Ah Verisign, the company that we all love, because we love .COMs, but also get annoyed with as they increase our registration and renewal costs. Of course, as a business, I’m never surprised to see Verisign increase their pricing…they have found a way to literally print money, so when they can print more money, they do, it is what it is.
Today Forbes wrote an article that touched on some of the challenges Verisign faces to grow revenue despite increasing fees:
Notably, while the demand for domain names remained strong over the period, first time renewal rates were weaker due to emerging markets contributing a higher proportion of the mix. As this trend is expected to continue over coming quarters, VeriSign’s Revenues are likely to see muted growth(Source – Forbes)
I’m not exactly sure what Forbes means by “emerging markets” but I’m guessing they’re talking about a combination of new gTLDs and ccTLDs. The reality is that we do live in a world now where people have more options than ever before when it comes to domain extensions.
Rewind 20 years ago and people essentially could choose between .COM, .NET, and .ORG, now there are close to 2,000 different options and no matter how you slice it, that takes money away from .COM, which means it takes money away from Verisign.
All that being said, of course Verisign will be fine, but I do think we’ll continue to see registration and renewal fees continue to creep up as other extensions chip away at the .COM market. I think .COM will continue to be king, that’s probably not going to change anytime soon, but given all the different domain extensions available it’s hard to ignore the fact that people can and will choose on of many other options if they find the .COM they wanted is taken.