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The Lowdown

Welcome to the 
Lowdown
from 
DN Journal
- your source
for notable news and information from all 
corners of the global 
domain name industry! 

The Lowdown is 
compiled by DN Journal 
Editor & Publisher 
Ron Jackson
.


Acquisition of Innovative Aftermarket Sales Platform Dan.com is Another Smart Move By GoDaddy

I had no idea GoDaddy was about to buy fast-growing, innovative domain sales platform Dan.com, but when Dan broke the news in a blog post this morning, buttressed by a separate press release from GoDaddy, my instant reaction was, "Well, that makes perfect sense." 

GoDaddy, of course, was already an aftermarket powerhouse and in recent years that division of the company has played an increasingly important role in the industry giant's overall success. With its incomparable name recognition and expansive sales network GoDaddy is the first place many businesses look when they need a premium name for their 

+

enterprise. However, as business history has often shown, even the best known brands can have a profitable apple cart upset by an innovative newcomer. Especially one that arrives on the scene with an extraordinarily appealing product at a great price that is winning over new converts every day. Few domain companies in recent years have fit that description better that Dan.com. 

 

Getting Dan eliminates a growing competitive threat and brings GoDaddy some impressive new technology that will go a long way toward future proofing their aftermarket cash cow. So, it's all good for GoDaddy and a fitting reward for Dan.com Founder Reza Sardeha and his entire team for the remarkable sales engine they created. What remains to be seen is how well it works for domain buyers and sellers. Dan has a much lower fee structure (ranging from 5 to 9%) but more widely-known GoDaddy/Afternic sells an enormous number of domains for clients, making it a lot easier to justify their 20% commission. At this early stage, no one knows exactly how the two platforms will be used to complement each other or where the fee structure will settle.

 

If they can combine the best of both platforms, everyone will come out a winner. As it always does, it will all come down to the execution. Seeing how the newly minted GoDaddy/Dan team goes about the process is something everyone in the industry will be watching with keen interest in the months ahead - and it won't be long before it gets started, the deal is expected to close in the 3rd quarter and that starts Friday (July 1)! 

(Posted June 28, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
https://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2022/dailyposts/20220628.htm

*****

Domain Sales Remain Hot With Public Company Closing $1.6 Million Acquisition of Chill.com

Chill Brands Group PLC has made the $800,000 final payment due to complete a $1,600.000 acquisition of the Chill.com domain name. The company, that trades on the London Stock Exchange (CHLL), is a developer, producer and international distributor of cannabidiol (CBD) products. They zeroed on Chill.com as the key component for executing a refresh of the Chill brand that they believe will improve consumer targeting and ensure that marketing of the brand is consistent across all regions

Chill Brands CEO Callum Sommerton said, "We are the proud owners of a highly brandable, premium domain asset reflective of a word that is pervasive in the everyday lives of consumers and is easy to say, spell, and remember. In an increasingly complex world, people 

 

Image from Bigstock

everywhere are looking for ways to chill. Those qualities are gold dust for marketers, and we intend to maximize the potential of the Chill.com domain by expanding and improving our brand which, in common with our consumers, should be bright, energetic and youthful."  

 

We will be officially charting this sale when our next bi-weekly domain sales report comes out Wednesday evening, July 6. Unless a bigger seven-figure sale comes to light before then, Chill.com will move into #3 spot on our Year-to-Date Top 100 Sales Chart that tracks publicly reported domain sales. As of now, only IT.com at $3.8 million (also completed with a final payment this month) and Galaxy.com at $1.8 million have been bigger. This is the sixth sale of more than $1 million reported so far in 2022. 

 

A special thank you to George Kirikos who was the first to sound the alert on this deal being finalized. If you aren't already following George on Twitter, you should be! 

(Posted June 27, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
https://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2022/dailyposts/20220627.htm

*****

Donuts Fills Branding Holes with a More Relevant New Name - Identity Digital

Donuts Inc., the administrator of the world's largest portfolio of top level domain names with more than 300 TLDs, has given itself a new name - Identity Digital (and a new web address at Identity.digital). The new brand has been applied to both Donuts and Afilias, the well-known TLD operator and service provider that Donuts acquired in 2020. 

