Could .net be one of a number of gTLDs suffering from the success of new gTLDs? As of 30 June 2014, Verisign noted in their Domain Name Industry Brief there were 15.2 million .net domains under management (DUM). But according to the latest figures provided by RegistrarStats, there are now 14,998,404 DUMs.
Domain Incite were the first to report on .net DUMs seeming to be suffering. But looking at other gTLDs it seems it is not the only one to see a decline in registration numbers over the past 12 months or so. The .biz, .pro, .tel and .mobi gTLDs, as well as the ccTLD for the United States (.us), all appear to have all suffered declines in registration numbers over the last 12 months. The .biz, .tel and .mobi TLDs seem to have been particularly hard hit. The .org gTLD seems to have plateaued its DUMs and not seen any significant increase for close to two years.
While some of the older gTLDs have been haemorrhaging DUMs for some time. For example, .info has also seen a significant decline in DUMs from a peak of over 8 million around December 2011 to around 4.8 million now. And .name DUMs peaked around 2009 and have been in freefall ever since.
But it seems the decline in registrations for .net, .biz, .us and .mobi, and maybe others, has coincided with the release of new gTLDs.