2016: A Look Back

It was the best of the years, it was the most productive of years. It was a year of growth, it was a year of revelation. For the domain industry, 2016 was a year of significant change, and for Registries promoting new TLDs, the degree of growth and increased awareness was exponential.

With a portfolio of 40 TLDs, Rightside has a lot to be proud of, and even more to look forward to in the coming year. Each TLD is unique, appealing to a specific audience or industry and requiring unique marketing and merchandising efforts from the Rightside team. But 2016 saw four Rightside TLDs stand out from the pack, finding their respective communities and proving the value of new TLDs in general.

Our newest TLD, .GAMES, entered General Availability on September 21, 2016, making .GAMES less than four months old. However, in those four months, .GAMES has managed to rack up 8,400 registrations, many of which are already live promoting creative studios and unique games. These are among the .GAMES accomplishments in the last four months:

  • We received applications for 377 .GAMES domains in Sunrise phase, making it one of our most applied for extensions
  • Best performing new TLD for Sunrise revenue
  • Sold more Premium and Platinum domains than any other Rightside extension prior to launch
  • Many big brands registered a .GAMES domain, including Microsoft, MLB, Nintendo, Ubisoft, Amazon, Electronic Arts, Disney, Walmart, Yahoo, and Caesars Interactive.

The beginning of 2016 saw the release of .FAMILY into General Availability, and to date there have been 12,579 domain registrations across .FAMILY including 627 premium domains.

While .LIVE was technically released in the final quarter of 2015, the live streaming community made 2016 a huge year for .LIVE, which is poised to overtake .NEWS as Rightside’s most registered TLD. This year saw the launch of www.be.live, a website dedicated to serving as a resource and source of inspiration to the live streaming community, as well as a number of high-profile .LIVE adoptions by live streaming advocates including Ryan Bell, Alex Pettitt, Brian Fanzo, and Joel Comm.

While .LIVE will likely overtake .NEWS relatively soon, there is no denying the international appeal of Rightside’s thirty-seventh new TLD, which has seen registrations across 149 countries and demonstrated its appeal to the media industry.

Perhaps the biggest surprise from the entire portfolio has been the surge of .STUDIO registrations, bringing the total to 20,152 with 818 premium domains, and ranking the relatively new TLD as sixth out of the entire portfolio of 40 TLDs. The increase in individuals operating their own creative design studio has played a major role in this surge of popularity, as .STUDIO is becoming the TLD of choice among professionals who want the respectability of a brick and mortar studio without the costs of a physical space.

After the incredible year new TLDs have had, and the incredible strides the industry as a whole has made, it’s difficult to make predictions for 2017 beyond that we think it’s going to be an amazing year.

Send comments to blog@rightside.news.

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