As I look at the current conditions of the domain industry I can only come to the conclusion that the industry is in major decline. It did not start yesterday or even this year, it started a few years back and it is just getting more noticeable. My vantage point may be different and probably much longer than most readers.
Looking back I would say 2005-2015 was the epicenter and also the peak for domain name investing. At least so far. Business is cyclical. Ebb and Flow. The very essence of business.
Now that does not mean domains won't roar again or continue to roar. But what it does mean is the market gets much more choosey and that affects our marginal domains. The domains of value will always rise to the top. Difference is the ones with no value will now fall all the way to the bottom as there will be less domainers to catch them and less cash chasing that garbage.
Now there are many opportunities that will come down the pike. All these Mergers will help to spinoff new companies and entities. These startups start out with $$$.
The Life, The Death and The Rebirth of the Industry of Domains is still how I see things. I just don't have a timeline for the rebirth mostly because of the new GTLD detour. But that detour is about to expire. That detour went nowhere. It wasted the time and money of domain investors and that is the primary reason for the decline. All those $$$,$$$,$$$ transferred from the wallets of domainers to the wallets of those that pulled the wool over your eyes and convinced you to buy a bag of worthless .crap. And btw, the majority of GTLD registrations I have seen are so bad that even with a .com on the end they would be worthless because just look at the junk posted for sale yesterday on my blog. Only a couple even made any sense.
Registries and registrars are doing just fine except for the 400 GTLD's that are insignificant and have less than 25,000 registrations. Only 6 GTLD's have more registrations than .Mobi. But that does not help domain investors who never learned that lesson about adoption and value. Along with .Net, .Info, .Biz and all the other garbage that are worth 1% or less of what the .com counterpart is worth and few will even buy them at that price. There is simply no demand, no circulation, limited advertising and not synonyms with the Internet as .com is and will FOREVER be.
Since 2004 I have maintained that registries and registrars are not your friends. They are nothing more that the Division of Motor Vehicles where you pay your damn tax and get your license plate and get the hell out. But Domain investors allowed them way too much control and influence and what was a thriving industry is now a totally splintered industry without direction or meaning.
Perhaps the thing that saved domainers last year was Bitcoin and Crypto. Does not look like that will repeat and demand/interest in those items have fallen considerably. The next big thing is not domains and it won't be crypto either. Those were the last big things. The ones losing their asses are playing a game that is already over. They don't look forward to tomorrow, they just keep chasing yesterday. They should just buy hula-hoops. That fad started in 1957. They still sell today. They would have better results even with that!
That all said, many of us will be domain investors for our entire lifetime. We have domains of great value that we plan to pass on even after we pass. We have to think like that. We play the long game and we play with blue chip .com names. We don't worry about making sales. We know they will come when they come. Personally, I look to just sell 1, 2 maybe 3 names a year. But for the rest of the group that has to hustle every day to make ends meet, that's a game that will get harder and less profitable as time passes. The steam roller of financial devastation is always close behind for so many. That's the decline I can visibly see.