COM domains still rule the market


There has been lot of talk recently about ICANN lauching yet another pack of global top level domain extensions. We can surely remember what has happened the last time we have seen ICANN does that. In the previous pack there were some potentially lucrative extensions type of .museum, .aero, .coop to name a few. However domain industry has responded poorly to this new challenge. In fact things have not changed one bit. COM domains remained the market leader. A very few takers took the new extension and build upon it, most of the players in domain name industry are short term investors and resellers so this does not surprise.

Dot COMThe  COM domain market position is unlikely to change any time soon. The most competition COM top level domain extension has is from country code top level domain extensions .de and .co.uk and for those extensions to get up on the place they are took literally years. The problem if you want to see it that way is in the people minds. When internet was concieved only a handful of top level domain extensions were introduced, amongst those was COM extension. And COM was instant hit used in common culture, movies, songs launching it to stellar and basically having the internet synonym built upon it. Everybody and their grandmother referred to internet sites as dot com.

So how did country code top level domain extensions gained popularity? Answer is relatively simple; by association. Germany top level domain .de gained popularity due to internet culture being introduced through the .de extension by advertising, TV and radio – almost the same way COM has gained its popularity. The similar story holds for .co.uk extension. However the brits are a bit more proud of their extension and having domain name of your business in .co.uk weights a bit more in England than having the .com counterpart. Most big players on the internet have most of the country code extensions to boost their popularity. Even if you go and translate the name from english to german you will still get better results if you pick up .de extension for the translated name.

As for what domain name is worth we can see that ccTLD .de and .co.uk are roughly in the same ballpark as COM domains are. Suffice it to say that .de and .co.uk are mature enough for the market. And here we come to the new global top level domain extensions ICANN is introducing now on the regular pace. First problem with this introductions is lack of marketing, we can see how ccTLD namely .co extension got extensive marketing touch and thus gained much popularity at its inception. This was the key to the early success in monetizing on .co domain extension.

Note that ICANN is a non-profit organisation and has no means or motivation to market the newly introduced extensions. This is where the whole deal fails on deaf ears, if nobody has heard about the new extension, nobody will get interested in. However ICANN is here to stay and they are not interested in short term valuation or profit. This said, there is still time (read years) where we can see that new extension get some traction. The most important fact is that people do not associate with the new extensions, in most people minds dot com is internet and period.