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.VIP hits 200k registrations, $3.2 million within 5 days

.VIP proves to be a VIP for MMX.

dot-vip-graphicMMX (Minds + Machines, LSX:MMX) had a Very Important launch last week.

The company announced today that .VIP generated over 200,000 registrations after just five days of general availability. The company has $3.2 million in billings/orders for the top level domain so far, which it will recognize over the registration term.

That’s a nice launch for a domain it won at auction for $3.1 million.

The domain name is doing particularly well in China, making up 80% of .VIP names registered so far. VIP has a broader context and use in China than it does in many Western countries.

MMX CEO Toby Hall, who was installed at the helm of the company earlier this year, said the launch is proof that the company’s updated strategy is a winner:

The Chinese market for top-level domains is real and we are delighted to have accessed this key region through the .vip launch. It is a major milestone for the Company, the new management team and our business model centred on working with best-in-class partners across every aspect of our business so as to best monetize our assets while maintaining a tight control on central overheads. It demonstrates that, when properly executed, how quickly the initial investment costs for a domain can be recovered and the potential for a strong recurring revenue established. The .vip launch equally illustrates how as a b2b business we do not have to burn funds on marketing to reach end-consumers and achieve outstanding results. Not only is .vip creating an exceptional platform through which to grow our presence in the expanding Asia market, it is providing an excellent template on how best to reach end-markets that can be potentially mirrored across our portfolio.

The company also believes that removing premium renewal pricing helped. Instead of paying the same premium annual renewal fee each year, .VIP domains have only a one-time premium price.

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      • Gene says

        You can correctly make that statement about plenty of the other gTLDs, but not .VIP. Numbers don’t lie, and there’s obviously exceptional demand for this extension – primarily because it is a natural for building an online presence on.

        Domainers have to be careful about becoming too ‘shrewd’ for their own good, especially when it comes to .VIP.

        There are 7 billion people on the planet. They’re not all ‘highly educated’ or ‘sophisticated’ in the investing sense. So just because to Western sensibilities a ‘VIP’ has a particular connotation, it has a different one, i.e., ‘aspirational’ or ‘successful,’ one in other parts of the world.

        We’re clearly witnessing a bull market for .VIP, and the days are still VERY early in this multi-year run. So rather than be looking to put put-options on this on the 6th day of it’s general release, the naysayers should spend their time and effort finding gems in the .VIP mine.

  1. John says

    >”VIP has a broader context and use in China than it does in many Western countries.”

    And that is?

  2. steve brady says

    .VIP makes choosing destinations fun again. If you didn’t spend the weekend registering one or two of your best concepts, you may have thrown away the keys to the Lamborghini.

  3. M. Menius says

    I’ve seen some interesting reg’s, but this might take the cake:

    ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.vip

    Registered to:

    Registrant Name: lijia wang
    Registrant Organization: lijia wang
    Registrant Street: 3/F.,HiChina Mansion,No.27 Gulouwai Avenue
    Registrant City: Beijing
    Registrant State/Province: Beijing
    Registrant Postal Code: 100120
    Registrant Country: CN

  4. Joseph Peterson says

    I can imagine .VIP having some cachet within China if the loan word has taken on a broad positive meaning. So it wouldn’t surprise me to see .VIP websites built and marketed as time goes by.

    Even so, huge splurges like these 200k registrations aren’t going to lead to 200k websites anytime soon. We’ve been seeing this pace of new registrations in China throughout 2016 in various nTLDs. Western domainers have grown accustomed to feverish speculation by Chinese domainers. But let’s not forget how bizarre this truly is.

    People are behaving as though increased supply doesn’t dilute prices – all of them hoping to get lucky. Website creation and market demand are not increasing at the same pace domain registrations are. Anybody can see where this glut is headed. Normally we’d only see this kind of irrationality among the slot machines at a casino.

    The focus of Chinese speculation has been migrating from TLD to TLD ever since the 2015 bubble began deflating. First .COM. Now everything / anything else. “Aspirational” is the right word for this. Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Worrisomely, many Chinese domainers are new arrivals with very little sense of past domain market ups and downs. Even the collapse of LLLL.com “CHIP” prices since December may be a lesson the new domainers – so eager to win – haven’t absorbed.

    A few well positioned traders will get in early and sell fast enough to profit. Overall, though, speculation on this scale is doomed. Too many bets have been placed for the average resale outcome in this sector to be anything ultimately but a loss.

