Will Legacy TLDs Have a Long Legacy?

By Matt Langan
Matt Langan

We all live in a world where the rapid pace of innovation can be both exciting and challenging.

From keeping up with the latest consumer technologies, such as new mobile apps, social media platforms, and digital assistants like Alexa to business-driven innovations like Things (IoT) to Artificial Intelligence, the one certain thing we all face is change.

In the Top-Level Domain (TLD) arena, can the same be said about legacy TLDs? With .com, .org and .net having a lasting hold in the domain arena, it makes us wonder if how much new TLDs will threaten their legacy. In other words, will new TLDs eventually eclipse more traditional TLDs?

According to a recent Dreamhost blog post, younger people are more likely to gravitate towards, and trust, new TLDs when compared to their legacy counterparts. The article also pointed out how the rising popularity of new TLDs shows how "we are in for a change."

For the fans of legacy TLDs, many will point to the recent numbers provided by Statistica that show how .com is still leading the way. Though, according to Verisign, new TLD registration was up over 11 percent in 2018 compared to 2017. This means that one in every five new domains in 2018 was a new TLD.

While the numbers show that .com is still on top, the slow-rising sea change is that new TLDs are providing more dynamic offerings for specialized brands, which are growing in scope. As legacy operators continue to make up for lost volume by raising prices, end-users will continue to look at other viable options. According to estimates, there are 1.5 million significant brands on the marketplace — all ripe for using new TLDs.

In addition, legacy TLDs lack specialization, where they could stand for anything. On one side of the coin, this is good for selling on volume. But wouldn't an environmental nonprofit benefit more from a .earth or a .green domain than a .org, and certainly a .com, as an example?

While there is still room for gaining traction for new TLDs, we could soon be hitting a tipping point to where all companies, brands, nonprofits, artists (and the like) realize the true brand value and differentiation that comes from these specialized domains.

When this happens, a rapid-pace-of-innovation-like-change may be something that all legacy TLDs will need to face.

By Matt Langan, Founder, L&R Communications

Related topics: Domain Names, New TLDs

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