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Verisign reports slowing .Com/.Net registrations in Q1

April 24, 2014Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

New registrations and renewal rate dip.

VerisignVerisign reported first quarter earnings today after the bell. The company reported revenue of $249 million, a 5% increase from the first quarter of 2013.

The company added 1.28 million net new names during the first quarter to .com and .net, ending the quarter with 128.5 million active domain names in the zone.

Some other metrics weren’t as rosy.

Verisign processed 8.6 million new domain name registrations for .com and .net last quarter. That’s below the 8.8 million number in the same period in 2013.

The final renewal rate from Q4 2013 also dipped. The renewal rate was 72.2 percent compared with 72.9 percent Q4 2012.

I suspect the company will blame changes in monetization on its conference call this afternoon. A bigger question going forward is if new top level domain names can siphon off some of those 8.6 million quarterly registration.


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.City contention set resolved at a high price

April 24, 2014Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

Many new TLD contention auctions were held this week.

There were a number of new top level domain name contention set auctions this week, although details on winners are scant thus far.

.Garden, .property, and .yoga were set for auction on Tuesday. I haven’t been able to figure out the winners yet, although I’m sure publicly traded Minds + Machines (a participant in all three) will issue a press release as soon as everything is settled.

I’ve learned that Donuts won the auction for .city, and it seems that the auction may have set a high water mark for contention set auctions so far. (Actual bid prices are not released by the auction provider.) The company was up against TLD Registry (which is running to Chinese IDN domain names) and Radix. Proceeds will be split by the losing parties.

I’m don’t fully understand the appeal of this domain. A couple types of registrations could be actual cities and those playing on “city”, must like you could .center or .today for topical saites (e.g. videogame.city or music.city).

As more three+ party auctions get resolved, we can expect the final bid prices to increase.

Applicants have a short window left to resolve contention through private means rather than ICANN auctions.


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The only thing Blake Irving points at elephants is a camera

April 24, 2014Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving is doing a Reddit AMA.

RedditGoDaddy CEO Blake Irving is doing an Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Reddit right now.

It’s a pretty gutsy move given the typical Reddit user and their stance toward GoDaddy. I suppose that’s the point.

Comments have been basically what you’d expect: the company’s initial support of SOPA, the founder shooting elephants and racy commercials. Most of these are easy to defend since Blake wasn’t around when these happened. He can tell everyone that the company is changing.

Some questions have revolved around net neutrality. Getting involved on this issue could help GoDaddy get past its SOPA debacle.

On the issue of shooting elephants, Blake noted “The only thing I point at elephants – is a camera.”

You can participate now – and ask him anything you want.


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Sedo’s end user domain name sales

April 24, 2014Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

Sedo sold a number of domain names to end users last week.

Sedo sold 513 domain names last week for a total of $1 million. Here are some domain names purchased by end users. (You can view previous end user sales lists here.)

BBCStore.co.uk 810 GBP – Broadcaster BBC

Golf.academy $2,000 – New Media Golf Corporation

Soundtrack.fm $1,000 – the publisher of Soundtrack.net

NativeOil.com $2,995 – Medicine Stone Petroleum Svcs, LLC

ENSGroup.com $2,000 – IT company ENS Group

Intra-Mart.com $8,000 – NTTData Intramart corporation, a Tokyo company that uses the matching .jp domain name.

TDH.org $9,888 – Children’s rights advocacy group Terre des Hommes.

FetchWeb.com $1,495 – Web data company Connotate, which offers web data extraction and scraping services.

FunCAPTCHA.com $1,940 – SwipeAds Holdings Pty Ltd, which offers a game-based CAPTCHA solution called Fun CAPTCHA.

CIPE.com $8,890 – Center for International Private Enterprise. It uses the matching .org CIPE.org.

GemPictures.com $1,895 – Alternative investment company The GEM Group, aka Global Emerging Markets. It uses the domain name GEMNY.com.

OnenessAcademy.com $2,395 – World Oneness Foundation, a non-profit promoting “oneness”. I don’t know what that means, but they have a cool picture on their home page at WorldOnenessFoundation.org.


