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New Report Uses Media Impressions as a Measure for New TLD Usage and Success

Jeffrey Sass

(This is an excerpt from a new report, powered by media monitoring tool Meltwater. This is an initial report, and the plan is to replicate this report over time in order to show increases (or decreases) in the media impression metric. You can download a PDF of the full report here.)

With so many new domain extensions now available in the online space, it is very hard to measure the success of an individual TLD (Top Level Domain). There have been various methods used, such as total domain registration count, hosted live sites in the Alexa top-million, premium domain sales, aftermarket value, etc. Many of these metrics do help in understanding a new extension's progress, however, top-line registrations alone do not tell a complete story and leaves room for loopholes and shortcomings from free or near free promotions, large individual portfolio holders, and other factors that may contribute to inflated registration numbers.

It is believed that usage is a more reliable measure of a TLD's overall success. True usage is when a person or business uses a domain name as a primary web address for their business or online identity. When a functioning business or end-customer use their domain in a primary fashion, they actively promote it, advertise it, invest in it and renew it over a longer term as they use it as a base for their online presence. A business will invest their time and money to incorporate a domain name that they trust and value. Their domain becomes an active component of their branding, marketing, and PR activities.

When the press or media picks up announcements and/or writes articles about these businesses, the domain name typically gets mentioned in the articles and press releases. This leads to further awareness, familiarity, and trust built around the domain name extensions that are mentioned most frequently in the press.

Meltwater is a media monitoring software tool that collects data on online press impressions (articles) — when there is a mention of a specified keyword or term — in this case, a domain name with a particular domain extension cited in an online press or media article. A few examples of such press impressions are:

  • Mentions of new or existing businesses, startups, celebrities, individuals using any of the new domain extensions, in news articles, blog articles, etc.
  • Press releases from businesses or any media/press articles that have mentioned web addresses using new domain extensions.

This report uses the Meltwater tool to examine and analyze nearly 6 million press impressions over a six month period (January 1st 2017 to June 30th 2017), searching for press mentions of web addresses using ten targeted domain extensions: .xyz, .top, .loan, .club, .win, online, .vip, .wang, .site and .bid. At the time of the study, these were the top-10 new domain extensions based on the total number of registered domains according to NTLDStats.com.

For this report, the TLDs were analyzed on various factors such as Media Impressions, Countries, Languages, Reach, and Sentiment. Consistent search parameters and filters were used across all ten TLDs. In order to focus on domain usage, articles that mentioned the extension(s) in the context of the registry, or as a domain extension (i.e. articles about the domain industry mentioning the new extensions as TLDs, or articles specifically about the activities of a registry operator) were filtered out of the results.

Summary of Results: When tracking the number of press impressions (articles) in terms of raw numbers, the top 3 were: .CLUB, with 14,519 impressions; .XYZ, with 10,770 impressions; and .ONLINE, with 9,595 impressions. When looking at the impression data against topline registration numbers, the top 3 TLDs were: .CLUB, with 13.29 impressions for every 1,000 registrations; .ONLINE, with 12.87 impressions for every 1,000 registrations; and .SITE, with 6.55 impressions for every 1,000 registrations. As for positive sentiment, the top 3 TLDs were: .CLUB, with 4,300 articles; .ONLINE, with 2,200 articles; and .XYZ with 2,189 articles.

Figure 1. Total Impressions for each of the top 10 gTLDs — January 1 through June 30, 2017.

Figure 2. Media impressions compared to total registrations

You can download a PDF of the full report here: DOWNLOAD FULL REPORT

This excerpt first appeared on the .CLUB blog.

By Jeffrey Sass, Chief Marketing Officer, .CLUB Domains
Related topics: Domain Names, New TLDs, Web
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