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In early December new extension domains reached the 30 million registration point according to nTLD statistics. The previous high of about 29.5 million was established in April 2017, although over most of last two years the total was not far from 26 million registrations. The number of registrations is strongly influenced by deep first-year discounting, and is probably not the best measure of the health of the new extension domain space.

While there are many hundreds of new extensions, just 18 of them have 1% or more of the total number of new extension registrations. The .icu extension is now the most registered new extension. There are 7 extensions with more than one million registrations.

While there are many registries, the top ten account for more than 88% of all new extension registrations. Radix and Donuts have the most domains under registration.

Just five registrars, led by Alibaba, GoDaddy and Namecheap, have half of all new domain registrations.

If we use Alexa 1M as the measure of web traffic, .xyz, .online, .club and .site are the most used new extensions.

There have been 858 new extension domain sales so far in 2019, down from last year. The average price was $3932, up marginally. The top 26 sales ranged in price from $10,500 to $335,000. About 27% of these were registry sales.

While .app, .world, .global and .life saw multiple sales in the 2019 top-26 list, 21 different extensions appeared at least once on the list. All but two were single words (one acronym and one mixed-mode). I counted as a single word one that was a single word domain hack. Sedo was the venue for 10 of the 26 sales, although several domainers had multiple sales in the top-26 list.



Most Registered Extensions

There have been changes at the top of the new global Top Level Domains (new gTLD) list with .icu taking over first place less than two years after its introduction. The former Famous Four extensions, such as .loan, dropped out of the list of most registered extensions following the end of deep discounting in those extensions.

Here is an ordered list by registration number along with the percentage of all new gTLD registrations in that extension. The data changes regularly and you can find the most up-to-date information using nTLD statistics.
  1. .icu 14.3%
  2. .top 11.8%
  3. .xyz 9.1%
  4. .site 6.5%
  5. .club 4.8%
  6. .online 4.6%
  7. .vip 4.4%
  8. .wang 3.1%
  9. .live 2.3%
  10. .work 2.3%
  11. .shop 2.2%
  12. .fun 1.9%
  13. .app 1.8%
  14. .space 1.5%
  15. .website 1.2%
  16. .buzz 1.2%
  17. .gdn 1.2%
  18. .store 1.1%
Just 18 of the approximately 700 delegated general-availability extensions have 1% or more of the registration share, and only the top 7 have more than one million registrations. Those 7 extensions combined have significantly more than 50% of all new extension registrations.

While increasing use of privacy cloaks geographical information to some degree, there are very strong regional concentrations. Extensions such as .top have always been mainly registered in China, and the recent growth in .icu is primarily in Asia as well.

While several factors have driven this year’s increases in the total number of new extension registrations, among the most important were the rapid growth in .icu, a strong release of .dev, steady growth in .best under new management, approval of more new extensions in China, and the release to standard status by Donuts of about one million domain names that were formerly registry premium.


Registry Concentration

There are very different patterns in how different registries have approached new extension opportunities. Some registries such as Club have concentrated on a single top level domain (TLD), others like Radix have a small number of different new extensions, while companies like Donuts have large numbers of mainly special-purpose extensions, many with fairly limited numbers of registrations.

According to share of the total new extension registrations, here are the top 10 registries. The title for each is also a link to the registry website in most cases. I list in brackets the number of new gTLDs delegated to that registry along with a selection of the better known TLDs within their holdings. In some cases not all of the delegated extensions are currently available.
  1. Radix 18.1% (9, site, .online, .fun, .space, .store, .tech, .website, etc.).
  2. Donuts 14.3% (238, .life, .live, .today, .world, .agency, .solutions, .company, .services, .ltd, .games plus many more).
  3. Short Dot 14.1% (2, .icu, .bond).
  4. Jiangsu Bangning Science & Technology 11.6% (1, .top).
  5. XYZ 9.2% (9, .xyz, .monster, .baby, etc.).
  6. Minds+Machines 7.6% (30, .work, .fit, .vip, plus many more).
  7. Club 4.7% (1, .club).
  8. Zodiac 3.2% (6, .wang means net).
  9. GMO 2.6% (6, .shop).
  10. Charleston Road (Google) 2.6% (46, many not yet in use, .app, .dev, .page).
While there are many other registries, the top ten registries account for more than 88% of all new extension registrations. In fact simply Radix plus Donuts account for about one-third of all registrations.


New Extension Registrars

While many new extensions are available through most registrars, the majority of the registrations are concentrated at just a few registrars. Alibaba leads with 16.8% of new extension registrations. Together Alibaba, GoDaddy, Namecheap, GMO and West account for more than half of all new extension registrations.

