Marketing efforts pay off as .Club crosses milestone.
.Club sent out a press release this morning touting that it has now sold 100,000 domain name registrations — the first new TLD to reach this milestone.
.XYZ and .Berlin have more registrations, but most of their registrations were given away for free.
What was .club’s secret to getting to 100,000 registrations? Pick a good domain and then add money.
The company has certainly outspent all of its rivals on marketing.
It hired 50 Cent as a pitchman and then threw a big party in NYC.
Its team has traveled the globe going to club-related events.
It paid to be front and center on GoDaddy’s home page for several weeks.
The company has spent much more on marketing than it has taken in from registrations so far. That’s the business model, since domain name sellers are selling a subscription product. You have to look at the lifetime value of a registration, not one year.
Big launches make the next 50 days a key period for new top level domain names.
A lot of new top level domain names have come to market already. Some have flown out of the gate, others are growing modestly, and some have stalled.
In my opinion, the next 50 days will be an important period for new TLDs due to the number of high profile launches and the companies involved.
You can argue that a slow launch doesn’t kill a TLD. But new TLDs have a chance to get some positive momentum if they collectively make some noise over the next 50 days.
Here’s why this upcoming period has the potential to define new TLDs going forward:
Big .city domains.
.London and .NYC will go into general availability over the next 50 days. .London appears to be off to a strong start (15k domains were added to the zone file overnight), and .NYC could match it.
These cities are as big as it gets. Many people see promise in geo TLDs, and we’ll get a good measure on this very soon.
That’s not to mention other geo domains like .vegas, .moscow, and .scot.
.Realtor is a .brand domain that could shake up visibility for new TLDs. National Association of Realtors is offering the domains to 500,000 U.S. Realtors for free for the first year.
IF a lot of Realtors take them up on the offer and IF they use the domains, this could give a lot of visibility to top level domain names.
For adoption to happen, NAR will need to make it very easy for Realtors to forward the domains or set up websites. If I were a portfolio applicant, even one with competing real estate domains, I’d see if I could lend a hand to NAR to make this launch successful.
Minds + Machines
Minds + Machines, one of the biggest portfolio applicants for new TLDs, finally gets its first batch of domains into general availability in September. And it’s a big batch.
Excluding .London, the other domain names weren’t highly contested ones: .cooking, .country, .fishing, .horse, .rodeo, .vodka, .beer, .surf and .bayern.
Yet it’s still important: in addition to the volume of new TLDs hitting the market, Minds + Machines is a pure-play publicly-traded company. Its results will be watched closely.
Another portfolio applicant, Radix, launches its first batch of three domain names: .host, .press and .website.
Radix will be interesting to watch for a few reasons.
First, the company has experience launching domain names. It managed to get hundreds of thousands of .pw registrations.
Second, the company is spending big to promote its first three domains. Take a look at this big booth from a recent HostingCon conference:
They’ve also done a good job with online advertising targeted to the press and hosting companies.
Third, Radix should have good distribution given its connections to registrar platforms now owned by Endurance International.
As for its initial batch of domains, .host should be solid but faces a massive list of name collisions. .Website is a good generic; I’m curious to see market reaction given that .web and .site will eventually become TLDs as well. Pricing will also be important for .website.
A long game, but a momentum game
A lot of new TLD applicants will tell you that new TLDs are a long game and that launch numbers aren’t that important. Yeah, I’d say that too if I watched my launch flounder.
They aren’t lying; it’s a long game. But launches are important to the long game, and the next 50 days will be important.
One domain is off to a quick start, the others not so much.
Seven new top level domain names launched this week.
By far, .Hamburg for the city of Hamburg was the most registered domain name. (Ironically, this is the one new TLD launch this week that I missed in my weekly preview.)
There are approximately 13,800 .hamburg domain names in the zone file, up about 10,000 on the first day.
On Tuesday, .black added about 100 names to end the day with about 150. I never understand the .color domain names. Apparently I’m not the only one that can come up with a reason to register them.
.HIV, a charitable domain, also launched on Tuesday. It added about 50 domains to end with 115, despite quite a bit of press.
Donuts launched four domain names at regular pricing yesterday. Here’s approximately how many domains they had after the first day:
Company runs site that is rather descriptive of its services.
BLL Media Holdings has lost a UDRP it filed against Infinitoria Ltd over the domain name GirlDoPorn.com (in which “girl” in singular).
The complainant purports to run the site GirlsDoPorn.com (in which “girls” is plural).
BLL failed to show the World Intellectual Property Organization panelist that the domain name was confusingly similar to a mark in which it had rights.
The domain name GirlsDoPorn.com was originally registered in the name of another company. The complainant tried to explain this discrepancy in a supplemental filing, stating that it was registered by a predecessor entity. But it didn’t provide any evidence of this.
Another problem for the complainant was that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office refused its trademark application for the phrase on the basis that it describes a feature of the Complainant’s services. (Think about it for a moment.)
John Berryhill represented the domain name owner.
Former GoDaddy exec places third in Republican primary.
Christine Jones, former general counsel for GoDaddy, lost her bid to become the next governor of Arizona in the Republican primary yesterday.
Doug Ducey, current Arizona treasurer and former CEO of ice cream franchise Cold Stone Creamery, took 37% of the vote in the primary. Jones finished third with 16.7% of the vote.
GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons contributed over $1 million to fund attack ads against Ducey. Parsons told reporters his commercials were in response to Ducey claiming Jones was a “line employee” at GoDaddy; as general counsel she was one of the company’s top executives.
Running in a Republican primary in Arizona, Jones and the other candidates leaned pretty far to the right to attract voters. Unsurprisingly, one attack against Jones was her cameo in a risque GoDaddy Super Bowl commercial.
Jones’ 16.7% take in a crowded field was probably a lot better than people expected when she threw her hat in the ring. Her newly found name recognition should help her in business, or should she decide to run for another office.