When Donuts was founded in 2010 to operate its own new TLDs, the name was a clever way to stand out in the huge crowd that gathered around the opportunity to run one or more of what wound up being over 1,000 new domain extensions. Now that more than a decade has passed and new TLDs have become more familiar to web users, the time was right to pull all of the 

Has a New Name

elements of the business together under a single new brand that would clearly articulate what the company does. In their words, that is "helping customers find, grow and protect their authentic digital identities."

 

A press release announcing the move today noted, "A new corporate name, logo, visual identity, voice/tone and website (identity.digital) are all critical elements in bringing the rebrand to life.

This rebrand coincides with helping customers understand that they no longer have to compromise when they get their domain name. As the heart of their digital identity, they can use both sides of the dot to express what their company is and why it matters. United under one brand, Identity Digital cements its status as a leader in connecting the online world with domain names and related technologies that allow people to build, market, and own their authentic digital identities."

Identity Digital CEO Akram J. Atallah said, "This brand refresh is an exciting moment for our company and stakeholders. Identity Digital reflects a stronger platform for expressing the core values we have had all along – to provide a secure, authentic digital identity. The new name lets us more precisely define to customers who we are and what we can do for them. The internet is expanding, and businesses must have a digital presence to survive and be successful, so the timing was critical.” 

Akram J. Atallah
CEO, Identity Digital

(Posted June 22, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
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*****

The 2022 Web Marketing Festival in Italy Last Week Reminded Us What We've Been Missing

As the domain industry gears up  for its first major in-person conference in over two-and-half years (NamesCon Global in Austin later this summer), it has been good to see that several other large Internet related conferences have been able to stage well-attended events around the world. While we  haven't eradicated Covid 19 completely, it looks like we've finally made enough progress to allow people to safely get back together for the kind face to face meetings that are so important for building relationships and growing businesses in every field. 

The latest example of that was the 2022 Web Marketing Festival that ended Saturday (June 18) at Rimini Fiere in Italy. Thousands of attendees and over 250 exhibitors from around the world turned out for the annual event that serves as an accelerator of culture, training and innovation for the online marketing industry. The three-day festival featured over 100 events devoted to training, B2B meetings, networking, culture, concerts, shows and entertainment. 

Natalija Japerte, Intis Telecom Business Development 
Director (at right), with a fellow attendee ready to head into the 2022 Web Marketing Festival at Italy's Rimini Fiere center last week.

A new registrar, IT.com, was one of the domain companies that had a big presence at the Web Marketing Festival. In the photo below, IT.com's Social Media Manager, Tatyana Tarassenko (left), was on hand to greet attendees at the company's booth. It made a lot of sense for IT.com to exhibit in Italy. The country's ccTLD is .it, so being able to register 3rd level domains at IT.com (like Rome.it.com or Vino.it.com) could resonate with Italians who also recognize .com's status as the world's most popular gTLD.

Below: The vast exhibition space at the Rimini Fiere included a number of spots where attendees could take a break, catch up with messages and chat with friends.

Above & below: IT.com Business Manager Rolandas Japertas (at right) stayed busy making new acquaintances from the steady flow of attendees at the IT.com booth throughout the Festival.

Below: Meanwhile, Tatyana (right) continued to work the room, making sure no one went home without an IT.com business car and ink pen....and you thought Social Media Managers only worked online! 

We don't know who ended up with the bottle of champagne at the IT.com table above, but those who missed out still had no problem getting a celebratory drink at this evening party sponsored by IT.com (below). 

After seeing photos from the Web Marketing Festival (courtesy of Igor Furdyk at Linkoeln.com) we are even more excited to know that our turn is coming on this side of the pond when NamesCon Global runs August 31 through Sept. 3 in Texas's capital city. Hope to see you to Austin!

(Posted June 20, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
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*****

Joe Uddeme at NameExperts.com Brokers $570,000 Sale of IW.com + $3.8M IT.com Deal Closes Early

Our next bi-weekly domain sales report Wednesday evening (June 22) will be highlighted by the completion of the first publicly reported 2-letter .com sales of 2022. We just got word this afternoon from NameExperts.com Principal Joe Uddeme that he had brokered a $570,000 deal of IW.com. Joe represented the seller. A post about the sale on Twitter made by the CEO Founder and CEO of 62.com, Xiaosheng Liu, indicates his company represented the Chinese buyer of the rare two-letter domain. For Uddeme, this will be his second Top 20 sale of the year to date, joining his April sale of Bobber.com at $250,000 (Joe also had the biggest non .com sale of the year in 2021 when he helped close a $750,000 deal for Poker.net).