Prices for both registrations and renewals vary extensively, so use resources such as DomComp and TLD-List to find the best prices and features. Note that some of the popular Asian registrars are missing from these lists, however.


Website Use of New Extension Domains

Measuring actual web use is complex, and each of the various methods are susceptible to deliberate manipulation. When I looked at the Cisco Global Ranking results, while no new gTLDs made even the top ten extensions, a number were ranked approximately equal to various well known country code extensions.

Another way to measure use is by counting how many websites on a domain in that extension appear in the Alexa 1M list (the most current list can be dowloaded at this link). If we use Alexa 1M as the measure of web traffic, .xyz, .online, .club and .site are the most used new extensions.

The Alexa list, especially sites in the lower half of the list, vary extensively from day to day. You can readily see how many domains from any new extension are in the Alexa 1M by using the NameStat site. Here are the 25 new extensions with the largest number of names in the Alexa 1M on the day I checked.
  1. .xyz 2145
  2. .online 1726
  3. .club 1666
  4. .site 1233
  5. .top 845
  6. .live 731
  7. .news 359
  8. .space 357
  9. .shop 333
  10. .website 299
  11. .store 297
  12. .fun 275
  13. .app 270
  14. .tech 256
  15. .guru 245
  16. .vip 242
  17. .life 238
  18. .icu 227
  19. .one 216
  20. .today 196
  21. .blog 194
  22. .media 171
  23. .world 160
  24. .best 151
  25. .link 150
All others had fewer than 150 sites in the Alexa 1M when I checked. Extensions just below those on this list, in order, were .host, .cloud, .dev, .network, .win, .center, .video and .work.

We might expect that sites with more registrations would have more websites achieving Alexa 1M status, other things being equal. Conveniently NameStats shows the number of registrations per name in the Alexa 1M for each extension. For example, the number is 720 for .online and 3960 for .top with a smaller number meaning better relative use. As a comparison, on the day I checked the number was 497 for .com, one site in Alexa 1M for every 497 registrations (using DomainNameStats data. While the number on Alexa 1M is not bad in many new extensions, recognizing their registration base, if we look only at the world’s largest sites, say the top 1000, new extensions are very rare.


Sales in New Extensions in 2019

As I write this 2019 is not yet over, so these are not quite the final figures for the year. Using only NameBio data, there have been 858 new gTLD sales so far in 2019 with an average sales price of $3932. This results in a total new extension domain name sales volume of $3.4 million. That seems discouraging compared to 2018 when there were 1490 sales, a $3847 average price, and $5.4 million in sales volume. However 2018 was strong compared to the previous two years, and the 2019 figures are not much different from the five-year average.

For some reason .top sales have stopped being reported on NameBio – the last report was Aug 2, 2019. In 2018, 557 of the 1490 sales were in .top, accounting for $2.3 million. The end of .top sales reporting seems to account for about $900,000 of the difference in dollar volume. The other major difference between 2018 and 2019 is that we have seen fewer six-figure sales: just one in 2019 versus six in 2018, three of those in the .top extension.

Here is a list of the highest value new gTLD sales so far in 2019. I intended it as a top-25 list, but since there was a tie, there are 26 names on the list. The links will take you to the NameBio records for each sale with additional information.
  1. free.games $335,000 WebQuest
  2. ZB.app $91,000 Afternic
  3. business.club $60,936 NameClub
  4. new.work $38,000 New.Life
  5. clean.tech $30,000 Sedo
  6. support.app $30,000 UserScape
  7. buy.game $29,999 WebQuest
  8. radio.cloud $28,000 Sedo
  9. smart.bio $27,685 Sedo
  10. UI.dev $25,000 Sedo
  11. all.life $25,000 New.Life
  12. T.win $22,500 Sedo
  13. CBD.world $20,000 BQDN
  14. simple.life $20,000 WebQuest
  15. DX.media $28,000 Private
  16. up.top $19,880 Jiangsu Bangning
  17. go.holdings $19,000 Sedo
  18. human.capital $15,500 Sedo
  19. diabetes.help $15,000 Uniregistry
  20. travel.global $14,500 DotGlobal
  21. ploy.shop $13,544 Sedo
  22. bounce.house $13,000 WebQuest
  23. 4U.tube $12,000 Sedo
  24. one.network $11,333 Sedo
  25. good.world $10,500 WebQuest
  26. pay.global $10,500 DotGlobal
Almost always high value sales are for single word domain names with an excellent match to the extension. The niches are varied, as are the extensions. 21 different extensions are represented in the top 26 new gTLD sales of 2019. .app appeared three times on the list, and .life and .world twice each.

