OHHHHHHHHH yes they are.

I recently spoke on the phone to a French domainer about new gTLDs. There are not so many of them in France that can make decent money from reselling domain names. His story was pretty straightforward: “my list is ready and I have not used any pre-registration platform. I will register when new domains extensions are open to all”. No mention of any Landrush or Sunrise period. Of course, no word about the domain names he plans to register. This is a very conservative strategy, and I am not surprised, since there will be plenty of opportunities with so many new Top-Level Domains launching, especially for non-English speakers; even if we consider that English domain names are usually the most profitable ones.

I also often read about the American domaining business; I notice how largely negative their opinions are about new gTLDs: many are still only interested in .COMs or openly vocal about how convinced they are that the new gTLD program will fail. I once watched a debate between new gTLD domainers; there were the “pros” and the “cons” and I do admit that the famous domainer Frank Schilling had quite a few good arguments for the New gTLD program actually revitalising the domain name industry.

More specialized contents for domainers

I also noticed that there were a large number of sites, many good blogs and specialized conferences for domainers. Very recently, I have noticed that specialized websites and announcements from domainers are beginning to focus on new domain names. Websites like “Sedo” offer such services as “New gTLD services for buyers”.

I do not consider myself as a domainer since I have only three domain names for sale and since I do not make a living out of selling them. Nevertheless, I sometime talk to serious domainers and I have some idea, after all these years in the domain name business, of what their ultimate goal is.

The goal of the .COM domainer

The goal of the domainer is simple: sell a unique domain name for millions of dollars. Selling “the” domain name at a fantastic price: dating.com ($1.7 million) – korea.com – business.com (7.5 million) – fb.com – ticket.com ($1.5 million) – insure.com ($16 million) -privatejet.com or fund.com ($9.9 million) sold for millions of dollars in the era of .COM domain names.

A new era: a new breed of domainer

Whatever the speculation is about the predicted success or lack thereof, regarding new gTLDs there are factors no one can ignore in 2014:

  1. There is simply no space left for great .COM domain names. Of course, some valuable existing .COM domain names can and will be traded over and over again but no new ones can be created.
  2. Former gTLDs were limited to 22 (I don’t like to point to it but .XXX is part of them). Now there are hundreds of new ones, coming onto the market, with many possibilities to be the first Registrant to “grab” a valuable generic domain name.
  3. .COM domain names were meaningful in the past and will probably be in the near future but .COM domains had no identity but for the three characters added to the second level domain itself, to make it work technically. Note that I exclude country code Top-Level Domains here (ccTLDs).
  4. I use this adage is much used, it remains true that new generations will grow up with the new domain names, so I doubt that my son is going to pay much attention to older .COM domains when he is old enough to buy domain names.

I would be tempted to say that it is an obvious strategy for a domainer to criticize new gTLDs (in order to protect their existing investment), but if one of the most successful domainers of all time doesn’t talk about them in a negative fashion, you’d better listen. When you are confident that you can acquire a good domain name in such a vast and expanding market, why would you talk about it? Why on earth would you let anybody know about your plans?

Will new gTLDs fail? I seriously doubt it. All the negative noise from domainers won’t make them fail that will make them fail …Since I also doubt that French and American domainers are on a head on collision course with New gTLDs, I am confident that many of them are seriously prepared to grab the best domain names, no matter whether it takes years for them to resell them.

And by the way, I have my doubts about the suggestion that the number of domainers will be on a fast rise.