According to ntldstats.com, .xyz is the leader of new extensions in terms of registration volume by far. At the moment, 1,6 million .xyz domains are registered. This is an impressive number but a large part of the registered domains were “registered” without requesting it. Network Solutions was the flagship of this campaign where users got a free matching .xyz domain to their already registered domains (e.g. a free medpathways.xyz when I had medpathways.info). The details of the agreement between NS and .XYZ was not public until recently, when Verisign sued .XYZ and this marketing strategy was investigated by the court.
The deal was that Network Solutions bought 375,000 .xyz registrations for $3 million ($8/domain) and at the same time .XYZ bought $3 million banner space at $10 CPM from NS.
I feel both parties overpriced their services but since finally they spent the same amount, obviously it does not matter. But who is the winner of this exchange? I think it basically depends on what is the real market price of the Network Solutions’ banner. Maybe they could sell it at $2 CPM, so they lost this potential revenue, meaning that they spent $600k (they could get this money form other advertisers) on these domains. Too much or not enough? You decide.