We also have an important update on that $3.8 million transaction involving IT.com that we told you about last November. The buyers made a $1.5 million down payment at that time and agreed the pay the remaining balance over a 36-month period. Broker Igor Furdyk at Linkoeln.com (who represents the new owners of IT.com) let me know this week that the company decided to pay off the balance early and has now taken possession of the domain to conclude the blockbuster transaction. 

Image from Bigstock

 

The new owners had already been putting IT.com to good use as the foundation for a widely publicized domain registration service that offers third level domain names ending with .it.com - making names like buy.it.com, sell.it.com, etc possible. They have also been buying up the IT letters in every possible TLD and just added IT.cm to that list after acquiring the domain for $38,500.

With the IT.com sale now concluded, the domain can be charted for the first time and will almost certainly be the #1 sale on both our bi-weekly Top 20 Sales Chart and our 2022 Year-to-Date Top 100 Chart when those are updated with the release of the next sales column Wednesday evening.

(Posted June 17, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
https://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2022/dailyposts/20220617.htm

*****

Break the Code 2 Gives .Tech and Radix's Marketing Team Another Win and Other Marketers an Example to Follow 

I've often written about the innovative marketing campaigns Radix has come up with to successfully promote their various new gTLDS (Radix administers .tech, .online, .store, .site, .website, .host, .space, .fun and .press). For each of their end-user targeted campaigns they have created a novel approach that has caught people's attention.

One of Radix's biggest hits was a Break the Code campaign in 2020, tailored for the tech community,  that attracted over 100,000 developers who competed for thousands of dollars in prize money by solving puzzles, ciphers and trivia challenges. The campaign was so popular there had to be an encore and there was - the now completed Break the Code 2 competition, that racked up even more eye popping numbers. Over 110,000 competitors signed up, generating more than 1.3 million visits to BreakTheCode.tech in just three weeks. Overall, the campaign generated 8 million+ impressions digitally.

 

 

 

When it comes to attracting eyeballs to new TLDs, Radix is clearly doing something right, so we wanted to get more insight into how their process works, thinking there have to be some tips in there that would help all of us who are trying to market our domains and websites. To get that information we connected with Suman Das, Senior Director of Brand Operations at Radix. Suman clued us in on the tactics and thought process behind Radix’s marketing of its top-level domains in general, as well as Break The Code 2 in particular. 

Suman Das
Radix Sr. Director of Brand Operations

"At Radix, each TLD is still treated as an individual brand with its respective managers," Das noted. "We operate in this way because each TLD caters to a very specific target group. So while .Tech Domains focuses on engaging with the tech community through innovative campaigns such as Break The Code; .Store Domains focuses more on campaigns such as #IdeaToStore to enable aspiring store owners to take the first step. Recently, we concluded #FempowerOnline, a campaign for .Online Domains to bring forth women-centric online business ideas by aspiring women entrepreneurs. These are just some of the many examples of how we at Radix are able to create high-impact end-customer campaigns because of our dedicated focus to each TLD."

Regarding the internal process of creating a campaign like Break the Code and BTC 2, Das said, "Every campaign at Radix is born from the same principle: customer-centricity. Therefore, we start with intensive research about the customer, changing market trends, 

engagement patterns, customer channel affinity, their preferences, etc. The more we understand our customers, the higher the impact we can create."

"Talking specifically about Break The Code 2, the most important insight we were working with was that the tech community has a high ad filter and doesn’t appreciate intrusive advertising," Das noted. " This inspired us to create a campaign in the form of a high-engagement game. We put in months of additional research and planning to make it more air-tight. Once we had the basic structure and theme in place, we spoke to industry heavyweights such as GitHub, Namecheap, Digital Ocean, MLH, Dev.to, and Hackernoon. They immediately loved the concept and came on board as partners. From thereon, we worked towards the actual creation of the game along with planning a comprehensive marketing campaign to promote the game."

Das added, "The game's theme was inspired by Windows-98, with a moral conflict ingrained within. We planned for a bunch of easter eggs and cheat codes to be peppered throughout the game. As a final joke and to end the game on a high note, we got Steve Wozniak, Co-founder, Apple Computer Inc, to drop a video where he was revealed to be behind the conflict. It took the community by surprise and left them in awe!," Suman declared with justifiable pride.

