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Web.com misses revenue target, acquires UK online directory company

July 31, 2014Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

Web.com’s Q2 revenue numbers don’t hit company’s target.

Web.comWeb.com, which owns Network Solutions, Register.com and SnapNames, released earnings after the bell today.

GAAP revenue for the second quarter was $138.2 million. Adjusted revenue was $144.7 million. Although that’s up 10% year-over-year, it’s below the company’s guidance range of $146.0 million to $147.5 million.

The company added 38,500 subscribers last quarter.

The earnings press release does not mention the number of registered domain names. It will be interested to hear if registration numbers are discussed on the earnings call this afternoon; the number would be inflated by free .xyz registrations.

Web.com also announced the acquisition of Scoot today. With over 400 websites, Scoot is the largest online only business directory network in the United Kingdom.



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Estibot to launch domainIQ for reverse and historical whois

July 31, 2014Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

New service will launch next week.

DomainIQThe company behind Estibot is launching a new domain name service called domainIQ next week.

domainIQ provides reverse whois (all the domains owned by a person or company), historical whois, and other intelligence about domain names.

Many of the features are currently found in DomainTools, and some are also found in the free service Whoisology. domainIQ will certainly compete with these services, depending on what level of detail and data the customer is looking for.

Reverse whois lookups at domainIQ include a bunch of data including the list of domains, categories they fall into, extension break down, language, registrar, valuation break down, keyword density breakdown and more. You can view a video of how it works at domainIQ.com.

Prices range from $24.95 to $149.95 per month. Each package includes unlimited reverse whois lookups, but the levels display a different number of results. For example, the mid-level $49.95/month package will show up to 100 results per lookup.

Estibot rolled the service out to some of its long-time customers today. It will debut to the public next week.



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Sedo sells $17M of domains in Q2, including a new TLD for $100k

July 31, 2014Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

Sedo reports on its domain aftermarket sales so far this year.

Sedo released its market report for the first half of 2014 today.

The company sold about $17 million worth of domain names in the second quarter, down slightly from $19 million in Q1. In the second quarter is sold 7,453 domains, down from 8,763 in the first quarter.

One interesting item of note: Sedo sold a second level domain in a new TLD for $100,000.

The name is confidential, but that bests the luxury.estate sale of $50,000.

Buy Now sales are quickly becoming the bulk of sales. They accounted for 49% over the first half of the year. Negotiated sales accounted for 31% of the total.

The median price of sales on Sedo’s platform was $616.

You can view the market study infographic here.



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Donuts: 775,000 domain names served

July 31, 2014Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

Donuts’ domain name registration base keeps growing.

Donuts

They keep stacking up.

Donuts sent out a newsletter today that announced it is up to 775,000 domain name registrations.

The mega-registry has released 111 top level domain names in general availability, so that’s an average of roughly 7,000 registrations per TLD.

Frankly, this shows that the “portfolio” registry business is quite good. Scoff all you want at its TLDs with fewer than 5,000 registrations, but this is already a nice little business.

111 released. Let’s say donuts ends up releasing another 111 into GA (which might be a bit high). Double the current number and you get 1.55 million domains. Assume the low end of their wholesale pricing on all domains, around $15 per year. That’s $23.25 million in annual revenue.

Remember that .Co sold for over $100 million with just over 1.55 million domains. An exit like that probably wouldn’t create a return for shareholders, so the company needs to do much better than 1.55 million registrations.

Also note that the numbers above ignore Domain Protected Marks, sunrise, landrush, premium pricing, etc.

Donuts is banking on growing demand over time. Whether that’s from a slow trickle of registrations or a second wind, it’s likely that its numbers will continue to move upward as these TLDs are on market.

Of course, the elephant in the room is what renewal rates are over the next couple years.



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German domain name .Reisen tops Donuts’ launches with 2,262 registrations

July 31, 2014Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

Domain buyers go traveling with .Reisen.

Donuts launched another four domain names into regularly-priced general availability yesterday.

Based on overnight zone files, which don’t include a full day, .Reisen was the most successful launch.

.Reisen, German for travel, got 2,262 registrations. That brings its total with sunrise and early access to 2,262.

.University and .Toys received about the same number of first day registrations. .University added 1,136 to reach 1,340 and .Toys added 1,125 to reach 1,320.

