Domain Name Wire

Domain Name Wire

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  • 2014 Domain Name Wire Survey: By the Numbers

    1. BY - Apr 23, 2014
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    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.


    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 (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.

  • Three domain name blogs rebrand

    1. BY - Apr 22, 2014
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    Two blogs combine in merger and another changes its name.

    Three domain name industry blogs have rebranded over the past week.

    Two are accounted for in a merger between Shane Cultra’s blog Domain Shane and Aaron Wilkin’s Accidental Domainer. The new blog is officially called Domain Shane + Accidental Domainer, but you can access the site at the shorter domain The merged blog has an updated pinterest-style design as well.

    Raymond Hackney has rebranded his blog as Hackney also writes for TheDomains and His rebranded and restyled blog was designed by Nuts and Bolts Media, the company that recently handled a redesign of TheDomains. Both Hackney’s site and TheDomains now have responsive themes, meaning you don’t have to pinch and zoom to read the content on mobile devices.

    Congratulations to all three writers.

  • Dot London and Dot NYC taking two different approaches

    1. BY - Apr 21, 2014
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    Dot NYC much more restricted than Dot London.

    Dot NYC Dot LondonTwo .city domain names are getting ready to enter their first phase of rollout: .London and .NYC.

    This will be a big moment in the new top level domain name program. Many people, including myself, think .city domain names have the biggest chance for success. Despite being much smaller than London and New York City, .berlin has already captured close to 50,000 registrations (although many of those were given away for free).

    Dot London enters its first phase on April 29 with Dot NYC following May 5. How the two will roll out and offer their domains differs greatly.

    Anyone will be able to register a .london domain name, but you’ll need nexus in New York City to register a .nyc domain.

    This is a huge difference. Domain registrants have easily gotten around nexus requirements in the past, but it is certainly a big encumbrance to the typical registrant who doesn’t actually have nexus. It also limits resale opportunities because a New York City resident can’t sell domains to someone outside the city.

    .London has no nexus requirements, sharing a completely different philosophy:

    London is a global city, welcoming residents and visitors from around the world. Its online counterpart, the Dot London domain, will equally be available around the globe. It is open to everybody who is interested in London either because they are based in London or because they have an affiliation to or an interest in the city.

    London businesses and residents will get first dibs on domains during the initial phase, however. Anyone can apply for a domain during the “London Priority Period”, but domains will be allocated with four priorities:

    1. Registered trademark holders
    2. London businesses and individuals registering their own names
    3. London businesses and individuals registering other names
    4. Non-Londoners

    After the priority period anyone can register domains on a first-come, first-served basis.

    It will be interesting to see how the nexus requirements and different launch procedures affect registrations.

  • Afilias’ new top level domain names have very slow first day

    1. BY - Apr 18, 2014
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    Color me surprised.

    Afilias launched its first six new top level domain names yesterday, and I’d rate it as the worst first day performance of any portfolio applicant.

    I’m basing this on changes to the zone files. Here are the six domains Afilias’ launched in general availability yesterday with how many domains they added to the zone and the current total:

    .red 289 to 341
    .blue 205 to 270
    .移动 142 to 231 (Chinese simplified for Mobile Phone)
    .pink 156 to 202
    .kim 112 to 135
    .shiksha 31 to 63 (Hindi for Education)

    The poor initial performance wasn’t due to price, as the domains retailed for about $17 to $26. It’s fair to blame poor registrar distribution in part. GoDaddy was absent. But I also think the overall market opportunity for the color domains is quite limited.

    Perhaps the projections in Afilias’ applications weren’t so much sandbagging after all.

    I would think for one of the color domains to take off they’ll need to get a few key celebrities, star brands, or startups on board. They’ll have to make the domains mean something when they don’t mean much on their own.

    I-Registry also launched a domain yesterday, .onl. It’s apparently short for “online”. The domain’s zone file grew by 303 domains to 379. That’s not bad given that the registry’s dated website made me question if the domain was even coming out yesterday.

  • .Marketing and .Holiday each pick up 2,000+ domains on first day

    1. BY - Apr 17, 2014
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    First day .Marketing numbers seem rather low.

    Donuts launched .marketing and .holiday into general availability yesterday (post the Early Access phase), with both picking up over 2,000 registrations in the first partial day.

    .Marketing picked up 2,564 domains to hit 2,970 and .holiday added 2,125 to reach 2,341.

    These numbers are from the zone files, and the actual registrations are probably slightly more than this.

    I was expecting more from .marketing. Lots of existing domain names end in .marketing, which is why I suspect Donuts may have paid over $1 million to buy rights to the domain from Tucows.

    .Marketing should continue to grow as marketing companies find out about it. Still, it’s a reminder of the different economics of paying $185,000 for a domain versus winning it in a contention set auction.

    I wonder how much initial TLD registration numbers will affect what people are willing to pay at auction going forward. For some of these domains, it’s going to take a long time to recoup a seven figure investment.