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GoDaddy New gTLD Registration Number is Telling

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GoDaddy is the largest domain registrar in the world. According to its About Us page, GoDaddy has “more than 63 million domain names under management.” Based on my own intuition and experience, I believe GoDaddy is the most recognizable domain name registrar brand in the world.

When it comes to the new domain name extensions, GoDaddy lags far behind in registration volume. nTLDStats.com shows that GoDaddy ranks #6 when it comes to new gTLD domain names under management.  As of this morning, there are 1,560,490 new gTLD domain names registered at GoDaddy, which is 5.45% of all new gTLD domain names. Considering that GoDaddy is the largest domain registrar in the world (probably the largest retail registrar, too), I think this figure is quite telling.

For whatever reason, it does not seem like retail buyers are purchasing the new domain names. There are certainly examples of companies using the new gTLD domain names, but the lack of registrations at GoDaddy is a bit surprising given the reach GoDaddy has (the company claims “more than 14 million customers“). Additionally, if you look at the daily registration numbers, it seems like the number of daily new gTLD registrations at GoDaddy is not growing, which is what I would have expected to see. One would assume that the longer the new domain names are for sale, the more people would learn about them and register them.

I understand that the new extensions are more popular in China, which is why China-based domain registrars have the most registrations. However, I would imagine the majority (maybe even vast majority) of these domain names are investments bought cheaply and won’t be developed.

At least so far, I think the GoDaddy new gTLD registration numbers is telling and that is probably more concerning than the Uniregistry price increase.

I am likely biased because of my own .com portfolio. To a lesser degree, I am also biased because GoDaddy is an advertiser and I have been a GoDaddy customer since 2003.


About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.


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Comments (53)

    Acro

    > GoDaddy is the most recognizable domain name registrar brand in the world.

    Knowing a brand does not quantify use. Everyone knows Coca-Cola but not everyone drinks one. Many prefer local beverages.

    > New extensions are more popular in China.

    Some new gTLD registries opted to target China and Japan with cheap promos. In these countries, price is the driving factor, often regardless of extension. Whether that makes new gTLDs more popular in China is debatable.

    > the majority (maybe even vast majority) of these domain names are investments bought cheaply and won’t be developed.

    So what? Does a cheap investment lessen the scope of investing? Or would you rather pay $100 versus $10 for a .com domain? The development rate of .com domains is also abysmal, less than 40%. It was lower before ICANN killed tasting.

    GoDaddy makes strategic decisions all the time: acquires domain portfolios, extends or drops agreements with the competition etc.

    The new domain market cannot be simplified into a polarity of “love/hate” for the new extensions.

    March 17th, 2017 at 11:45 am

      Brad

      gTLD’s are fools gold. Most people get that now.

      In reply to Acro | March 17th, 2017 at 2:42 pm

      Acro

      If all you want to do is troll and not formulate a half-intelligent response, then congratulations; your daily quota has been reached.

      In reply to Brad | March 17th, 2017 at 2:58 pm

      Brad

      Everyone else has done a great job of explaining why the new gTLD’s are crap. No reason for me to do it again. What would be interesting however is a compelling argument as to why they will still succeed.

      I think you missed the point of the article and your Coke example is no good. If Godaddy is the biggest registrar, then they should have more gTLD registrations. It’s not as if Godaddy customers are going elsewhere for their gTLD registrations. They just aren’t buying them. Think about that. The most popular place in the world (by far) to buy a domain, isn’t selling many gTLD domains. What does that tell you?

      In reply to Acro | March 17th, 2017 at 3:52 pm

      Elliot Silver

      “The most popular place in the world (by far) to buy a domain, isn’t selling many gTLD domains. What does that tell you?”

      That was what I was getting at here.

      In reply to Brad | March 17th, 2017 at 4:57 pm

      K

      That’s where you’re wrong, godaddy is the biggest registrar if we count only the ones actually selling them. Other registrars are giving them away or equal to ICANN+backend fees. I assume those registrars are being paid by the registries in order to offer such promotions to their clients. The goal is to create hype so that registries (doing such promotions) can sell their “premium” registry reserved inventory and maybe make some money from people that renew the crap they’ve been given in the process.

      In reply to Elliot Silver | March 17th, 2017 at 5:25 pm

      Acro

      A+ for the effort. At least now you explained your position.

      GoDaddy is a registrar, not a registry. They have agreements with a large number of registries, based on their ability to tap particular markets. Revenue stream is key, as is the ability to reach the local markets using campaigns that match the local culture. Ergo, no can do China. That spot is taken by other registrants, for other gTLDs.

