New registrations and renewal rate dip.
Verisign 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.
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.
GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving is doing a Reddit AMA.
GoDaddy 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.
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.
Survey shows that security and price remain top customer considerations.
Domain 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:
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.