I was buying a domain the other day and had a thought. With so much competition in the new generic TLD space, how many will become “household names” and turn a profit in the next 10-15 years? 10? 20? Any?
For a company looking to run a TLD, the obvious goal is to make a profit in a reasonable amount of time. “Reasonable amount of time” is relative though, and some are surely playing a very (verrry) long game in terms of making real money. But what if I told you that the auction to run the .web TLD closed at $135 million? When do you make a profit on that?
For reference, Domain Name Wire mentioned that “Neustar paid about $100 million to acquire the .co top level domain name, which already had over 1.5 million registrations and an annual revenue run rate of $21 million.” Comparing the two is hard though. At the time, .co was a known entity making real money, and the field of TLDs to choose from was pretty thin. Today, .web is a complete Moonshot – a TLD that seems generic enough to become popular, but has quite a bit of competition.
The bid price may seem outrageous, but if you’re going to be in the market for a new domain (but don’t need it immediately), .web may signal a good option. If a company is willing to put in $135 million for a TLD, it stands to reason that they’ll also put in the money to advertise its existence – meaning your alt TLD has a good chance of becoming a household name. It’s not as safe as .com, but .web is safer than .pizza and .diamonds, and generic enough to work for any industry.
There’s no set .web launch day yet, but pre-orders are open. Do it!