Do city-specific domains like .BOSTON have any hope?


It’s no secret that a lot of the new gTLDs are struggling. At the same time some new gTLDs have found a solid path to success with extensions like .CLUB, .LOAN, and .ONLINE seeing real interest from end-users. I’ll be honest in saying that I thought .CITY domains were going to take off like a rocketship given how valuable real estate is in New York City.

Still, we’re now years into the new gTLD program and there isn’t a single .CITY domain in the list of the top 30 new gTLDs. Today the results of the .BOSTON sunrise came out and only 170 domains have been registered. I think Michael Berkens nailed it in the headline of his post today:

.Boston Domain Extension Off To Slow Start With Just 170 Domains Registered in Sunrise

In his post Michael points out that major sports teams like the Boston Bruins didn’t bother to get their domain names and with 35 Universities in the surrounding area Harvard was the only one to claim it’s matching domain in .BOSTON. Of course, like I said above, there are no .CITY domains in the top 30 new gTLDs so I guess we can’t be too surprised.

The real question is, do .CITY domains have any hopes or are companies, sports teams, and public figures in cities like New York and Boston going to turn a blind eye to their corresponding .CITY domain? Yes, these are still the early days but jeez, I would imagine that in a city like Boston more than 170 people would participate in Sunrise.

As a domain investor all I can say is that I’m steering clear of .CITY domains for the foreseeable future, it’s pretty clear the end-user interest isn’t there and I’m guessing that out of those 170 registrations it’s safe to say that at least half were simply for brand protection, not because someone was dying to get a .BOSTON domain.

What do you think? Are we still just living in the early days or do .CITY domains really have no chance of taking off?

Morgan Linton

Morgan Linton