      GoDaddy customers are indeed going elsewhere for their registrations, where the price is right (lower.) So now that GoDaddy dropped Uniregistry, at least for now, that gap will be filled by other registrants.

      So to recap: GoDaddy isn’t popular worldwide. Not even Europe, definitely not in Asia.

      In reply to Brad | March 17th, 2017 at 7:02 pm

      Elliot Silver

      Regardless of their popularity elsewhere, GoDaddy is the largest registrar by volume (and likely by customers) in the world, and it isn’t even close.

      Additionally, the vast majority of new gTLD extensions are English words.

      With both of those factors, one would assume the registration volume would be larger at GoDaddy if there was interest in them.

      In reply to Acro | March 17th, 2017 at 7:23 pm

      Brad

      Who called Godaddy a registry? Do you have any proof that Godaddy customers tend to go other places to buy their gTLD’s?

      In reply to Acro | March 17th, 2017 at 7:47 pm

      Acro

      @Brad – When GoDaddy isn’t the biggest local registrar, you go to where you know: Russians go to Yandex, Chinese to Alibaba, Germans to 1&1 etc. In the US, GoDaddy is king – no doubt.

      Strings such as .Win, .Top etc. have been marketed in China ad nauseam, using local registrars.

      GoDaddy knows not to get involved in markets where their piece of the pie isn’t hefty. I have no data for India, but in China they are puny.

      In reply to Brad | March 17th, 2017 at 9:35 pm

      Brad

      A simple “no” would have sufficed.

      In reply to Acro | March 17th, 2017 at 11:02 pm

      Web Hosting Jobs

      Count all the registrars they now own through Host Europe Group.

      The domain numbers change drastically. 🙂

      In reply to Elliot Silver | March 19th, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Ryan

    GTLD’s are crap, I had AppleCompany.Business try and spoof my icloud account yesterday, and steal my passwords. Good luck trying Donut’s to take it down.

    March 17th, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Hans

    Refreshing to read such a honest and objective article.

    The registrations from China are for the most part pigeon shit, bought for 99 cent. They are neither going to be used or sold except for spam.

    Other popular registrars include Uniregistry, Namecheap and Alpnames. Not your typical retail registrars.

    The average joe in the US (Godaddy user) is not buying them.

    With at least 30% market share we would have a total of 4.5 million domains registered in the target market, after 3 years.

    That suggests low demand and a rather small potential end-user market.

    March 17th, 2017 at 12:37 pm

      Ryan

      @Hans

      If you factor in the only ones worth registering are the dynamic category killer terms which come with annual $6,000 – $60,000 renewals, really sinks any demand for them at this point. The ones that did get away are held by double fisted domainers who are going to hold on for dear life, until the .mobi train rolls around.

      In reply to Hans | March 17th, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Jeff Libert

    Every time a new gTLD – .info, .biz, .mobi – was released the stages of the dialogue > expectation > excitement > hyped “sales” (Flowers.mobi anyone?) > promotion > flogging of fanboys > denial of death (See book by same name for 5 stages) > growing silence > crickets chirping > NEXT GREAT gTLD announced.

    The registration pattern was the same.

    Why on earth would anyone with any experience believe that the release of 100s of new gTLDs would result in a different pattern or outcome? Sure, more money invested into the startups contributed to (exacerbated?) each stage of the “dialogue” but . . well . .

    What stage do you think we’re at now?

    I smell death. Deny it if you need to. I wish speculative investors the best, but my money is on history repeating itself . . again . . and again . .

    March 17th, 2017 at 1:11 pm

      Ryan

      I have to agree .biz .us are great extensions, .us were being sold for 10 cents a few months ago, and many are now owned by foreign residents in violation of the policy on them. They just put up $199-$499 BINS on them all, and will roll the dice for a year, and we start the drop again.

      If .biz was to be released in 2014 with the other hyped domains, it would be a blockbuster, we already have all the info, I can buy one word .biz domains that would sell for millions in .com for $69 and up?

      It was Uniregistry who opened the flood gates of all these talks really in the past week. I feel that company is conflicted, as when you put your own self interests in front of that of your customers, it never results in a good experience for your customers. Uniregistry effectively competes against it’s own customers, and I am seeing lots of friends do a double take, and say he do we want to be in bed with these guys.

      In reply to Jeff Libert | March 17th, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    Mobile Notary

    I think #6 is pretty good. Considering drops will be massive. 🙂

    March 17th, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Mark A

    5% in 2 years is pretty good. It took .com 10 years to get to a million registrations. Different time but interesting all the same.

