Momentum and traction in the gTLD arena: What to expect in 2014 – Plus, NamesCon is on!

How fast is the mass expansion of the Internet name space happening?

Not fast enough, according to several domain investors that are projecting either a failure, or a delayed success of the gTLD scheme.

In the end, it’s up to the gTLD Registries to invest in advertising and promote their domain products – it’s not ICANN’s job!

Some, like Sedo’s sister company 1&1 have spent more than $50 million in Europe, raising awareness to the new gTLDs. According to data from 1&1, there are already 4 million pre-registrations of gTLD domains resulting from their campaign.

Consumer awareness won’t happen overnight, however, and as a reminder, .com et al never had a formal introduction: it was an insider’s game, that’s why most successful domainers today started during the early times, unaffected by the eventual popularity of what is collectively referred to as “the dot com.”

With regards to gTLDs, this alleged handicap can work to the benefit of established domain investors, as we are well-aware of what’s going on. Some like it, others don’t. It’s  a matter of preference: not everyone loves French chocolate mousse, or vanilla with cinnamon. But in the end, everyone gets to eat dessert.

Regarding the pricing of gTLD domains, it could be a breaking point for individual registries towards the success or failure of their respective gTLDs, but prices can change at any time.

The initial ‘gold rush’ is inevitable, and I expect those prices to become lower, as competition in related gTLDs increases. Top tier keywords will go for a premium, so don’t expect those to be handed over at reg fee. Those that are shocked by this approach, welcome to Capitalism.

Overall, it will be a very exciting year to be part of an expanding industry that was kept in an infancy state for far too long.

And now for the NamesCon part.

I hope to meet some progressive individuals during NamesCon, a domain conference during which many creative minds will converge. There are 30 panels with discussions ranging from gTLDs – a hot potato subject – to development of brands and businesses, and monetization of domain assets.

The beauty of this highly expanded agenda, expertly prepared by Richard Lau, Jothan Frakes and Jodi Chamberlain, is that one can choose from a variety of meaningful discussions in a manner that best suits their interest.

I’ll do my best to share my insight and modus operandi, during the panels of “Parking vs. Megasites vs. Mini Sites Whitelabels For Your Domains” on Tuesday, January 14th, and during “Meet the industry Press” on Wednesday, January 15th.

See you in Vegas.


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