Still, some might wonder, why the Win 98 theme? Das explained, "The nostalgia associated with Windows 98 and the 90’s PC gaming experience immediately struck a chord with our target audience. The challenging nature of the puzzles appealed to even the most hard-to-please techies. What

began as a “digital touchpoint” for .Tech Domains quickly morphed into an experience that brought the tech community together and organically transcended to Reddit, Discord, and Twitter."

Das said, "What’s more, the tech community loved the game so much that we had fan-made browser extensions and NFTs about the game."

We asked Suman what elements the Radix decision-makers look for that they consider necessary for a campaign like Break The Code to be successful.  He said, "For us, the key ingredients for any campaign to be successful are value generation for the end customer, virality, engagement, and earned media potential. We also look at the ROI for which we rely on internal financial models and metrics."

As to what metrics Radix looks for that increase chances for success in marketing campaigns such as these, Das said, "Our success metrics mainly include sign-ups and website visits. Social proof and post-campaign feedback are also closely tracked."

Last, but not least, on the heels of their success with the second edition of Break the Code, we had to wonder what's next for .Tech? Suman replied, "Our purpose has always been to help anyone looking to create a positive impact using tech, and our marketing efforts aim to reflect that. In the future, we will continue to drive engagement, build a sense of community, and be a vehicle for those that want to better the world through tech. Keeping that in mind, our team is working on some exciting initiatives at this point, and we will be launching them soon."

(Posted June 14, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
https://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2022/dailyposts/20220614.htm

*****

NamesCon Global Accepting Domain and NFT Submissions for Live Digital Asset Auction September 1, 2022

When the NamesCon Global conference returns this summer with an in person format for the first time in over two and half years, a major highlight will be the long awaited return of the show's premium domain auction in front of a live audience. The big event will be held on Thursday, September 1, 2022 starting at 3PM (CDT) at the Omni Hotel in Austin, Texas. The conference itself will begin there on August 31 and continue through Sept 3

A lot of things have changed since the last auction event of this kind (also held at the Omni in Austin, on January 30, 2020). One of the biggest changes has been the emergence of NFT collectibles. NamesCon is recognizing that development by expanding their traditional domain sale into a Digital Asset Auction that will feature select NFTs (appraised at $5,000 and up) alongside about 150 premium domain names

Auctioneer Wayne Wheat (left) and RightOfTheDot 
President Monte Cahn
conducting the NamesCon Global 
Live Domain Auction
in Austin, Texas January 30, 2020.

Above: Part of the crowd at the 2020 NamesCon Global live domain auction.

Below: World Champion auctioneer Wayne Wheat directing the fast-paced 2020 auction.

One thing that won't change this year that RightOfTheDot.com will again conduct the big event with ROTD President Monte Cahn at the helm and World Champion auctioneer Wayne Wheat calling the action. ROTD has now opened submissions for the auction so, if you have top tier assets you would like to have considered for the sale, now is the time to send them in. Keep in mind, quality is going to be the over-riding factor in what gets selected for the auction catalog. ROTD provided this submission criteria:

  • 1 to 4 number (such as 123·com)

  • 1 to 4 letter (such as abc·com)

  • 1 word (with meaning)

  • Keyword and high-traffic English terms/words

  • .com, .net, .org (the auction will focus on .com premium names, but other TLD extensions will be considered)

  • Standard renewal-priced domains (no premium or tiered renewal fees over $100 per year)

The submission deadline is August 12, 2022.

You will find all of the details about the auction and submission process here.

We are looking forward to seeing you in Austin this summer (registration is open now) and if you can't be there this is the place to come for wall to wall coverage of the show!

(Posted June 9, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
https://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2022/dailyposts/20220609.htm

*****

2½ Year Wait for Return of NamesCon Global Finally Coming to End - Less Than 90 Days To Go

When we all headed home from the last NamesCon Global conference after it concluded on February 1, 2020, none of us had any idea it would be over two and a half years before we would have a chance to do it again! The big show was one of the countless casualties of the global Covid 19 pandemic but, thankfully, organizers were able to keep the flame alive with a series of well-produced NamesCon Online events. Still, like Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell used to sing, "ain't nothing like the real thing, baby!"

