Dot Com versus gTLD domains: Mike Mann responds to Paul Stahura

Mike Mann

Mike Mann

It’s bagels vs Donuts, if you pardon the pun; domain investor and entrepreneur, Mike Mann, is responding to Paul Stahura’s article on the future of gTLDs.

We are posting Mike’s entire response verbatim, it’s great to listen to both sides of the argument:

PS – New .COM quality is abysmal. The quality of newly registered .COM names is dropping and has been for years. And there is nothing Verisign can do about it. So welcome to the fire sale.

MM- There are many millions of great .Com on the secondary marketplace, many just a few hundred dollars that make great long term brands. There will never be enough businesses to exhaust the supply of .Com. And one could easily invent new three word .coms that are as good as all but the best of the new gTLDs.

PS – New .COM is as cheap as .XYZ. The average retail price of such .COM names has dropped to about $2.50 (one tenth the average retail price of new TLDs, and that price factors in the free new TLD names).

MM- This reinforces that more people will want .Com since they are cheaper. You may underestimate how cheap people are.

PS – New .COM renewal below 50%. The 2012 cohort of .COM new registrations renewed at just above 50%, the 2013 cohort at 50%, and the 2014 names will renew at below 50%.

MM- This reinforces that any domains that dont sell or have any PPC value are likely to be deleted, gTLDs more likely to eat it than .Com.

PS – .COM is affinity-less. New TLDs such as .CHURCH and .PHOTOGRAPHY appeal to specific communities. Verisign cannot change the meaning of .COM to appeal to a community.

MM- Irrelevant since is still more valuable than and much less confusing, and appears less likely to be a scam.

PS – Here come Google and Amazon. Meanwhile, Google applied for 101 TLDs, and Amazon for 78, with near zero of those launched in 2014, not to mention all the other large corporations launching brand and generic TLDs in 2015. (Johnson and Johnson paid over $3 millionyesterday for the brand spanking new .BABY TLD.)

MM- They can afford to market them and give them away free with other services, meaning their gTLD competitors have yet another risk.

PS – Low consumer awareness… today, but not tomorrow. Consumers are not broadly aware of new TLDs, yet still there are 3.5 million names registered in them.

MM- The cost of making them aware is greater than the margins for most of the extensions, and the confusion and cost makes it worse.

PS – The registrar channel is improving regarding new TLDs. Registrars are developing their search and purchase paths. These tools are improving as new TLD awareness and demand increase.

MM- .Com is already well established and there is little reason to venture beyond it for marketers and customers. Its unlikely any major corporations will drop .Com for a gTLD, we have seen the reverse.

PS – It’s only just started! Only a quarter of new TLDs are out, for an average of just six months, yet they have done 3.5 million new registrations at an average retail price of $25 (counting the free ones). In fact, I signed the .SCHOOL, .NEWS, .FOOTBALL and .GOLF registry contracts yesterday. You’ll see these launched along with hundreds of others in 2015.

MM- Yes the dilution has just begun and the more extensions that are released the less valuable they all become, whilst the .Com flight to quality will increase.

PS – The best are yet to come. That is 3.5 million names on mostly single-applicant TLDs. What will the highly contended TLDs that launch in 2015 do?

MM- 90% will lose their investors money.

PS – Their own clients have jumped into competition. Verisign’s clients applied for 220 new TLDs. Those clients think new TLDs will succeed even if their back-end provider, Verisign, does not.

MM- This will not be the first investor bubble to pop. Tulip mania.

PS – Usage of names in new TLDs is going up. We are monitoring usage on a month-to-month basis in Donuts TLDs and every month, usage increases.

MM- The very low usage is going up slowly while the expenses to purchase and market the new extensions rises much faster.

PS – Registrars can do math. $25 retail with greater than 80% renewal for new TLDs vs. $2.50 retail with less than 50% renewal for new .COM — it’s obvious that ancient .COM renewals are on autopilot and easy money for registrars, but regarding new names, registrars will figure out the long term customer value of new TLDs is greater than with new .COMs.

MM- Great deal for registrars making it too expensive for customers tastes.

PS – Check out .NET. If you don’t believe what’s going to happen in .COM, look at what’s already happening in .NET.

MM- Yes people care less about alternatives to .Com like .Net and this will translate to a dearth of gTLD registrations and renewals.

Nothing personal, I hope Im wrong and all the investors make huge profits. Certainly some exceptions will succeed but not most.

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20 Responses to “Dot Com versus gTLD domains: Mike Mann responds to Paul Stahura”
  1. Tom says:

    A lot of .net is contributed to domain investors, me personally I owned many matching .net’s to .com, which I am not renewing, because I feel owning the .com is strength enough. I am shedding many .net’s in doing so. Many .net owners have been upgrading to .com names as well as we see in weekly sales.

  2. Totally agree with Mike Mann.
    Just to sum it up, as I have already said many times about new Gs and as he confirmed in his replies, “this will not be the first investor bubble to pop. Tulip mania.” … a word to the wise 🙂
    As regards .net, premium and super-premium strong keyword names are definitely still valuable, but I see that many people have regged or purchased also a lot of junk … matching your .com IMHO makes sense only if the keyword is very strong.

  3. Rod.Tv says:

    Soon we will be leaving this world, that’s why i regged VrTag.Com …… so I can find you in the virtual world

  4. I’m going to have to side with Paul on this one. Those invested in .com appear to see every data point with blinders on, hoping their investments don’t lose money. The irony is that they likely won’t lose money, but that doesn’t mean the new extensions won’t succeed.