Five of the sales were by WebQuest, two each by @New.Life and DotGlobal, ten at Sedo, and the rest were through a variety of venues and sellers. Interestingly, the two sales by @New.Life were to different purchasers but on the same day.

As far as I was able to determine, 27% of the sales are registry sales, and about 18% by dollar volume. Those are somewhat lower percentages of registry sales than observed in the past. Note these are percentages just for the top-26 list, not an analysis of all new extension sales in the year.

Additional information is provided in this look at some major new extension sales.


Final Thoughts

While I have tried to present the above data objectively without personal comment, here are my thoughts on new domain extensions.
  • I think it is not helpful to view new gTLDs as one entity. Individual new extensions are very different - some are geographical, some general purpose, some narrowly specialized, etc.
  • In my opinion, the idea that the purpose of new extensions was primarily to increase the domain pool and give alternatives to legacy extensions was somewhat misguided. Rather, I feel that the new extensions are best suited for new uses, such as in social media and product campaigns, and to serve users who dislike the main legacy choices. As such, I see new and legacy extensions as complementary rather than competitive.
  • I think the top 26 sales, and a similar analysis of a much longer dataset of new gTLD sales, demonstrates that it is not primarily which new extension that influences worth of a new extension domain name. Rather it is the match between the name and the extension that is most important. We see that through the diversity of extensions represented on the top-26 list.
  • While multiple word names occasionally sell for good amounts in new domain extensions, it is relatively rare.
  • The main argument in favour of new extensions is probably elegant design of expressing exact meaning without anything else added. Certainly some of the users who purchased six-figure new extension domains have expressed that view. There is a NamePros thread on expressions that look better as a new gTLD.
  • Public recognition and acceptance of new gTLD extensions remains weak overall. That means that in most cases new extension investment will be a long-term game.
  • Pricing of new extension domain names is challenging because of the limited number of publicly recorded past sales. The competition with names held by the registry, and sold as premium, is another obstacle in new extension investing.
  • More clarity and certainty regarding renewal costs would help acceptance of new extensions by cost-conscious end users.
  • I think the main competition for new domain extensions is not from the legacy extensions, but rather general purpose country extensions such as .io, .ai, .me, and .co. Ironically, the success of these, while drawing market share from new extensions in the short term, may also pave the way for acceptance of alternative extensions.
  • Investment in new extensions is probably more complex than .com-only domain investing for several reasons. It is necessary to know the options available, and with 700+ extensions that is challenging. The pricing, both registration and especially for renewals, is highly variable. Using just one registrar doesn’t work well in new extension investing. It is necessary to look into the health of the registry, as well as public acceptance, or not, of the extensions under consideration.
  • In my opinion there are already too many new extensions, and I hope that ICANN will slow the release of new ones.
  • It is generally much easier to sell .com to other domainers than any other extension. It is important to keep this in mind if your business plan includes selling wholesale to other domain investors.
  • Even when registry sales are excluded, it seems that average prices are, surprisingly, somewhat higher in new extensions. That may simply be an illusion because there are many more domainer acquisitions mixed into the sales record for legacy extensions. The higher prices are not enough to make up entirely for lower sell-through rates in new extensions, however.
  • Even if domain investors decide not to invest in new gTLDs, I think that some level of familiarity with new extensions is still valuable. For example, if you are selling a two-word domain name Word1Word2.com you should know if Word1.Word2 is a domain name and its status. This works in reverse as well, and new gTLD investors should also at least look into .com offerings related to their domain names in my opinion.
  • The skills needed to successfully sell new extensions may be somewhat different than those needed for legacy domain investing. Nevertheless, many of the principles such as emphasize quality over quantity, invest in niches you understand well, and take a disciplined and analytical approach, apply to both.
Looking for advice on your new gTLD domain names? This thread created by @Brands.International offers expert analysis on submitted domain names. Note the rules at the start of the thread.


Your Thoughts

I would love to hear your opinions on the overall health of new domain extensions, and the prospects and challenges they have for domain investors. Do you feel more or less positive about them than you felt a year ago? Are you strictly a legacy investor, strictly a new extension investor, or a mix with a few new extensions within a mainly legacy portfolio.


Thank you to the various information sources consulted for this report. Those sources include nTLD Stats, NameStat, DomainNameStats, and NameBio.
 