 

That's why the excitement is starting to build for NamesCon Global's long-awaited return to real life less than 90 days from now. It will be happening August 31 through September 3 at the Omni Hotel in Austin, Texas, the same place where we left off in 2020! While we first told you about the show coming back in February, a lot has happened since then including posting of the agenda and the naming of some of the key speakers (all of which you will find on the the NamesCon website). If you visit now you will also find discounted early bird tickets (offer good until June 17) with an additional 20% off applied for DNJournal readers using the link above. While you are at it, it would also be a good idea to book your hotel room at the Omni while you can still get the NamesCon conference's special rate ($229 a night + taxes). 

Now that we are entering the final countdown and new conference details will be getting colored in continually from now to show time, we'll be bringing you regular updates on NamesCon Global as they come in. Of course, we are also planning to be at the conference to cover it all and to finally see all of you who can attend in person again - it is long overdue and we are really looking forward to that!

(Posted June 1, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
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*****

Nominations for 2022 .ORG Impact Awards Open with $105,000 in Prize Money to Be Awarded

The Public Interest Registry (PIR), administrators of the .ORG domain, are now accepting nominations for the 4th annual .ORG Impact Awards. These awards were created to recognize and reward outstanding mission-driven individuals and organizations from the global .ORG Community for their positive contributions to society. Over the past three years, the .ORG Impact Awards have recognized more than 120 outstanding .ORGs across more than 40 countries, with prize donations totaling $220,000. The prize pool for 2022 alone has been increased to $105,000 with a $35,000 donation going to the .ORG of the Year Award Winner and $10,000 each to the various category winners.

PIR CEO Jon Nevett

PIR CEO Jon Nevett said, “The .ORG Impact Awards celebrate and recognize inspiring changemakers in the .ORG Community and their relentless commitment to making the world a better place. No problem is too big for the mission-driven organizations that make up our .ORG Community. We’re honored to empower the passionate, determined individuals, and organizations that never stop striving to create positive change in the communities they serve. The Awards are an important part of our broader efforts to provide helpful resources, shine a light on innovative changemakers, and build a collaborative community of mission-driven leaders.” 

.ORG Impact Award nominations can be submitted through June 29, 2022 and will be judged by a panel of leaders in the Internet, non-profit, and marketing sectors. All nominees must be tied to an active website with a .ORG domain name.

 

To nominate an organization or individual for a .ORG Impact Award, visit www.orgimpactawards.org. The categories for the 2022 awards are:

  • Health and Healing

  • Quality Education for All

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

  • Environmental Stewardship

  • Hunger and Poverty

  • Community Building

  • Rising Star

  • .ORG of the Year

The top five entries per category will be named as finalists on September 20, 2022, and will be eligible to win the .ORG of the Year award. Winners will be announced on November 15, 2022.  

Winning organizations have the flexibility to use award funds however they see fit in order to advance their missions. All finalists will also receive a free digital toolkit to help promote their accomplishment on social media.

 

In 2021, over 600 organizations from 40 countries around the world submitted entries. The winner of the 2021 .ORG Impact Awards .ORG of the Year was ADES, a Madagascar-based organization that takes a holistic approach to sustainability by fighting climate change and poverty at the same time. ADES produces climate-friendly solar cookers and energy-saving stoves that protect the climate, increase biodiversity, and also trains and employs the local population to provide a path out of poverty. 

(Posted May 24, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
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*****

Momentum for Return to In-Person Domain Events Continues to Build With New Show in London This Summer

After more than two years without major in-person domain conferences due to the global pandemic, 2022 continues to bring better news on that front. We've already seen some real world regional domain shows this spring,  as well as the global Cloudfest event in Germany for the hosting industry. The first NamesCon Global event with a live audience since January 2020 is coming up this summer (starting August 31 in Austin, Texas) and now we have word of a new meetup coming to London, England August 23 & 24.

The London Domain Name Summit (LDNS) will be held at the award winning Yum Sa restaurant (rated 5 stars by Trip Advisor who also ranks them in the top 40 among over 17,000 London restaurants). In addition to the restaurant, Yum Sa has indoor and outdoor space to accommodate  business meetings like LDNS, an art gallery and a private meditation room (that might come in handy if you need to think especially hard about closing a business deal)! 

The LDNS website describes the event as an opportunity to connect in person and share ideas with domain name buyers, sellers, investors, developers, lawyers, registrars, hosting providers and more from all over the UK, Europe around the world. Exhibit space has also been set aside for a dozen service providers (information on sponsorship packages is available on the show's website). 

