The new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) offer an enormous reservoir of new addresses. What are the opportunities offered by the new endings and how are they being adopted in the market? We spoke to Alexander Schwertner, CEO of EPAG Domainservices GmbH about this and other questions.
Mr. Schwertner, eco has recently started offering the first online statistics on the new gTLDs. Why, in your view, are these interesting for companies?
The new gTLDs offer companies far more meaningful names than was previously possible, and as a result, they also offer better chances to speak to markets and customers in a targeted manner. The new domains create references to regions, sectors, customer groups and offers and open up new possibilities for companies in marketing and online business.
How do you see the demand for the new gTLDs in general?
The sector is still at the beginning when it comes to the marketing and use of the new gTLDs. The mass market is far from being attained, either in terms of registrations of new domains or their acceptance among users. Most endings with a large potential, like .web, .online or .shop are still months away from their start. We expected from the very beginning a gradual development in the market, and as a result we are completely satisfied with the present demand for the TLDs in the Tucows Group. The first new TLDs have now been on the market for more than a year, and the renewal rate for domains among our customers allows us to be very optimistic about a sustainable positive development.
What are the three most popular gTLDs for your customers and what do you see as the reason?
The strongest new gTLD so far among the OpenSRS resellers is .london. GeoTLDs are generally very successful, and the good figures for .london have been aided by a strong local marketing concept and minimal obstacles for registration. The success of .club, in second place for us, can be traced back to the word – meaningful in many languages – and exceptional marketing by the registry. The registration figures for .xyz, currently in third place for us, are surely a result of aggressively low prices from the registry. In this case, we’re interested to see how many of the customers will be willing to pay the full price for a .xyz domain when the time for renewals comes.
How do you assess the future importance of GeoTLDs – will the average surfer get used to these addresses quickly?
GeoTLDs are intuitively understandable for Internet users – for smithselectrics.london or bestpizza.nyc, it is clear that it’s about a specific offer in the respective city. Particularly for companies whose service is for local customers, there is obvious value in a GeoTLD. The example of .cat, the local TLD for Catalonia, has been showing for several years that this concept works – domains using .cat are often and willingly used in Barcelona.