.com stands out in a bulk of gTLDs.
When you visit a website, it is much likely that you enter the domain ending in .com. When you register a domain, you prefer your domain with .com extension too.
Though there are other gTLDs, old ones like .net and .org and new ones such as .london and .berlin, they are far not as hot as .com. Even if a domain ending in .com is taken already, some people would like to wait for an auction in the future while short and easy to recall .com domain has great of value. For example, sex.com was sold for $13 million in 2010 and insurance.com went for $16 million in 2009.
.com has already established its dominant role in domain name space, which does not meet the expectation of ICANN though.
Who is ICANN
ICANN, the full name is The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. It is a not-for-profit origination founded in 1998 to maintain the internet stable, secure and interoperable. Simply put, one core role of ICANN is to oversee gTLDs we talk about in this post. It also establishes contract with registries and accredits them to sell gTLDs.
By 2013, there were only 23 gTLDs in the world, 8 of which even predate ICANN. But all of them are under the supervision of ICANN. The 8 gTLDs are:
ICANN Launched New gTLD Program
ICANN burdens the responsibility to increase competition in the domain name field. Clearly, 8 gTLDs, in which .com accounts for large shares, are not what ICANN wants to see. So, it tried to introduce new gTLDs to increase competition and meanwhile revenues. In 2000 and 2004, it published new gTLDs including .aero, .biz, .coop, .info, .museum, .name, .pro, .asia, .cat, .jobs, .mobi, .post, .tel, .xxx and .travel. However, from 2004 to 2012, there are no any new gTLDs but an Applicant Guidebook for new gTLDs. In 2011, ICANN approved the Applicant Guidebook and formally launched new gTLD program.
In January 2012, ICANN opened access to apply new gTLDs and it received 1,930 gTLD applications in total. Of those, it approved 522 new gTLDs and introduced them to the world. However, we have to say that it does work out as ICANN expects. Many of new gTLDs fail to take off and .com still is the number 1 choice for a good majority of users.
What Happens to New gTLDs?
Of 522 new gTLDs, only 14 have been registered with over 50,000 domain names while many of them do not sell well.
New gTLDs with Good Sales
.club is one of the 14 gTLDs. It was sold for 27,030 names on the first day and 215,066 names in the first year. It charges customers at $11 per year in average. It is also the first one of those new gTLDs to be sold for 100,000 names.
.berlin is also a successful new gTLD and meanwhile the hottest as the geo-located new gTLD. It was sold for 31,950 names on the first day and 156,532 names in the first year. It requires a cost of $51/year in average.
Another example is .xyz, which was sold for 19,664 names on the first day and reached 940,340 domain names in the first year. This new gTLD is cheap too with an average cost of $3.5 per year.
New gTLDs with Poor Sales
.rodeo was sold for 267 names in the first year but it requires a high pricing at $34 per year in average.
.antiforce reached total sales of 244 in the first year too. It charges customers $34/year in average too.
.gripe was added with 863 domain names in the first year, which is not good figure. It is more expensive at $39/mo in average.
Old gTLDs or New gTLDs?
Though users have more options on gTLDs, most of them prefer .com or even .net, .org, etc, because old gTLDs have a higher level of recognition. It is much likely that websites with domains ending with those old gTLDs, especially .com could be easier for visitors to memorize. On the other hand, it is risky to try new gTLDs, but it does not mean that all new gTLDs make no sense. As we mentioned above, .berlin and .club get hot.