At this point, it seems that (as strange as it may sound), people are starting to consider a new gTLD launch with 1000-ish domains decent. We had several instances when only a 3 figure number of domains were registered after should have been the big launch phase (sunrise + landrush or variations thereof + first day of general availability), so standards/expectations have been loosened quite a bit.
Poor Marketing Campaigns + Domainer Fatigue = Bad Results
A simple explanation that speaks for itself in my opinion.
During the first few launches, even some of the domainers who aren’t particularly excited about new gTLDs grabbed a few, if only to say that they didn’t go home empty handed.
However, they quickly lost interest.
Unfortunately, things didn’t stop here because as domainer fatigue ended up rearing its ugly head, even a lot of domainers who are serious about trying to do well with new gTLDs started throwing in the towel.
Too many extensions.
Registration/renewal costs that are too high.
The best domains being held back.
… these are just a few examples of things that contributed to domainer fatigue.
Again, during the first few launches, it was hard not to do reasonably well. But as time passes, registries need to up their game or end up realizing that their passive attitude has contributed to the onset of “the new normal” in terms of registration numbers.
If something won’t change, we may very well end up having to get used to such numbers.
The new gTLD scene is definitely in need of some disruptive business models. Either from the existing players or from the registry operators who are currently sitting back and taking notes.