The launch of .PW has received a great deal of attention because it can indicate the kind of reception new gTLDs may receive. The .PW registry operators were delighted to reach 50,000 domain registrations within only 3 weeks of general availability. With their goal for the year of 100,000 registrations, they appear to be well on their way. We congratulate their success.
We were curious what might be driving the registrations of .PW. To find out, we researched the geographic distribution of domain registrations based on NameServer information. We identified Nameserver data on 63,736 .PW domains to find the top NameServer domains and hosting countries. While our list of domains is not complete, we feel it is a large enough sample. Here’s what we found:
The top 3 Nameservers all belong to companies apparently doing business in China.
TOP TEN NAMESERVER DOMAINS, BY DOMAIN COUNT
Looking at the geolocation of the NameServer IPs, the influence of registrations from the Chinese market is even more clear:
TOP TEN NAMESERVER HOSTING COUNTRIES
(NOTE: You may notice that these totals add up over 63,736. Domains often have more than one Nameserver hostname, and each Nameserver hostname may have multiple IP addresses. A domain may have geographically distributed Nameservers. For each domain, we count the country once, regardless of the number of Nameserver IPs in that country)
While .PW seems to be doing well in many markets, the strong growth of .PW domains appears to be driven primarily by Chinese partners which prominently promote .pw to their users. To illustrate, the company XinNet.com (which manages the #2 .PW Nameserver xincache.com) promotes .pw registrations on its homepage and offers it at a lower price than other TLDs.
Lastly, we also analyzed the composition of the domain names to see if there were any patterns. Interestingly, nearly 25% of the registrations contain at least one numeric character. Compare that with less than 7% of domains overall.
After looking at this data, our takeaways are:
1 .PW domains appear to be doing extremely well in the Chinese market.
2 New gTLDs will benefit from strong registrar partnerships, and low pricing.
3 Numerical character domains may be very popular early registrations in new gTLDs, at least those that expect to have a strong Chinese user base.