The domain industry is going strong and there is no sign of slowing down. In fact, in the latest gTLD report released by ICANN (December 2013), all the gTLDs have gained in terms of registrations.
Also, according to Verisign, worldwide registrations have grown by 18.5 million, or 7.3%, year over year. .COMs and .NETs have grown at a rate of 5% year over year.
Despite this steady growth, there is perception out there that the domain industry has been on the decline. Google Trends tool backs up this loss in interest over the past decade. Don’t be misguided though. Google Trends only keeps track of searches. It doesn’t necessarily reflect the actual market. And, there is a good explanation for why domain-related keywords could be on the decline. As the Internet matures, more and more consumers become educated about the workings of the web. So, over time, it would be natural to see a decline in searches for certain keywords, such as “domains,” “websites,” or “search engines.”
We see promising stats provided by industry leaders, but something happened recently that gave another signal of industry strength. DomainNameSales.com recently reported a recording breaking sale for a .NET. The domain, Mobile.net, sold for $500,000 which breaks the previous record of $454,500 for Sex.net.
Although premium prices are reserved for premium domains, I continue to see mediocre domains sell for 4 figures on a regular basis, sometimes in less popular domain extensions like .ORG, .INFO, and even .IO.
All of these stats and sales activity are good indicators that the domain industry is going strong. Based on my observation, the influx of new gTLDs have only strengthened the existing markets so far. It’s still early, but we’ll see.