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Another digital archery service launches. Here’s how you should pay for one of these services.

Digital archery services are a no lose proposition — for the service provider.

I just got a press release from an outfit called Digital Archery Hotshots, the latest company to offer digital archery solutions for ICANN’s batching process.

I don’t recall how many digital archery pitches I’ve received now, but I think I might no longer be able to count them on one hand.

Most of these companies have a pay-for-results system, where you pay a higher fee if you get into the first batch. Some charge for the second batch as well. (Make sure you don’t have to pay if there end up only being two batches!)

They all bill this as a no-risk service since you only pay for results.

But it’s also no risk for the digital archery service. They basically get to shoot arrows for free, and as long as some of them land near the bullseye they’ll make out like bandits. If they mess up for you, there’s really no penalty — they surely made it up on another applicant.

(The good news is they can’t use you to test, since the actual digital archery system won’t show anyone how you did until after all the results are in.)

If I were to engage a digital archery service, I’d want it to be more painful for the service if they don’t get me into the first batch. Sure, it’s OK to pay the service $10k or $15k or something like that if they get you in the first batch. But if they land you in the third batch, they should pay you.

Of course, there’s a slight possibility this will all go away next week in Prague. ICANN has left open the possibility of scrapping digital archery by putting all of the domains into one batch. The odds are slim. But if this happens, another new TLD business opportunity will be wasted.

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  1. Alan says

    Well I count five of these services to date, and some claim it is just a day’s work to write the necessary scripts.

    If they all operate on a no-win no fee basis like dropcatching then you can just sign up to all of them.

    Well no actually then if you win you have to pay them all. In fact if you win you have no way of knowing if they won it for you.

  2. Diggary Arch says

    Our reseaerch is showing an unlimited number of digital archery rounds following this first batching round. You will see more and more rounds and the prices of the applications with ICANN will continue to come down. Someday it may be prudent for almost anyone to have their own extension. Are you starting to see the future now$

  3. Volker says

    I disagree that all Digital Archery services operate a no-risk business model. While it is true that they have no direct financial risk from failing to achieve their goals, the quality of service they provide will be measurable by their successrate and that may well have a negative effect on the inclination of their clients to work with them for other services they provide such as auctions, registry services or consulting.

    So at least those services associated with established players are putting their reputation on the line to provide trustworthy and reliable services.

  4. Volker says

    @Alan: You can’t sign with all of them as you only have one arrow to hand to those services.

    @Francois: Have they even talked to other providers, or what are they basingthis recommendation on?

  5. Volker says

    Not sure about the three new ones but both Knipp and KSregistry share the same position as Pool. Both offer Registry backend services and Snapnames, which is part of the same group as KSregistry has just thrown its hat into the ring for auction services and premium releases.

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