    Everyone seems to think that this is a zero-sum game. It’s not.

    Everyone seems to think that this argument is only relevant to domain investors. It’s not.

    The bigger picture seems to be missed.

  5. Rod.Tv says:

    Content will be a big factor, develop your new gtld !

  6. jess says:

    Agree with Rod.Tv .. i read somewhere else about gtlds ranking top in search results as they are developed sites. google also said it will be all relying on the content of the site not the domain or the extension.
    It was said that EGYPT.TRAVEL is developed and running site. i googled EGYPT, guess what ? it was in the top. and i did not see etc. i only see EGYPT.TRAVEL. so gtlds will succeed once they are developed sites and that is only a matter of time.
    accept the change !!

  7. Kate says:

    Nice write-up !

    But I have to side with Mann here, the registrars and the registries are singing the praises of new gTLDs, because they sell them. It’s just what you expect them to do.

    EGYPT.TRAVEL is not a meaningful example, because it is the exception and not the norm. Of course, any extension can be developed and rank. The problem is the shortage of quality development in new extensions, and low adoption. Ask yourself why they are not embraced by end users.

  8. Steve says:

    The reality for all extensions is that almost everyone will add .com to the url you describe to them. We own many premium .ca names and whenever someone outside of Canada hears the name with a .ca most add .com to the address.
    new gtld’s will take DECADES to penetrate if at all.
    ie. .co , many people type in , .us – many people type, etc, etc. facts are facts.
    I just spoke to an American customer TODAY about our website at and they said is that…

  9. jess says:

    Jess replying to Kate :

    Listen. why would i care about end users ? you care because you want to sell thousands of domains. you are nothing but greedy domainer.
    For me, i am an end user, i register my gtld and i develop it then BOOM, i am top ranked and it is matter of time and little advertising until gtlds are famous and adopted by everyone. you just want me to pay you 1 or 2 million for your .com ? i rather use that money for my business and no worries, they can renew my gtld domain for…

  10. jess says:

    Another thing is. do you think that the owner of cares ? if he wanted to buy he would end up paying you 1 million dollar !! but now with $100 a year he has a similar keyword. it is all about the site itself for him now. he is ranked top and his sites is generating visitors. just a year or two and many others will follow. everyone will focus on gtlds, they are the substitute. best keywords, domain and extension all in ONE as keywords, so just work on the site content.

  11. jess says:

    Last thing is : STOP comparing .com with gtlds. you won’t stop people from buying them. the more you do, the more they ignore your .com
    it is not 2 extensions to compare them, gtlds are thousands. you can not make a comparison. small and medium businesses will not be able to buy your expensive .com and if they do, then there is no other choices for others !! gtlds are the choice now. everyone can register his preferred domain without paying you a million $.. it was said. ACCEPT THE CHANGE.

  12. jess says:

    Another shocking news . Colombia.Travel ranking toppppppppppppppppp as well as Egypt.Travel

    New gtlds are here.. Good Bye .com

  13. jess says:




  14. Kate says:

    Jess said:

    “For me, i am an end user, i register my gtld and i develop it then BOOM, i am top ranked and it is matter of time and little advertising until gtlds are famous and adopted by everyone. you just want me to pay you 1 or 2 million for your .com ? ”

    I know, some people will buy just whatever domain is available and deemed suitable for their project. Those people are not going to buy from us at a premium, so it’s not business lost to domainers.

  15. Bonin says:

    I prefer .COM and my portfolio of domains is 98% .COM, if you look at sales com holds a higher percentage in comparison with all other extensions taken all together

    Most new extensions are meaningless and useless in many of the cases used by spammers, which makes them unattractive course there are exceptions …. but still not so much.

    For young Internet users new extensions are normal, but not for people who are used .COM for years

  16. Ron says:

    If you look at the 3.5m registrations. 90% are speculators/big companies. Hardly any SMBs. New G registries will go out of biz in a few years, only a handful will survive.

  17. DomainGang says:

    Ron – The earth will go out of biz in a few billion years too. That does not stop people from living and creating.

  18. Mason Cole says:

    Much of this is old news. Since this was written months ago:
    – Google registered ABC.XYZ as a flagship domain for its business
    – The Hunger Games film franchise placed its mark in the industry with TheHungerGames.MOVIE
    – Golf’s Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke changed his online identity to DarrenClarke.GOLF
    – Lady Gaga adopted BornThisWay.FOUNDATION
    – Musician Kanye West produced his new fashion website at Yeezy.SUPPLY
    – Pro football quarterback Kirk Cousins adopted YouLikeThat.FOOTBALL
    – One of the world’s largest churches changed its name to Life.CHURCH

    There are many more examples. Don’t forget that .XYZ has managed more than one million names and, I’m happy to say, Donuts is approaching the 2 million mark in registrations across our gTLDs. This trend is more than emerging, it’s here to stay.

  19. Steve says:

    New tlds were inevitable. The com jungle is polluted and many need a better way to get their business online. Churches for example have dot church. Healthcare has dot healthcare.

    I have launched several new tlds with content and the search engines treat them equally with com. That is because they have good content, not because of some lame dot com address.

    MM is biased since his investment strategy is only com. He is pointing to the poor investment of crazy dot what ever at the highest levels. Obviously some of those are simply dead meat from the start.

    The Internet will flourish from the addition of new, sensible tlds.

  20. Raymond Chai says:

    My Billionaire.Property ranked number 1 , page 1 at Google search keyword Billionaire property !

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