.Club CEO Colin Campbell shares his company’s 2015 financial performance with Domain Name Wire.
During a domain name session at WHD.usa yesterday, .Club CEO Colin Campbell talked candidly about his company’s performance, including that the company lost about $1 million last year.
I chatted with Campbell afterward, and he offered to openly shared .Club’s financials with me.
.Club generated $7.0 million last year on a bookings basis. $4.5 million of this was from registrations and the other $2.5 million from premium sales.
The company spent over $8 million last year, resulting in a loss (on a bookings basis) of $1.1 million.
In other words, the company is having to spend a lot of money to make .Club a success.
The biggest expense wa marketing at $5.75 million including employee expenses. A substantial part of this marketing expense is shelf space at registrars.
Front page placement and search results placement at domain name registrars don’t come cheap.
A substantial portion of our marketing budget is allocated for distribution including Registrar placement/incentives. Each registrar is tracked based on a cost of acquisition (COA) criteria using registrations and renewal rate. If target (COA) are not met with the registrar we reduce funding, if exceeded we ramp up. Due to the delay in tracking renewal rates we build estimates based on usage rates.
The other big line item for .Club last year was $1.15 million for backend registry fees and commissions on premium sales.
It’s clear that it takes a lot of spending to build a brand and enthusiasm around a new top level domain name. This is noteworthy to outsiders looking in trying to understand what it takes to make the new TLD model work.
Campbell predicts this big investment to pay off.
“I am confident .CLUB will break even this year and begin to move to profitability in 2017 making us a truly viable new domain extension and more importantly a global brand,” he said.