Company responds to question about .xyz giveaway and threat from Google becoming a domain name registrar.
Web.com held its quarterly conference call yesterday. Analysts asked the company about Network Solutions’ .xyz domain name giveaway and the threat from Google becoming a domain name registrar.
The answers below are from David Brown, CEO.
And then finally on the xyz, we have a long history of offering domain names at very low price in order to attract customers. And then after a year with us, if they choose to renew, we have some additional revenue. And we’ve been testing this process for years. It has worked for us and allowed us to be very competitive in an extremely competitive and marginalized business. And so xyz could have been an example of that.
This is a peculiar response to .xyz. The domains were given to existing customers. I guess the hope is that some of them will renew.
On Google as a competitor:
So let’s just hit the Google thing head-on. We don’t see any competitive threat from Google relative to domains. Google is a fantastic company, growing at a fantastic growth rate in a number of high-priced categories, and we don’t see them shifting their focus to a commoditized, low-growth industry anytime soon. However, we do see them taking advantage of new top-level domains in specialty areas, and good news, we’re partnered with them. We’re going to be one of the registrars that helps them distribute those into the marketplace. So we’ll benefit, actually, from Google’s entry into the domain space, but we don’t see Google shifting their business model into the domain industry in any meaningful way. We, on the other hand, are one of the — already one of the most significant do-it-for-me partners for Google in our online marketing space. I commented earlier, we’re the only domain name and hosting company that’s a premier partner for Google, and we have been for years. So we think we can benefit from them working in the new gTLD space because they’re going to be possibly creating opportunities for people to grab new domain names, and that creates opportunities for us in the online marketing space and even in the DIFM website space.
Brown addressed Google in his prepared remarks but kind of beat around the bush. His answer to the analyst was more direct. Web.com doesn’t think Google is going to go all in on the registrar side of the business. They might be right.
(Transcript quotes from SeekingAlpha)