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Domain registrars want more business? Focus on security and price.

April 24, 2014Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

Survey shows that security and price remain top customer considerations.

SecurityDomain name registrars looking to grow their business need to focus on two key things: security and price.

That’s according to this year’s Domain Name Wire survey. Really the past eight annual versions of the survey, too.

34% of respondents said security was their primary consideration when selecting a domain name registrar. 29% said price was most important.

Here’s a weighted ranking of each aspect of selecting a domain name registrar:

1. Security
2. Price
3. Customer service
4. Account management tools
5. Ease of pushing domains to another person
6. Availability of top level domain names I like
7. Value added services
8. What they do with expired domain

It’s 2014, yet some registrars seem to prioritize security fairly low. In recent months I started moving hundreds of domains from a registrar that doesn’t have two-factor authentication to one that does. Switching registrars is a bit of a pain, but not as much as potentially losing a domain due to lax security.

38% of respondents said they are considering switching domain name registrars this year. This suggests that registrars would be smart to pay attention to these top factors.

77% of survey takers also reported that they keep the bulk (80%+) of their portfolio at a single registrar. The rest said they spread their portfolio across multiple registrars.


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.Club and two Chinese new top level domains have about $500k in premium sales

April 24, 2014Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

A few top level domain names have sold an impression amount of premium domains prior to general availability.

Here are three new top level domain names to keep an eye on: .Club, .在线 and .中文网.

.Club Domains is an “all-in” registry, meaning it has only one new TLD to offer. The company raised $7 million and spent a decent amount in a contention set auction for the domain. Still, it has millions of dollars to spend on marketing. For example, it has paid for prominent positioning on GoDaddy’s home page.

As of yesterday, .Club has sold $481,388 worth of premium domain names. A bunch that just came across Sedo’s sales list were sold to a construction firm in Ft. Lauderdale. Some big brands are getting involved, too: MaryKay bought beauty.club and makeup.club.

Given the growth of subscription based products, I expect .club to do really well out of the gate.

Dot Chinese Online (.在线) and Dot Chinese Website (.中文网), both offered by TLD Registry, have combined for over $584,000 worth of premium domain sales since landrush started March 20. That includes a live auction held in conjunction with Sedo that sold $182,000 worth of domains. It doesn’t include over 20,000 domains bought by the Chinese government.

Given the domains sold to the government, these domains should jump onto the new TLD leaderboard as soon as they enter general availability. In fact, they’re already in the top 20 and general availability doesn’t even start until Monday.


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Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

2014 Domain Name Wire Survey: By the Numbers

April 23, 2014Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

251 people from 36 countries participated in this year’s survey.

Over the next week or two I’ll post a series of stories with the results from this year’s Domain Name Wire survey.

I’d like to start by thanking each and every person who took the survey. 251 people from 36 countries responded this year. That’s fewer than in previous years because this year’s survey didn’t have any voting for companies. However, I think the quality of response was higher.

The chart below shows a breakdown of survey-takers. The top row shows the percentage that are domain investors (75%). The second is the number that work for or own a domain registrar (19%) and the bottom row includes everyone that owns another type of domain services company (20%). Obviously, there’s a lot of crossover in this industry.

survey-profile

Of those that identified themselves as domain investors, 80% said that at least 3/4 of their domains were .com. About 30% of survey-takers own at least 1,000 domain names.

I promised a few prizes to those that took the time to complete the survey:

Ira Z. won a free escrow at Agreed.com. (10 others will receive a discounted escrow at Agreed.) Fred M. and Jeff B. have won a copy of David Kesmodel’s book “The Domain Game”. I’ll contact all winners over the next few days.


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15 end user domain name sales up to $42,500

April 23, 2014Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

Trade360.com leads list of end user domain name sales.

GoDaddy and Afternic sold nearly $2 million worth of domain names last week.

Here’s a list of 15 that were sold to end users. You can view previous end user sales lists here.

Trade360.com $42,500 – A New York firm called Trade360.

JSA.com $25,000 – Jackson Square Aviation in San Francisco. I think it got a good deal. BuyDomains was the seller.