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The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
Impact
29,359
The real question isn't domain regs. It's actually usage of new gTLDs.
Agree that is a more important metric. That is why I included a section on use at least as measured by Alexa 1M. Some highly registered have significant use and others do not. Some that are not that highly registered, like .news, do relatively well in use. Also important to keep in mind that use develops slowly over many years. As long as a TLD is gaining I do not see reason to yet have grave concerns even if actual use is an order of magnitide less than legacy TLDs that have been growing their use for many decades.

Valuable stats... I want to know if the niche extensions (New gTLD) as named by @Michael Ehrhardt, has it crossed the 10% mark of legacy domains (every thing else)? assuming the total legacy at 330 million (unconfirmed data). Thanks.
They are close but not yet quite at 10% registration wise I think. However use wise they are not as close, maybe 2% ? depending how you measure it.

I am not sure if your question implied a tipping point when they reach 10%, or some similar figure. If so that is an interesting idea. To me the tipping point will be when 50% of general public realizes that after the dot can be one of a thousand different things, and ultimately the TLD serves the same functional purpose, even though some are much better known and more highly sought.

Bob
 

Tewksbury

Established Member
Impact
37
The real question isn't domain regs. It's actually usage of new gTLDs.

Top 15 New gTLDs - By Number Of Pages/Files Indexed By Google
Search Results Returned -

1. site:*.site About 650,000,000
2. site:*.xyz About 269,000,000
3. site:*.online About 217,000,000
4. site:*.club About 173,000,000
5. site:*.top About 85,200,000
6. site:*.live About 45,100,000
7. site:*.store About 33,800,000
8. site:*.fun About 25,900,000
9. site:*.app About 24,200,000
10. site:*.space About 23,900,000
11. site:*.vip About 23,000,000
12. site:*.icu About 22,400,000
13. site:*.shop About 19,000,000
14. site:*.website About 13,200,000
15. site:*.tech About 13,000,000

Based on ngTLD ranking on https://ntldstats.com/tld

🖖😎
 
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VaneZhao

Established Member
Impact
178
Wonderful!

I love to invest in NewTLDs ,cuz there are lots of potentials out there in a way,escepically, for those who have less money to buy .COMs they want,
but,my advice is that must do some specific research before take it

here are my suggestons in short brief before you intend to buy a new newTLDs

1)Why do you buy this one?anthing can replace it expect for .COMs?

2)reg fees and renewals (desire to renew it 5-10 yrs in one time?)

3)Who is your end user(How do you sell it to your end user?)
 
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Impact
29,359
I see that another major new gTLD sale is now up on NameBio
https://namebio.com/open.money

Open(.)money sold at a BIN price of $25,000. It is (at least) the third high-value sale this year by @New.Life who invests mainly in new gTLDs.

It is already in use by a business banking company. Their prior domain name was BankOpen(.) (they still have content there as well).

Bob
 
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Indianad

Established Member
Impact
353
I think the answer, as to many questions, is it depends :xf.wink:.

First of all, I think the compelling case is if Lurkey were an extension. As far as I know it is not , yet :-P, but if it was I would argue as an end user you definitely should try to acquire Turkey.Lurkey even if your only plan is defensive purchase or redirection use. That, I would argue, is the main reason that all of those who advise others on names and domains should know the new gTLD space even if they never plan to have a single one as a domain investment.

What about beyond that? I certainly do not believe that one needs to register 200 or 600 TLDs. However, if you are an online store, I might consider TurkeyLurkey.online if you can get it, and if you have any kind of app I would definitely try to get TurkeyLurkey.app. For many companies it makes sense to control their name in .news. etc. One can extend this a bit, but essentially in my way of thinking it depends on what products and services your company offers, which extensions might make sense. You have a chain of amusement parks? TurkeyLurkey.fun might be useful for social media advertising.

Bob

Thanks Bob! As always another learning opportunity.

Indianad
 
Impact
3,648
While I do not hold any nTLDs as investments, it is not is a surprise that there are some developers and small businesses which choose them for websites. Many end users are resistant to paying a premium price for a domain name so when they cannot find anything decent in .COM, they will choose another extension. The registrar landing pages are filled with alternative choices when one's desired choice is unavailable for regr fee. Quite often I will stumble across small businesses or Youtube channels or Facebook pages or movie trailers which utilize a non-.COM extension. But normally the keyword combinations are rather mediocre - an indication that the buyer paid reg fee for the domain.

We assume in the industry that portfolio turn is in the 1% range on average but it would be interesting to have an idea of the percentage of end user websites where the domain name was acquired in the aftermarket. I suspect that ratio is well under 1%.
 
biix