Selling domains, letting some expire, and the impact of new top level domain names.
Domain name registrar Tucows released its first quarter 2014 earnings yesterday. The investor conference call included four interesting comments/facts about the domain name side of the business.
1. Tucows is testing ways to sell more domains through parked pages.
The company says it has launched an “aggressive program of experimentation” on landing pages for its domain names to push more sales leads to network partners.
I just went to six of the company’s domain names. They were all parked with DomainNameSales.com and included a header banner with phone numbers and a link to BuyDomains.
2. The company is letting some of its surnames domain names expire.
Tucows owns a lot of surname domain names thanks to its 2006 acquisition of Mailbank. The company said that it let registrations on some of these domains lapse during the quarter.
This may not be the first time the company has done this. Take a look at what happened with Jeffers.com.
3. New TLDs are now getting 6.5% marketshare of new registrations of .com/.net.
Tucows looked at new TLD registration numbers and compared them to public data from Verisign about .com and .net. Tucows calculated the new TLD market share of new registrations (with the market defined as new gTLDs+.com+.net) at 6.5% of this base.
I suspect this includes new TLD registrations activated by the registries themselves, which means the actual market share was a tad lower. However, Tucows’ Hover recorded about 6.5% as well, validating this overall number. Hover also didn’t participate in any landrush periods.
Note that this is merely a comparison to .com/.net. When you add in ccTLD registrations and other gTLDs the market share is lower.
4. Tucows is adjusting its domain search to a new reality with new TLDs.
Here’s Tucows CEO Elliot Noss discussing domain search on Hover.com:
For years, we have assumed that most Hover visitors would not find a suitable domain in their first few attempts and therefore, focus much of the customer experience and helping them find the right one. With the launch of new gTLD’s, we now believe most people will be able to find a suitable domain quickly and we’re rethinking our search results accordingly. This work will continue through the year.
Could this mean more focus on new TLDs and less on premium aftermarket domain name sales?