    March 17th, 2017 at 2:15 pm

      Snoopy

      Same argument used to get made about the Microsoft Zune, it got to 1 million units far quicker than the iPod ever did at launch.

      Doesn’t mean a thing though because the Zune’s market share was tiny and the market for those products was no longer in its infancy.

      In reply to Mark A | March 17th, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    K

    In order to do a serious analysis on registrars and new gtlds one has to calculate actual money spent on ngtlds. Uniregistry has 1.8M ngtld registrations. Does that mean it’s a “bigger” ngtld registrar than godaddy? No, since 87% of these registrations are $0.01 .xyzs. On the other hand, ngltd domains at godaddy are mostly donuts which generally cost $10-$40 per year(granted, they have been discounting them recently -last few months- but that’s 1st year only and it’s not for all donuts tlds). From 6/2016 to 11/2016 (a recent time period I could find stats on) godaddy gained 500K domains, around 200K of these were ngtlds. I don’t think that’s a bad performance for new gtlds.

    There are two types of ngtlds:
    1.sub-$1 domains that create hype and are aimed mostly at Chinese markets.
    2.$10-$40 domains registered mostly by end-users and investors because of the relation between the right and left part of the dot.

    When someone confuses those types and regards all ngtlds as one, there are many wrong conclusions to be drawn.

    March 17th, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    Mark Thorpe

    A lot of new gTLD’s will not be renewed either.

    March 17th, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    R P

    After this rate rise by uniregistry it is more apparent than ever that certain TLDs are for investing, and others arent.

    .com is more akin to buying a NYSE or NAZ listed stock vs new Gs grey/black market. Weaker transparency and regulation requirements, of which are not uniform.

    March 17th, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    Snoopy

    80-90% of Ntld registrations are 1c-$1 promotions, robo registrations and the like.

    Real registrations are about 4 million registrations in total and GoDaddy has about 35-40% of that market.

    March 17th, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    Steve

    I’m not certain per the distribution of the GTLDS per purchase and use, but I’d estimate something like this, at least within the USA & Canada:

    New Domain Investors: 65%
    Veteran Domain Investors: 3%
    Testers – registered as a lark:3%
    Brands: for defense reasons: 15%
    End Users: to launch sites, apps, companies, offerings: 9%
    Marketers: for an ad campaign: 5%

    Purely an estimate. Not based on datasets.

    If someone or others have more precise figures or estimates, I’d welcome them.

    Most likely,

    1) the brands will stay aboard, as their IP teams and/or outsourced brand protectors will encourage their clients and/or companies to keep them in place to “cover their tails”
    2) Marketers should remain about the same, or a bit smaller piece of the pie, and this will include the marketing “consultants” who used to evangelize the GTLDs frequently on the main blogs, but have cut back
    3) New Domain Investors: large churn, unless renewal fees go down considerably (e.g. 99 cents)
    4) Veteran Domain Investors — remain about stagnant, as they have “skin in the game” (as investors, GTLD partners, affiliates, owners of registries)
    5) Testers — about the same —
    6) End-users — anticipate attrition, due to the confusion with names: toronto.realestate or is it torontorealestate.com?

    Did anyone make killings?

    Who got slaughtered?

    Rick Schwartz predicted the true acid test would be the 3 year mark.

    Was he correct?

    Was the crash worse?

    Has the demise of the GTLDs been greatly exaggerated?

    March 17th, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    Leonard Britt

    Makes you wonder how many new TLD registrations are registered by the registries (or affiliated companies) just for the sake of pumping up registration stats. Of course $1 or less promos which rarely convert into normal renewals accomplish the same thing.

    March 17th, 2017 at 10:33 pm

      Snoopy

      Many of those names will be dropped over the next few years. Registries won’t be able afford the 20 cent ICANN fee on those names. Another reason why more registries will dramatically increase renewals, to stop those names being registered for $10.

      In reply to Leonard Britt | March 18th, 2017 at 5:55 am

    Phil

    Of the 3k new gtlds I own, less than 50 are at godaddy and I did not buy a single .01 -1.99 domain under any of the strings that had give away promos . I think many of the gtld speculators use other venues to buy their gtlds.

    March 17th, 2017 at 11:03 pm

      Elliot Silver

      Are the majority of your .com (and non-new gTLD) domain names registered at GoDaddy? If they are, why did you not choose GoDaddy for the new gTLD?

      The majority of my names are not at GoDaddy.

      In reply to Phil | March 18th, 2017 at 7:03 am

      Phil

      Elliot , I would say probably yes , most of my .com are at godaddy , and some still left at Netsol.

      My cc names are mostly at dynadot.

