.Berlin had over 31,000 domain names expire yesterday adding to the previous day where over 36,000 domain names expired.
.Berlin about a year ago allowed free domain registrations for 2 days, which totaled somewhere between 70,000-75,000 domain names with two registrants picking up almost 70,000 domain names just between the two.
Now that these free domain names have come up for renewal it seems very few have been renewed.
Basically we are seeing 67,000 of the free domain names have expired
At the moment .Berlin is now down to 82,481 domain names and is heading towards a 50% renewal rate unless registrants start renewing a boat load of these expired domains before they delete.
According to ntldstats.com, which still counts expired domains since they have not been removed from the zone file, .Berlin still has almost 153,000 domain names registered and is the 7th most registered new gTLD extension.
This is a really important case study for many new gTLD registries as more and more are giving away free domain or nearly free registrations certainly betting on retaining a reasonable percentage of these when the domain names come up for renewal next year.
Minds + Machines, Famous Four and .XYZ have or are currently giving away free domain names effecting several new gTLD extensions or strings.
I assume that most registries would be happy with a 10% renewal rate of free domain names but in the case of .Berlin they may not hit that percentage of renewals