Displaying posts tagged under "eNom"
Rightside grows its eNom business, new TLDs generate $2.5 million in revenue as of end of Q3.
Rightside released third quarter earnings after the bell today.
Revenue for the third quarter came in at $48.8 million, up from $45.5 million in the same quarter last year and $46.7 million in the second quarter of 2014.
The company swung to a profit with a $4.1 million bottom line. However, its adjusted EBITDA — which presumably is a key metric it wants to be valued on — was ($0.6) million.
A particular bright spot for the company was moving the needle in its domain name registration business. Organic growth (excluding the Name.com acquisition) in domain services was 10.5% due to onboarding more eNom wholesale partners. Rightside had been having trouble growing this fairly mature business.
On the new top level domain front, Rightside recorded a gain of $8.6 million for withdrawing seven applications for new top level domain names.
As of the end of the quarter, Rightside had 15 top level domains out in general availability for an average of 89 days each. The company had generated over 80,000 registrations with almost $2.5 million in total cash sales. That’s an average of above $30 per domain name. While many of its domains have a wholesale price of $20, its initial sales include sunrise and landrush/EAP pricing. It also sells some domains for premium prices.
Niche resellers and registrars are key for selling industry-specific domain names.
Many of the new top level domain names coming to market are targeted to particular industries: .photography for photographers, .plumbing for plumbers, .solar for the solar industry.
Selling these domain names through mass market domain name registrars is tricky. The domain names are unlikely to come up high in search results unless a particular keyword closely matches the TLD. Unless the customer is aware of the top level domain and specifically searching for it, she is unlikely to find it.
To better target the industries their domain names are made for, domain registries need to work with industry-specific channel partners.
Taken to another level, a domain name registrar or reseller that specifically targets the industry.
Enter Momentum Names.
I received a LinkedIn alert today that Matt Godson of Momentum Event Group was now also CEO of Momentum Names.
Momentum Names is an eNom reseller specifically specializing in the sale of two of Rightside’s upcoming domain names, .lawyer and .attorney. This is a good target for Momentum given its network amongst lawyers for its conferences.
I think this is a great idea for businesses that already sell products and services into a particular industry. For example, if I provided booking software for cab companies, it would make sense to set up a niche reseller selling .cab and .limo domain names.
Rightside’s debut as its own publicly-traded company is imminent.
Demand Media plans to complete the spin-off of its domain name business on August 1.
Rightside will become its own public company on that date. It will trade on the NASDAQ under the symbol “name”.
Demand Media shareholders will receive one Rightside share for each five shares of Demand Media stock they own.
Rightside owns a number of domain name businesses covering the entire spectrum of the domain name business:
Registry Service – Rightside Registry provides domain name registry services to new TLD operators including Donuts and itself.
Registry – the company is an applicant for many of its own new TLDs. It will probably operate around 50 of its own top level domain names, including .ninja and .democrat.
Domain Registration – Rightside owns both the largest reseller registrar (eNom) and a large retail registrar (Name.com).
Domain Parking – the company owns domain parking company Hotkeys. It also parks a number of domains on its registrar platforms.
Expired domains and aftermarket sales – NameJet is a 50/50 partnership between Rightside and Web.com.
Domainer – Rightside is also a domainer investor with over 300,000 owned and operated domain names.
Blocking could lead to website suspensions.
Beginning January 1st domain name registrars are required by the new Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) to verify contact details for registrants.
Most registrars do this by sending an email to domain registrants and asking them to click a link in the email. For the registrant fails to do this, their domain names can be suspended.
This has resulted in at least one high profile website being suspended, and more will certainly meet this fate.
Now it appears many of these verification emails are being blocked by major email services.
eNom just sent a notice to its resellers stating that a who’s who of email providers — AOL, Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail — are blocking verification emails that eNom is sending on behalf of resellers.
It’s going to fix this problem by sending verification notices directly to registrants using an eNom email address.
This is another example of how this ill-conceived verification requirement can ensnare legitimate domain registrants.
Registrars are slowly improving their search results to show new top level domain name options, but the experience is far from ideal.
Earlier this month I wrote about how domain name search at major registrars wasn’t ready for new top level domain names.
I admitted it was early, as Donuts’ domain names had just come on to the market. It represented the first batch of English-language domains to become available.
Now a few weeks later and over 100,000 new TLD registrations made, is search any better? Let’s take a look.
GoDaddy has made strides in search. On February 5th it didn’t show any suggestions related to the terms used in the search. Nor did it list any new TLDs in its suggestions.
Now the registrar is showing relevant domain names. Today I searched for “PlumbingGuru”. PlumbingGuru.com was taken, but here are the first four suggested alternatives:
I couldn’t replicate these types of suggestions with .photography and .lighting.
GoDaddy also isn’t “spanning the dot” with its suggestions. When I searched for “Fun Holdings”, one suggestion was FunHoldings.holdings, but not fun.holdings (which is available).
The search also has some difficulty parsing words to suggest new domain options. This is an age-old challenge that’s not unique to new domain names.
eNom appears to be more on top of things than other registrars.
Last time around it was showing decent suggested alternatives, although its highlighted options at the top of the page seemed to be hardcoded. Today I got the impression that these top results were somewhat based on the search term.
If I had spent $50 million on ads promoting new TLDs before they even launched, I’d sure as heck make it easy for customers to place orders on the day they launched.
Amazingly, 1&1 made it difficult to do so. If you searched for one of the new TLDs in the search box, you were told they were unsupported:
Now you can search for the domains on the main search box rather than going to a special new TLD page.
The user experience is a bit mixed. When I searched for “Baseballgame.guru”, 1&1 returned this:
It acknowledged the domain I was searching for. I’m searching from Texas, but I’m a bit confused as to why I’m being pitched .mx domain names for Mexico.
1&1 doesn’t appear to be considering search terms in suggested domains yet. When I did the PlumbingGuru and FunHoldings search, neither .plumbing nor .guru domains were offered.
Another interesting thing about their domain search: you can have any spaces. I see domain search moving from a string such as PlumbingGuru to terms such as “Plumbing Guru”. 1&1 returns an error message when you search like this.
Hover only appears to return new TLD options if you search for them, e.g. fun.holdings. “Fun holdings” did not suggest .holdings domain names.
Web.com’s registrars fall in to the bucket of “yeah, we aren’t ready for new domain names yet.” Much like 1&1 on the first day, the only way to register a new domain at NetSol or Register.com is to do it through a special new TLD page.
It’s as if some registrars had no idea new TLDs were coming.