I suspect university will take off over time as universities learn about it. There’s also broad appeal to corporate training programs, online courses, etc. However, its market will always be smaller than .college.

.Town (unsurprisingly) lagged the others, getting just 516 registrations. It now has 589 domain names in the zone file.



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Big names buy domains: Under Armour, Mary Kay, SAP and more

July 30, 2014Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

Large companies snap up domain names at Sedo.

This week’s Sedo end user sales list is packed with big name end user buyers. Fortune 500 companies bought domains for under $2,000. The list follows.

You can view previous lists like this here. If you’d like to learn how to sell your domain names like these on Sedo, download this report.

Enterprise.bm $1,200 – Enterprise Rent-a-Car. .BM is the country code for Bermuda.

Pendler.de 999 EUR – Software giant SAP. I believe they have a product by this name, but I can’t translate well from German. Pendler means “commuter” in German.

DirectSales.club $1,500 – Cosmetics direct-selling company Mary Kay.

NTGroup.com 4,500 EUR – National Treasury Leisure B.V. in Amsterdam.

Liberty.ch 21,000 EUR – The whois shows Swissclear AG. Google it and you’ll land on liberty-vorsorge.ch, a financial services company.

Appropos.com 3,900 EUR – Software company Appropos, LLC shortened its domain name from ApproposDigital.com.

BringTheNoise.com $3,000 – Concert ticket company Live Nation.

Navigator1.com 1,450 EUR – $15 billion company (market cap) FiServ.

SanDiegoRV.com $1,800 – San Diego RV Center, which uses the domain name SDRVcenter.com.

ChemHeritage.com $795 – Chemical Heritage Foundation, owner of the matching .org domain name.

DrsRobotics.com $1,000 – KMT Robotic Solutions in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

HotelPricecompare.com $750 – the owner of hotel booking site BedBooker.com.

Tyre.info $1,000 – the owner of tire review site TyreReviews.co.uk.

Ramses.org $2,299 – Ramses, which I believe is a restaurant in Madrid. It web address is RamsesLife.com.

ArizonaChoice.com $1,595 – Insurance company Word and Brown. They own a number of insurance brands ending in -choice.

Golfballs.co $1,000 – Par Golf Supply, Inc. in Illinois.

GeoSafe.com $3,500 – GeoSafe LLC, provider of GPS solutions to emergency response services, shortened its web address from GeoSafeCorp.com.

WhiskyShow.com 3,000 EUR – Specialty Drinks Ltd, a liqour company.

IWWIW.com 1,999 EUR – Apparel company Under Armour. What do you think it stands for?



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.London’s unique “SunPriorityRush” period ends tomorrow

July 30, 2014Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

Tomorrow is a key deadline for .London domain names.

dot-london-2

The .London domain name is launching, and it’s very different from previous domain name launches.

I reached out to Antony Van Couvering with Minds + Machines to learn more about the .London launch. One key thing to note: the London Priority Period, which ends tomorrow, is actually open to everyone. People in London will get priority, but this is your first chance to claim domain names regardless of whether you have a direct connection to London.

DNW: .London is running a simultaneous sunrise/Londoner priority/Landrush phase that ends Thursday. Explain how this works and who gets priority over others if more than one person orders a domain name during this period.

Van Couvering: The idea is to give priority to people in London, but be open to everyone. To give Londoners priority over people from outside London, and to give people with rights to a name priority over those who don’t. Deciding what defines a Londoner is tricky, but certainly living in London counts. The way it works is that anyone can apply during the London Priority Period (April 29 – July 31, 2014), and then who gets a name is decided in the following order:

1. Sunrise registration (trumps everything)
2. If you live in London and your applied for-name either matches a trademark (if you’re a business or organization) *or* a variation of your personal name (if you’re applying as an individual)
3. If you live in London and your applied-for name doesn’t match either your trademark or your personal name
4. If you live outside of London, you have last priority

Both an applicant’s address and their claim of rights is validated by a dedicated team. That’s an expense, but one we think is well worth it. The full set of rules and validation criteria are available online (pdf).

The way the London Priority Period is set up that in the event that there is more than one application for the same domain name, priority goes to rights holders, then to Londoners, then to everyone else.

