As I’m sure you’ve noticed, Verisign’s stock fell sharply and all in all, the dot com growth rate is slowing down. We still have growth but as the Internet matures, it’s understandable that the growth rate will not always be impressive.
Will new gTLDs affect this growth rate as well?
Personally, I think it will definitely be a factor but the degree to which dot com growth will be affected by new gTLDs won’t exactly be devastating.
The average consumer is not very informed.
Go ahead and ask a friend or family member who doesn’t earn a living online to name three gTLDs aside from dot com/net/org and you’ll see that in most cases, they will have no idea what you’re talking about.
Savvy Internet users will, of course, be well aware of new gTLDs but for the most part, the average Internet will remain clueless.
So sure, in the future, those who can’t afford a quality dot com domain and know that new gTLDs are an option (and again, these people represent a minority) will have lots of “so-so” alternatives and this will have an impact on the growth rate of dot com domains.
In the future, I do expect the dot com growth rate to slow down since the Internet is maturing and two digit growth rates will be a thing of the past. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that and again, it’s simply a sign that the Web is maturing.
But after drawing the line, I’d say the impact of new gTLDs on the growth rate will be marginal.