It has now been 12 months since the first of the new gTLDs entered General Availability and they are having some unforeseen impacts on the domain name world. As the new gTLDs have become available, registrations for some of the key pre-existing TLDs have been declining.
To date there has been 4.1 million domain names registered across, by my count, 304 new gTLDs that have entered General Availability, with a total of 4.25 million domains across all the new gTLDs.
One of the gTLDs that has seen a decline is .net whose total registration numbers peaked at around 15.2 million at the end of 2013 and early 2014 according to Verisign’s statistics. But since then the gTLD has shed around 300,000 domains since the introduction of the new gTLDs.
Others to have seen their registration numbers decline, using figures provided by RegistrarStats.com, include .info which saw registrations peak at around 8.1 million in December 2012 preceding the launch of the new gTLDs, but decline to 5.4 million today. Likewise .biz, which had a growth spurt in the second half of 2013 peaking at around 3.2 million before declining to 2.3 million today. The .mobi gTLD also peaked around January 2014 with 1.2 million registrations declining to 806,000 today.
The .asia gTLD peaked a bit later, around mid-2013 at around 500,000 and then its numbers too plummeted till mid-2014 and then stabilised and today has 278,000 registrations.
The .tel gTLD has a chequered history and is another to have seen registrations decline. It peaked around late 2011 or early 2012 with 340,000 registrations but has since declined before plummeting upon the launch of the first of new gTLDs and today has 132,000 registrations.
There has also been at least one ccTLD to have seen a decline. The .us (United States) ccTLD has seen its registration numbers peak at around 1.8 million in early 2014 and today there are around 1.75 million.
The registration figures don’t show conclusively that new gTLDs have impacted on the registration figures for a number of TLDs, but it seems more than a coincidence the declines have happened since the launch of these new gTLDs.