TouchLamps.com $4,999 – The online lamp seller that was using eTouchLamps.com. They have a notice on their site that reads “We have a new address to reach this store that may make it easier to remember: www.touchlamps.com”.

CaliforniaAlmond.com $17,900 – Almond Board of California

EVDC.com $11,750 – the owner of the unfortunate domain name Every-Day-Counts.com

HuddledMasses.com $1,688 – Online advertising firm Huddled Masses, which has been using the web address HuddledMassesMedia.com.

ProviderCheck.com $1,200 – Credentialing company Verisys.

IPDV.com $1,250 – IPDS, which is short for IP Data Systems.

Presquile.com $2,471 – Presqu’ile Winery in California. It has been using PresquileWine.com.

ApartmentsIndianapolis.com $1,599 – Indiana property management company Herman & Kittle Properties

OnlineSafetyTraining.com $1,888 – UK Asbestos Specialists Ltd

NeedACab.com $2,588 – Suburban Transportation in Syracuse, New York.

HigherEducationForAll.com $2,500 – Political communications firm Hamilton Place Strategies.

Rad360.com $3,500 – Healthcare imaging company Alliance Imaging. I assume “rad” stands for radiology.

Condolux.com $6,675 – Myrtle Beach vacation rentals site Condolux.net upgraded to .com.


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15 end user domain name sales up to $42,500

April 23, 2014Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

Trade360.com leads list of end user domain name sales.

GoDaddy and Afternic sold nearly $2 million worth of domain names last week.

Here’s a list of 15 that were sold to end users. You can view previous end user sales lists here.

Trade360.com $42,500 – A New York firm called Trade360.

JSA.com $25,000 – Jackson Square Aviation in San Francisco. I think it got a good deal. BuyDomains was the seller.

TouchLamps.com $4,999 – The online lamp seller that was using eTouchLamps.com. They have a notice on their site that reads “We have a new address to reach this store that may make it easier to remember: www.touchlamps.com”.

CaliforniaAlmond.com $17,900 – Almond Board of California

EVDC.com $11,750 – the owner of the unfortunate domain name Every-Day-Counts.com

HuddledMasses.com $1,688 – Online advertising firm Huddled Masses, which has been using the web address HuddledMassesMedia.com.

ProviderCheck.com $1,200 – Credentialing company Verisys.

IPDV.com $1,250 – IPDS, which is short for IP Data Systems.

Presquile.com $2,471 – Presqu’ile Winery in California. It has been using PresquileWine.com.

ApartmentsIndianapolis.com $1,599 – Indiana property management company Herman & Kittle Properties

OnlineSafetyTraining.com $1,888 – UK Asbestos Specialists Ltd

NeedACab.com $2,588 – Suburban Transportation in Syracuse, New York.

HigherEducationForAll.com $2,500 – Political communications firm Hamilton Place Strategies.

Rad360.com $3,500 – Healthcare imaging company Alliance Imaging. I assume “rad” stands for radiology.

Condolux.com $6,675 – Myrtle Beach vacation rentals site Condolux.net upgraded to .com.


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Network Solutions patents domain purchasing system

April 22, 2014Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

Patent for domain purchasing system granted ten years after application was filed.

Network Solutions, now part of Web.com, has received a patent for its Certified Offer service…ten years after applying for it.

Network Solutions applied for the patent titled “Certified Offer Service for Domain Names” back in 2004. It was rejected multiple times, but the company successfully amended and appealed.

The service lets customers make an offer on a domain name that is already registered. The patent explains that the first step of the service is providing an automated appraisal to the customer to give them an idea of how much the domain is worth. The customer then makes an offer and Network Solutions tries to verify that the buyer has enough funds to pay for the domain if the offer is accepted. (As I’ve found, this isn’t always the case). Network Solutions then emails the domain owner (presumably using contact information in WHOIS) to present the offer to them.

The company charges an initial offer fee as well as a commission on the purchase price.

The patent (pdf) covers many aspects of the Certified Offer service as it’s currently run today. I tried to verify all of the steps, but they seem to be having technical difficulties right now as the service keeps hanging up when I submit a domain.

certified-offer


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Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.