I’m convinced there will be at least a few companies that will offer domains free of charge and at first sight, this might seem like something significant/revolutionary but in my opinion, free new gTLDs won’t be a threat at all.
The paradox is that, again in my opinion, people won’t want them precisely *because* they’re free.
Look no further than the dot tk extension, they’ve been offering free domains for several years and as you can see, they aren’t even on the map, most people have no idea dot tk exists and those that do don’t want the domains because using a dot tk automatically makes you look unprofessional.
Business/website owners don’t want to be *the guy who can’t even afford a domain* and therefore, as mentioned initially, a lot of people are staying away from dot tk precisely *because* it’s free.
Most .tk domains are being used for very low quality websites and that also makes the extension look bad.
It’s a vicious circle.
Maybe the companies behind the free gTLDs will find a way to be profitable. List building, upsells and so on, I’m sure some companies will end up generating profits via free new gTLDs.
But even that will be very hard.
What I’m trying to say is that there’s no way free new gTLDs will gain traction in any meaningful way for two simple reasons:
1) they’ll mostly be used for low quality websites which will make the extension as a whole be perceived as unprofessional
2) people don’t want others to think they couldn’t even afford a domain, so the fact that they’re free will turn a lot of people away
Psychology 101 or human nature 101, if you will.
All in all, I don’t have all that much confidence in the free new gTLD business model. For those who are involved in the new gTLD space or want to be involved in the future, there are far more lucrative options than offering domains free of charge in my opinion.Advertisement: DomainingServers.com lets you host UNLIMITED domains at $0.98/month and we're putting a LIFETIME money back guarantee on the table (if you're not satisfied, we'll issue a full refund). To place an order, click HERE.