Will 2014 Be The Year of .CLUB?

Magic Ball

(The following post was written by .CLUB Domain’s  CEO, Colin Campbell.)

Here’s my prediction for 2014:

 It will be the year of .CLUB, with .CLUB out-selling any other new generic extension in 2014.

What a journey it has been!  Year after year we waited for ICANN to deregulate and open up the domain space so that consumers, businesses and communities could get a great domain name that actually represented what they did.  Year after year, we waited and waited…

We started .CLUB Domains in 2011, years after I spent months working with Roger Collins, former owner of Afternic, to study the new extensions.  It became clear to me early on that certain top level domains would do better than others. Our thesis formed around 4 principles: a successful top level domain needed to be short, memorable, add meaning, and NOT compete with .COM.   One domain that meets all of these requirements is .CLUB.

I have no doubt there will be a few domain extensions that do compete fairly well with .COM, but I believe the vast majority that do try to compete with the leader will fail. On the other hand there are names that have a different meaning than .COM or .ORG and those names can ultimately improve and enhance the Internet’s naming system by providing a more relevant experience online for end-users.

We believe .CLUB is such a name.

.CLUB means something different than .COM.  It is the first “social top level domain” to come to market because it stands for bringing people together who have similar passions, ideals, and beliefs.

Let me tell you what I mean.  One of my favorite bands is The Killers. You can visit their website at www.thekillersmusic.com.  If you haven’t been there, you can expect, based on the domain name, that it will be a place showcasing The Killers music. Now change the URL to www.Killers.club and, assuming we are talking about the band, it now has a much more direct meaning, one that says “come join our site and share your passion for our music with others.”  Club adds meaning to whatever you put to the left of the dot.

So, here is my prediction (and yes, I am biased): 2014 will be the year of .CLUB out-selling any other new generic extension during the year.

Now, I admit that predicting the number one spot in 2014 is pretty bold. But let me back it up with a few facts:

First of all, .CLUB has been recognized in almost every “Top 10” or “most popular” list for those sites that are taking pre-registration interests, including a 7th position on GoDaddy’s top 10 list.

Of the most popular new names based on pre-registration interest most of them remain in contention. .Web, .Shop, .Music, .Blog, .App are all great names that will likely give .CLUB a run for the money, but because they are still in contention they will likely not come to market until late 2014 or beyond.  In fact, of the Top 40 names on the UnitedDomains most popular list, only one generic is firmly set to launch in 2014. And you can guess which one it is: .CLUB.

We will be launching the .CLUB domain with competitive pricing to .com, and with renewal pricing always at General Availability (GA) rates. It is expected that most registrars will sell .CLUB names from between $12.99 – $19.99 during GA.

We have no G.A.C. advice – (no government imposed restrictions) allowing us to launch .CLUB as an open and unrestricted name (unlike so many other names coming to market).

And lastly, we only applied for one name, .CLUB.   We have a team that is totally focused on the success of .CLUB and we are obsessed with the way .CLUB can actually make a big difference on the internet.

With all of the above in mind, here are the numbers we predict for .CLUB in 2014:

  • 300,000 names within the first week of G.A.
  • 1,000,000 names within a year of G.A.
  • 766,000 by end of 2014.

I admit these projections are far from a sure thing. But if I am correct, we will be the poster child for the new gTLDs and open the door for the other “super generics” in 2015 and beyond.

One thing I can definitely promise: in 2014 its going be a rollercoaster for all the new applicants.  We think .CLUB will be the “Summer Blockbuster” of the year, but I am certain we will see other sleeper hits as well.  It should be a great year for the Internet!

– Colin.club

 

Photo Credit: © kropic – Fotolia.com

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About the Author

Jeff Sass

Jeff Sass is .CLUB's Chief Marketing Officer. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sass.

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