How much do new TLD applicants think their strings are worth? We now have a rough idea on a half dozen.
The six domain names no longer in contention are .club, .college, .luxury, .photography, .red, and .vote.
There’s one common participant amongst all of these domains: Donuts.
Donuts, which applied for 307 top level domains, committed 63 domains to the first round of private auctions. It appears only six of them had takers — at least at this point.
We know that Donuts “lost” the auction for .vote as well as .club. I’m tracking down the results of the other auctions, but we might not find out until applicants withdraw their competing applications.
I put “lost” in quotes because private auctions don’t really have losers. The unsuccessful bidders leave with a bunch of cash.
I suspect Donuts chose the first 63 domains it committed to auction wisely and with a great deal of strategy in mind. Does it care that it lost .vote? Does it care if it lost all six of these, if as a result it has close to $9 million extra in the bank?
With the exception of .club, all of the other domains had just two contenders including Donuts. The proceeds from .club were split two ways. In the other cases the unsuccessful bidder gets the entire purse (less fees).
Even if Donuts lost all 6 (and I have no idea if that’s the case), and even if .Club was bid higher than the others, the company would easily have an extra $5M-$8M to compete for strings it may care more about.
None of United TLD’s five domains committed to auction appear to have been settled in this first round. Three of them are in contention with Top Level Domain Holdings, which has said it may participate in auctions — just not the first round.
This will be a very interesting process to watch unfold.