      Pricing had a lot to do with using name.com and hexonet for the new gtlds

      Also for the eap process I found my greatest success was with name and hexo . I think most of the people holding quality word.word names Aquired in eap used other venues than godaddy .

      In reply to Elliot Silver | March 18th, 2017 at 7:24 am

      Ryan

      Phil ask yourself the hard question, what is the annual renewal of your portfolio, you have 4XX LL.Media that cost close to $40K to renew, you are well into 6 figures into renewals, with output cost, EAP cost, and carrying cost, you are working in the RED right now.

      With the added risk Uniregistry just presented, your entire business model just became flawed. They will not allow you to make money off their back, as their is no regualation.

      I know your a honest guy, and you paid your dues, and supported the cause, but your landlords are not so giving. They want what they deem is there’s back, and they are willing you to tax you to get it back.

      It has become a catch 22

      In reply to Phil | March 18th, 2017 at 2:17 pm

      Ryan

      Phil you have it wrong, Godaddy was a monster in EAP for the majority of catches. Enom, Name, 101, on the majority of Donuts extensions did not beat out Godaddy.

      In reply to Phil | March 18th, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Domo Sapiens

    Shocking news.

    March 18th, 2017 at 7:52 am

    Rick Schwartz

    When somebody disagrees they are NOT a troll. That’s like calling someone a racist.
    Make your point but name calling either way is not productive.

    It is very obvious that gTLD’s are on DEATH WATCH. PERIOD!!

    We are at the beginning of the end. Few will survive. Mass consolidation may not even save them. The “Stinkers” far out number all else.

    Godaddy’s registrations are TINY when every consumer or business owner I have EVER met uses Godaddy. The FACT is end users have little need for gTLD’s and 99% of folks could not name 10 extensions with a gun to their head.

    The day of reckoning is coming and folks can either avoid the avalanche or be swept away by it.

    Facts and INFO like THIS can only be ignored if you don’t understand human behavior and numbers. It means a LOT Solid evidence of the weakness of the entire gTLD space.

    It will get worse from here. It will be the REGISTRARS like Godaddy that will be blamed for price increase. THEY will have to deal with the fallout. The average person does not even know what a Registry is. They do business with Godaddy. They are going to have to explain to all their customers that it is not their fault.

    And the FACT that not a single gTLD came out with any type of STRONG caps in their TOS when they HAD an chance is the single most telling thing. BEND OVER DOMAINERS!!

    The primary market and the aftermarket for gTLD’s just got 1000x riskier than 2 weeks ago. That’s just obvious.

    March 18th, 2017 at 8:22 am

    Suresh Raghavan

    Many of us went through these lessons with info, biz and mobi, but many of these new domainers are having to find out once again. The internet and .coms are only 20+ years old, still very young considering only about 3 billion have been online. Thats still less than 50% of the population. The biggest reason that these gtlds failed on is the WHY. Why do we need these and how does it improve the end user experience. Just moving the location of the DOT, isn’t an improvement, it adds to the confusion. in some ways its more work. People are used to 20+ years and billions of dollars, large brands worldwide using .com or cctlds as end stop. We automatically type in .com or .co.in in India when using Google for example at the end. Are some of these very tiny niche gtlds be around, probably, very few combinations make sense. Even when some of these make sense, the execution by registry has to be flawless at every point, home runs at every step to make it even half viable. These will be just country clubs that are hardly visited in my opinion not mass appeal. All those 1c registrations, well the fact you need 1c registrations is a tell tale enought

    March 18th, 2017 at 9:42 am

    Paul

    I registered maybe 10-12 gTLD names to coordinate with some .coms that I owned…..and 2 were registered at Godaddy.

    All my 1,000+ .coms names are at Godaddy, except for 100+ names that I won at auction and are awaiting to be transferred into Godaddy.

    My point…from a domainer’s perspective… is that pricing was important to me and Godaddy could not match the better pricing at other registers. I don’t even think Godaddy was that involved at the beginning.

    I now own 3 gtld names now and they are set to expire.

    I was excited when the gTLDs came out and with all the blogs and Frank’s online missives certainly got the blood flowing for most folks….myself included, to a limited extent.

    So, Godaddy may not be a good barmeter for domainers per se….just a limited sample from my own experience.

    March 18th, 2017 at 9:54 am

    Adam

    So if the domainers investing in new tlds aren’t generally buying at Godaddy, then can we say the numbers of registered names at GoDaddy reflect general end-user uptake? And if Godaddy isn’t a “local” favorite in other countries, then we can say that these are representative of generally US focused end users?

