read and understand fast, as we will understand ourselves because the extensions are not suitable for the keyword, in Uniregistry you can see a same keyword that only 6 extensions be premium domain and 100 Remaining are not, expert keyword answer appropriate to the extension that another is not the same ..

    Dot-com will always be the first, right now everyone think Chinese market to sell doxyios .xyz, club and vip.

    • Aaron Strong December 17, 2016, 12:25 am

      I can’t wait until Joe comes out with his book.

      • joe December 17, 2016, 12:36 am

        Happy Holiddays @Aaron I also do not wait until the new book of the president elected by vladimir USA.

  • joe December 17, 2016, 12:07 am

    Rectification of this paragraph misspelled word from my previous comment

    Dot-com will always be the first, right now everyone think Chinese market to sell domains .xyz, club and vip

  • Michael December 17, 2016, 5:53 am

    How are the nTLDs going to take off when all the good names have super high registration and renewal fees? $6,999.99 a year, who is going to build a website on that name? The Domain King would probably lease you a better .com for that price lol!

  • @domains December 17, 2016, 7:46 am

    I imagine many extensions are facing pullbacks in reg numbers due to chip registrations that didn’t pan out. The Chip craze lasted into Feb of 2016, so expect to see waves of drops over next three months or so.

  • JZ December 17, 2016, 8:23 am

    i think its a good thing. people registered too many terrible domains. It still pales in comparison to some new gtlds that lost up to 60% of their registrations from cheap offers not renewing.

  • Gene December 17, 2016, 10:34 am

    The absence of growth of dot-COM is probably indicative of a combination of factors, most of which others have highlighted: Too many CHIP and long-N registrations; Investors taking a hard look at their entire portfolio and pruning the liabilities (i.e., garbage); and, frankly, competition from other extensions, including the gTLDs.

    Just like the stock market, investors have a limited amount of capital deploy. And there are basically two type of investors – those that are looking for stability in their returns (i.e., preserving capital), and those that place speculative bets to achieve abnormal returns. Dot-COM is in the former category at this point in the cycle, and (certain) G’s are in the later. Smart investors will allocate portions of their portfolio in both types of investments.

    The best ‘stock-pickers’ will win the game, as they have always done, and those that make indiscriminate bets – with all their capital on one side or the other – will probably lose money.

    There is a new generation of players who care much less about dot-COM. And even though we all know that 99% (or 100%) of major companies use dot-COM for their sites, that’s the result of legacy thinking/reality. Granted, dot-COM is, by far, the most desirable extension (no question about it), but that may not always be the case.

    The one bet I would not make as an investor at this point in Internet history is to purchase a dot-COM for anything beyond low or mid five-figures. Doing that only makes sense if you’re a major corporation and absolutely NEED that specific domain name, whether for an upgrade, or strategic marketing campaign. Contrarily, it’s not at all reckless to spend $1K – $5K on a GREAT (category-killing) gTLD. You may not see a quick return on that investment, but in 3-5 years you’ll probably be thrilled that you placed that bet, versus putting your money in an ETF or mutual fund.

  • Mark Thorpe December 17, 2016, 4:40 pm

    Chip craze, new gTLD pumping, chinese investors and new domainers caused false inflating of domain extensions (especially .Com) across the board in late 2015 and most of 2016.
    Startups and India are the next things to impact the domain name Industry.


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