DNW: Because of their status as “world cities”, a lot of people will compare .NYC and .London. .NYC is taking a different approach than .London with regards to who can register domain names. .NYC will always be closed to anyone outside of New York City; .London is open to everyone (after the initial priority for Londoners). Why did .London decide to take this approach?

Van Couvering: Precisely because what makes a Londoner is not simply geography. If someone is born in London, is he or she a Londoner? What if they work in London? Furthermore, London is a global city and is open to people from all over the world. All of this is reflected in the rules — priority to people who live in London, but open to everyone.

DNW: What has been the biggest surprise during this first phase?

Van Couvering: How quickly the word got around. When I travel to London, and I mention what I do, I frequently hear “Oh, I heard about that!” from taxi drivers, waiters, people in pubs. Probably this has something to do with the great pioneers we’ve lined up, which are a mix of well-known brands (Fortnum & Mason, London Symphony Orchestra, West Ham United) and smaller businesses (The Commitments show in the West End, or the All Stars Collective, a group of accomplished musicians). A full list of the .london pioneers is here.

We’ve seen a really great distribution of applications across all walks of London life, and we’re excited that this is going to be one of the larger TLDs without resorting to huge discounting or buying up our own names, as has been rumored in other TLDs. It looks as if .london is really being embraced by the people who live there. To me, that’s success.

DNW: What is your goal for .London registrations a year from now?

Van Couvering: The goal is to have .london be the first choice for a domain name for anyone or any business with a connection to London. We think that’s achievable.



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ICANN tells court ccTLDs aren’t property, can’t be awarded to plaintiffs

July 30, 2014Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

Victims of terrorism want to be paid (in part) with country code top level domain names.

ICANN has responded to the U.S. federal court in the District of Columbia, arguing that ccTLDs (country Code top level domain names, e.g. .ca and .de) are not property and can’t be awarded to plaintiffs in a case involving terrorism.

Plaintiffs in Jenny Rubin, et al vs. The Islamic Republic of Iran, et al, say they are victims of terrorism from Iran, Syria and North Korea, and want control of country codes for each country (.IR, .SY, and .KP plus a couple IDN versions).

ICANN’s Motion to Quash argues that “country code Top-Level Domains (ccTLD) are part of a single, global interoperable Internet which ICANN serves to help maintain…ccTLD’s are not property, and are not ‘owned’ or ‘possessed’ by anyone including ICANN, and therefore cannot be seized in a lawsuit.”

ICANN’s general response was predictable.

Make no mistake — a ruling to the contrary would be devastating for the domain name system. One of the biggest threats to web is a splintering of the internet caused by governments upset that the U.S. government has too much control over the internet.

That’s a big part of the reason the U.S. government plans to end its role in the IANA contract for name delegation. It bothers other governments that the U.S. government has a sort of “veto power”.

While few people may be sympathetic to the three countries at issue, taking over their ccTLDs would be a horrible precedent that would throw the entire internet ecosystem into disarray.

It’s worth noting that gTLDs are a different matter. They are being treated like property and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them used as payment to settle legal issues in the future.



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.XXX worth more with .Sex in the bag?

July 30, 2014Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

Owners of .xxx domain names will get matching adult-themed web addresses.

Kevin Murphy at Domain Incite reports this morning that ICM Registry, the company behind .xxx, has settled the contention set for .sex.

That means ICM is the only remaining applicant for .sex, .porn and .adult.

This may be good news for .xxx domain name holders. The company proposes a Domain Matching program in which owners of .xxx domains will also get the matching domains in the other adult domain names it operates.

It could take longer than previously expected for these new adult domains to come out thanks to a last minute curveball from ICANN. But knowing ICM Registry, it will eventually get ICANN to come around.



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Company wants to trademark the term “Domain Auction”

July 29, 2014Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

New domain listings site wants a trademark on descriptive term.

From the merely descriptive file…

A Florida company has filed two trademark applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for “Domain Auction” and “Domains Auction”.

The applications, filed by Coracao LLC, claim a first use date of earlier this month.

Coracao’s trademark applications seem to be spurred by its recent launch of a domain name and website sales site at DomainAuction.xyz. The goods and services in the applications list “On-line auction services featuring domain names and web sites”.

If the company wants a stylized trademark for its totally rad logo, that’s one thing. But the term itself?

You can see the application for “Domain Auction” here (pdf).



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