    March 18th, 2017 at 11:50 am

      Rick Schwartz

      @Adam. BINGO! You got it. You would also have to look at each extension to drill down even further. Then after that you would have to drill down to see the type of registrations. Whether they were 1 penny. etc. But you are on the trail. First layer. Keep digging. Good job!

      In reply to Adam | March 18th, 2017 at 12:16 pm

      Hans

      .horse 474
      .games 1600
      .online 110k
      .club 134k
      .xyz 156k
      .video 4k
      .rodeo 63
      .nyc 37k
      .vodka 403
      .webcam 394
      .rocks 25k
      .pink 884
      .property 2k
      .reviews 4800
      .ninja 11k
      .guitars 313
      .blackfriday 315
      .flights 373
      .marketing 6k

      here the registrations with Godaddy for various extensions.

      .rodeo is the worst with just 63 registrations.

      In reply to Rick Schwartz | March 18th, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    Ryan

    To put it into perspective 10,000 domains registered at 1 cent = $100

    Uniregistry sent out their price increase email yesterday, and .click, and .link were previoulsy stated to be going up $1, 30-105%

    2 of your .CLICK currently priced at $6.88, will renew at $13.88.
    3 of your .LINK currently priced at $9.88, will renew at $13.88.

    This will purge this extension clean, and will sell to the next batch.

    Isn’t this somewhat illegal, I really feel used here, like I am being extorted from my domain names?

    March 18th, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    Rick Schwartz

    .Rodeo. ROTFLMAO!!
    Every time I see it I just LOL
    I can’t help it. Did they think this is a big market? lol
    Next to Dead.Horse. lol

    March 18th, 2017 at 2:48 pm

      Adam

      NotYourFirst.Rodeo eh rick ?

      In reply to Rick Schwartz | March 18th, 2017 at 9:00 pm

      John

      I was thinking this one, which is expired now: http://www.thisaintmyfirst.rodeo/

      In reply to Rick Schwartz | March 18th, 2017 at 11:59 pm

      John

      Oh I see it’s just the site that expired…

      In reply to Adam | March 19th, 2017 at 12:14 am

      Ryan

      Ironic enought that was a Mind & Machines extension, Fred Kruger, and his right hand man sent out that big statement .com is dead.

      Fast forward, and they were forced to leave the company, and their extensions are not doing well. I think they flipped the switch on themselves.

      Funny It was about 3 years to this day all these conversations, and questions on the future of gtld’s were being predicted.

      Today we are following the same path as .info .us .mobi etc… cheap promos, spam, no real end user demand, just domainers fighting over non issues.

      In reply to Rick Schwartz | March 19th, 2017 at 12:34 am

    steve

    I scratch my head and ask WTF were they thinking when allowing so many of these extensions.

    Well, of course, they were thinking $$$$$.

    But how? You can’t sell ONLY the sizzle. Sorry, dead.horse won’t make the cut.

    March 18th, 2017 at 8:04 pm

      Ryan

      Why did they care issuing new gtld’s, it was like printing money out of thing air.

      In reply to steve | March 18th, 2017 at 9:14 pm

      John

      “Well, of course, they were thinking $$$$$”

      You were so right to use five dollar signs there… https://youtu.be/Ll3uipTO-4A?t=14

      In reply to steve | March 19th, 2017 at 12:07 am

    Scrivener

    It just occurred to me that the vast majority of TLD’s over almost all of the time the Internet has been used were short abbreviations – never complete words.

    People have been taught that yyy.ru or zzzz.co.uk are domain names, something to be used on the Internet or email address. Smething like firstclass.travel, while it appears at first blush to be a better, more descriptive and memorable address, is really worse, because people who see it do not recognize it as a domain name. It breaks all the conventions.

    It would be as if the post office said instead of street town state you can address your letter with the longitude and latitude of your location. Any commercial entity who put that in their advertisements would receive no mail. It would take a massive public education program to teach people that it was even an address and could be used as an address.

    March 19th, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    steve

    @Scrivener

    I agree with you, to a degree.

    However, I had a media company and we used a .TV domain extension and for our offering, it worked well.

    The same with .ME, .IT (but mostly for Italy), .IO (Tech), .AI (high niche for AI companies — most owners are end-users, and most come from Silicon Valley)

    Most people would recognize ONLY .com. Maybe .org for many. And certain country codes.

    Bottom line: there was zero NEED for any of the GTLDs, however, some extensions (.CLUB, .APP, .BLOG, .WEB, .BANK, .SHOP) have provided an opportunity for the participants.

    I believe some former members of the .CO team are launching .health this week, or maybe it was last week. Talk about bad timing.

    March 19th, 2017 at 9:59 pm

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