News of ICAAN’s approval of the new gTLD program has hit just about every major news source and blog on the planet. Now friends and family members that have never talked about Domainers are coming to me daily asking about what this means for Domain Names. For the first time “Domain Names” are not only in the news – they are a hot topic! This has caused a ton of people to discover that, hey, people have actually been buying and selling Domain Names for a long time now, who knew!
Since I’ve been fielding this question a lot I thought it was about time for me to cover it on my blog. I’m sure it’s a question that many of you have received as well, “So what’s going to happen to .COM?”
In my opinion this ICAAN’s approval of the new gTLDs is by far the best thing to ever happen to .COM, period. If you take a look at domains sales over the last 15 years you can clearly see that .COM always commands the highest price and has received incredible adoption around the world. Just start typing on your iPhone and you’ll notice a .COM button there! Now gTLDs have been around for a long time, look at .NET and .ORG – people still buy and sell these but they don’t command anywhere near the price of a .COM.
So with more gTLDs what happens? Well first, the whole world is now starting to see the value in Domain Names. For anyone who said apps were going to replace domains, welcome to the wonderful world of being wrong. I can’t see anything that would solidify that domains are here to stay more than ICAAN’s decision and all the press it has received. So Domain Names aren’t going anywhere. Now let’s look at the domain sales market. .COM has been king forever, as new TLDs have come-out they have definitely created a good buzz and offered opportunities for businesses to brand themselves online, but .COM has always commanded the highest price.
Let’s take .CO for example, which I am a big fan of! The folks at .CO have done a great job building a brand, getting the word out, and helping people create great things on .CO domains. I’m a big fan of this and think there are lots of great opportunities for businesses to use .CO to chisel-out their space on the net. That being said, if you look at .CO sales, they are a fraction of the price of their corresponding .COM names. This is not to say .CO is bad, it’s one of the best TLDs out there, but .COM is still commanding top-dollar. Business.co sold for $80,000 this year, I couldn’t see Business.com even selling for as low as 8 million.
Now let’s look at the gTLDs that have been around forever, .NET and .ORG – still great TLDs but after all this time they have never unseated .COM, it’s still king. So what happens in this world of many different gTLDs? .COM wins! The more choices there are the more competition there will be int he gTLD market, I think there will be an impact on .NET, .ORG, .INFO, etc. However this only strengthens the value of .COM, in a sea of TLDs everyone wants the .COM the most.
So what’s happened here? Really good things for .COM – now the whole world is really starting to clue-into the Domaining world and is seeing that people have been actively buying and selling domains names. The world is viewing Domain Names as real estate – with each new gTLD that launches our whole industry gets more publicity. With this publicity comes more people to the space, more investors, more developers, more entrepreneurs, and the winner, the TLD that takes the cake and wins is that which has been winning all along .COM.
Apple is not going to replace the “.COM” button on the iPhone with a “.XXX” or a “.VEGAS” it will still be .COM. The new gTLDs are a good thing, I will be investing in them and developing some into major brands, but the real winner here is the Domaining industry and the leader of the pack which now becomes the leader of a much bigger pack – .COM.