gTLD’s Are Here; Is It Time To Pivot?

New gTLDs? Strategize with a domain broker…

Domain investors and businesses alike have a vested interest monitoring the new gTLDs that might be coming out soon, like .GREEN and .NYC.  It’s important to understand the potential conflicts, advantages & disadvantages as they may pertain to your current domain portfolio; whether speculative or strategic for your brand.  Have a strategy planning conversation with your domain broker if you fall into one of the following categories:

  • Domain investors holding their current portfolio
  • Domain owners looking to sell one or more domains
  • Startups and investors looking for new gTLD domains as alternatives to their current domain or potential future brand

For domain investors with premium domains, talk with your broker. There may be new gTLDs slated to come out that could affect the value of your domains. It might be time to pivot your strategy and sell before value is lost, or hold as value grows.

We have discussed extensively with stake holders and individuals who are strategic in the rollout of the new gTLD program to try and form our own opinions, advice and strategies for a reaction, if any, to the new wave of domain names which will soon be available as part of the domain naming system.  We have read quite a bit of educated speculation from varied perspectives.  This is a complex landscape: there is no blanket approach. A geographic-specific domain like .MIAMI may affect your portfolio in a different way than a community-based gTLD like .CPA or .SPORT.

For example, if you own CostumeShop.com and were planning to sell, should you hold until .SHOP becomes available? A domain broker would likely guide a premium domain owner in selling or holding VegasHotel.com before .HOTEL arrives.

Your domain broker will not recommend selling in all cases. You’ll want to consider the rollout of the gTLD market, the rules for registration that may be imposed on the gTLD in question, and the particular industry your premium domain represents.  Some gTLDs may not become available to the general public and therefore are unlikely to affect current domain values. For others, for example, if you own Octoberfest.com and GermanSausages.com, they are unlikely to be affected in value at all despite .BERLIN’s arrival.

Nuances are likely to be far more complex than the examples above. A domain broker can help you navigate to arrive at the best strategy for your particular domains.  The new gTLD program is not black or white as many onlookers believe it to be.  It’s not good and it’s not bad; it just is.  The sooner you come to terms with the fact that “it is what it is” and what that means for your portfolio or how you plan to navigate the new landscape, the more opportunities there will be for you to take advantage of those opportunities, ahead of your competition.  Along with the arrival of these new domain name extensions, will come many new advances in technology, protocols and how we use the internet and the domain naming system.

If you are currently selling or considering selling a premium domain, much of the advice above applies. Discern if this is the best time to sell or hold, with an informed conversation with a domain broker about the timing of the gTLD rollout. Since the gTLDs will be released in batches, it may be quite some time before the one that concerns you becomes a possibility… Strategize the best market timing with your broker.  It may be that your best option is to own both the .com as well as a corresponding gTLD to reinforce your brand and protect your intellectual property.  In some cases the value of the 2 domains together may far exceed the value of the individual parts.

For startups and investors looking at longer-term strategies, new gTLDs present a vast new landscape.  If you’re hoping to acquire a specific premium gTLD domain at first release, don’t wait to begin the acquisition process. Arrange for your broker to begin discussions with each of the potential winners of the gTLD where you plan to invest. A domain broker specializes in relationships and negotiations, so be sure that they’re an integral part of the process!

 

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