The Presenting Sponsor for the London Domain Summit 2022 will be IT.com, the domain registration provider that offers names in a new, third level zone - making names like build.it.com, buy.it .com and sell.it.com possible to own. 

Ever since acquiring the IT.com domain to be the foundation for their business in 2021 (in a reported $3.8 million deal), the new IT.com team has been  increasing its presence in the industry and has become a fixture at key conferences around the world.

Registration for the London Domain Name Summit is already open through Eventbrite. In an interesting twist,  organizers are currently providing 10 free tickets every day in the run up to the show. If you plan to go it would probably be a good idea to get them now, as the free offer could be rescinded when available space gets closer to venue's limit. 

(Posted May 20, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
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*****

New Owners of .HipHop Relaunch Domain Devoted to the Music and Eclectic Culture It Represents

The .HipHop top level domain is getting a major makeover from the TLD's new owners - domain industry veterans Monte Cahn, Jeff Neuman and Scott Pruitt, in tandem with public accelerator-incubator Digital Asset Monetary Network, Inc. Under their guidance, .HipHop has been reintroduced with lower wholesale pricing and an end-user focused marketing strategy.

Collectively known as Dot Hip Hop, LLC, the new owners purchased the rights to operate .HipHop from Uniregistry in June 2021 and received formal approval from ICANN in March 2022. With very little end-user marketing since the initial launch in 2014, combined with relatively high registration prices, the .HipHop gTLD had minimal adoption by registrars and end-users. However, the hip-hop movement continued to grow exponentially during that time, as recently evidenced by the 2022 Super Bowl Halftime Show featuring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar and 50 Cent

Dot Hip Hop, LLC intends to leverage the popularity of hip-hop while lowering the standard wholesale registration price by 80%, and aggressively marketing directly to potential end-users, which include DJs & MCs, songwriters & musicians, creative writers, digital artists & NFT creators, 

 

Image from Bigstock

dance studios & dancers, recording studios, music labels, the fashion & apparel industry, promoters, events, marketing agencies, activists, fans, and more. 

The company's re-launch annoucement noted, "Hip-hop is, and has always been, more than music. Hip-hop represents an eclectic culture, which has defined several generations around the world for nearly 50 years, and will continue to do so for many years to come."

(Posted May 17, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
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*****

Kate Buckley Books $206,850 for One of Year's Three Biggest 3-Letter .Com Sales To Date

The headline on our latest bi-weekly domain sales report that came out Wednesday evening (May 11), read 3-Letter Domains Re-Stake Claim to Top of Sales Chart - Group Posts 4 of 6 Biggest Sales on Elite List. It could be that the 3-letter fun is just getting started! Less than 24 hours after that report came out, I got a note from Founder and veteran broker Kate Buckley at Buckley Media letting me know that she had just closed a $206,850 sale of GBR.com.

In addition to being yet another new 3-letter .com sale, this one was especially notable because it is almost four times bigger than the one that took the top spot on our latest all-extension Top 20 Sales Chart Wednesday - ODC.com at $57,611. The $206,850 paid for GBR.com is also more than what was paid for all four of the 3-letter domains that landed among the top six reported sales over the previous two weeks. 

Kate, who represented the seller in the GBR.com transaction, knows the inherent value of top tier domains inside out and - as her regular appearances on our top sales charts over the years has shown -  has a long history of maximizing the proceeds from sales of those assets. We will be charting this latest sale when our next bi-weekly report is issued May 25th. As of this writing, the GBR.com sale is the third biggest 3-letter .com sale of the year to date, joining a trio that includes the March sale of GCP.com at $550,000 and the April sale of LWN.com at $475,000 (you can review all of 2022's top 100 sales to date here).

Kate said the buyer did not provide any specifics about their plans for GBR.com other than indicating it would be used to launch a new project. The domain is currently under WhoIs privacy and not resolving.

Kate Buckley

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*****

New Article from Jeanette Eriksson Presents Latest Perspectives on New TLDs and Online Branding Strategies

Jeanette Eriksson has been a leading figure in the new TLD space for almost a decade now. The former Vice President of the .GLOBAL registry, who is now the VP of Marketing and Online Brand Protection at Desktop.com, is also a freelance author and consultant. Several weeks ago Jeanette began working on a deep dive into where new TLDs stand now, gathering perspectives from thought leaders as well as recommendations for online branding strategies for today's environment. The engrossing end result was made available to all today when Jeanette re- published the information as a free LinkedIn article (the piece was originally published by World Trademark Review and was accessible only to their paid subscribers).  

As most of your are aware, a new round of TLDs is in progress at ICANN, so this information is especially timely. In this piece, Jeanette analyzed the interests of five key stakeholder groups, shared commentary she received from a wide range of industry veterans and assembled the top takeaways for brand owners.

At the start, from her own experience during the first round of new TLDs, Jeanette noted, "Opinions live on long after the ICANN processes are concluded. It is thus worthwhile identifying some of the roles and underlying mechanisms that affect how these domains are presented to brand owners and the general public. Understanding this helps us interpret the information we are presented with, and can ultimately lead to better decision making for clients and ourselves.

I was one of the people Jeanette asked about those wide ranging opinions of new gTLDs that continue to create debate nearly 10 years after they were introduced. She published my thoughts on that:

“On the business side of it I think there 

Jeanette Eriksson
VP of Marketing & Online Brand Protection Desktop.com

has been too much sniping between legacy domain advocates and the new gTLD advocates with both spending too much time denigrating the other - rather than focusing on their own strengths. I think this came from each side feeling the success of the other would come at their expense - but that hasn’t been the case. .com is stronger than ever in registrations and the aftermarket. They have also become pricier in the aftermarket which has created opportunities for strong new gTLDs to serve markets that need more affordable options. The growth in demand for domains in general has left room for everyone to succeed on their own merits. When Verisign took over the .com registry in 2000 only 20 million .com domains existed. There are over 156 million now. That hasn’t left many viable terms available in .com that SMBs can afford. New gTLDs provide them with options and if our concern is the health of general economies, more options is a good thing for everyone.”

The above barely scratches the surface of the extensive ground covered in Jeanette's article, so don't miss this opportunity to read the entire piece here.

(Posted May 9, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
https://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2022/dailyposts/20220509.htm

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New 2022-1Q Premium Domain Sales Reports from GGRG and Guta Provide Key Aftermarket Data

I just finished going through two of my favorite quarterly reports on results from the domain aftermarket that broke down what happened in key parts of the premium market in the opening quarter of 2022. One is the 23rd edition of the GGRG.com brokerage's Liquid Market Report and the other, also from a leading domain brokerage, is Guta.com's Premium Domain Sales Observation Report. The thing that makes these two reports special is they give very specific market segments in-depth treatment that you don't get from more general overviews of the market. 

In both cases, GGRG and Guta cover top tier premium domains - but there are differences there too. GGRG Founder Giuseppe Graziano, who is based in Europe, tackles always popular ultra-short acronyms or numeric domains (like two and three letter .coms, 3-number domains, and other widely valued groups).  Guta Founder George Hong's focus on premium domains also includes the one-word dictionary domains that are such hot commodities now. George, who has offices in both the U.S. and China, is in a position that also gives him special insight into the both the English and Chinese language markets.  

One of the many interesting data points in Guta's 2022-1Q report is a decline in the number of one-word dictionary domain transactions in each of the last four quarters. Transactions hit an all-time high in 2021-2Q at 114, dropped to 90 in 2021-3Q, slipped again to 59 in 2021-4Q and, in the most recent quarter, came in at 46. If you follow our bi-weekly domain sales report, you know there has been no apparent decline in the prices being paid for top tier one-word domains, in fact they were up considerably from the previous year (we reported 11 seven-figure one-word sales in 2021 vs. only two in 2020). The declining number of completed transactions could stem from domain owners demanding more money for their assets in a market where they are in high demand, or just less inventory being available for sale.

Dictionary word domains are not followed at GGRG where, as noted above, the focus is on short acronyms and numerics. GGRG's Liquid Market Report for the opening quarter did see a significant drop off in dollar volume for that group with one of the industry's bellwethers, Escrow.com, reporting a 53% decline in dollar volume for this class after posting their best quarter ever in GGRG tracking the previous quarter.  GGRG also reported seeing a sharp drop in median prices: -59% for 3Ls, -19% for 4Ls and -14% for 4Ns. At the height of the China boom a few years ago, those kinds of domains were market leaders but they have cooled considerably since that frenzy subsided.

Both of these report are free of charge, so check them out for yourself for all of the data in detail.

GGRG.com Founder Giuseppe Graziano

 

 

'

Guta.com Founder George Hong

(Posted May 2, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
https://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2022/dailyposts/20220502.htm

*****


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