    Usage is different. I’m sure we’ll see some with .VIP. But there aren’t enough end users buying at high prices to justify this feeding frenzy.

    • gene says

      “A few well positioned traders will get in early and sell fast enough to profit. Overall, though, speculation on this scale is doomed. Too many bets have been placed for the average resale outcome in this sector to be anything ultimately but a loss.”

      Just because the pace of adoption has been amazing, to use the phrase “…on this scale” is an absurd one to make – JUST ONE WEEK AFTER LAUNCH. Presuming that the number of sales is (likely) near 300,000 at this point, that’s nothing at all.

      You’re missing the context: (i) 7 billion people on earth, and 1/6th of them are from China; (ii) 80%+ of buyers are from China – so they’re voting with their wallets; (iii) the vast majority of the .VIP names sold have been purchased for ~ 10 USD (or less) – so there isn’t any ‘unsustainable speculation’ happening here; and (iv) unlike almost all of the other gTLDs, .VIP is tailor-made for end use, i.e., websites.

      When you say “…speculation on this scale is doomed” it’s obvious that you haven’t spent much time in the financial markets (I say this as someone who traded options since the first year they were launched on the S&P 100, back in ’83).

      Why are you ready to ‘sell calls’ on .VIP when it’s barely gotten off the ground – YET ALREADY BROKEN SALES RECORDS?

      There’s no nothing to be gained from your naysaying on .VIP. You’re not going to influence the market, nor are those who see its value going to be impressed by your contrarian ‘insights.’ Moreover, please don’t pretend that you’re only trying to protect us from our own actions in the name of virtue.

      There are tons of gTLDs that downright suck, but this isn’t one of them.

      • Joseph Peterson says

        @Gene,

        Believe it or not, some people can disagree about facts / predictions without engaging in personal attacks. Try it!

        You’re right, “there’s nothing to be gained from” what you call my “naysaying on .VIP”. While you are presumably invested in this area, I am not. By making my prediction, I won’t make a penny. Somehow, the absence of bias and financial motive invalidates what I say?

        This is cute:

        “Moreover, please don’t pretend that you’re only trying to protect us from our own actions in the name of virtue.”

        First, you put words in my mouth. Then you imply that I’m a poser and a liar!

        Listen, if I do want to warn people about the risks of investing in a bubble, why would that be something to ridicule? I’m not wearing a “superman” cape. Just talking about the domain market.

        Essentially, Gene, you’re telling me to shut up. Why? If you’re invested in .VIP, fine. However, you insist that I’m “not going to influence the market”. So why react with such hostility when my prediction differs from yours?

        When the meteorologist predicts rain next week, people who are planning a picnic aren’t “going to be impressed by [his] contrarian ‘insights'”. But why assume that guy gives a weather forecast in order to strike a pose and impress people? It’s just a guy talking about what he sees. How is this any different? My job is analyzing the domain market. That doesn’t make me right. I can be just as wrong as the weather guy. But shouldn’t I be allowed to talk about the topic I study?

        Disagreement is healthy. Debate is a good thing. But let’s discuss the actual topic. It’s not just bad manners to attack the character of the person you disagree with. Beyond that, concentrating on the identity of the person speaking is a distraction – indeed, a logical fallacy (ad hominem). We should treat a prediction about the domain market in the same way as we’d treat a weather forecast. You may not like my face, but tomorrow it will or won’t rain regardless.

        In your haste to discredit me, Gene, I’m not sure you actually read what I wrote. You finish by saying, “There are tons of gTLDs that downright suck, but this isn’t one of them.” As if I’d said .VIP sucks! In fact, I said that .VIP probably has “some cachet within China”. On that score, we agree; but I must be wrong anyway, right?

        Gene, I know you’re a smart guy. Maybe you were in a rush and skimmed what I wrote. Certainly, you misunderstood a few statements that I made. For instance, you wrote:

        “to use the phrase ‘…on this scale’ is an absurd one to make – JUST ONE WEEK AFTER LAUNCH”

        I wasn’t referring primarily to the first week of .VIP. Rather, I was talking about the tendency of Chinese domain traders to register huge numbers of domains at a time – purely for speculation, not for development. For example, more than 150,000 .RED domains were scooped up in a single day during February, according to TheDomains. My point was simply this: The pace of .VIP registrations shouldn’t be viewed in isolation. China has been splurging like this for quite awhile.

        .VIP may be different in some respects. But this pace of registrations is primarily driven by domain speculators, not web developers. China is a big country, to be sure. But when domains are being registered much faster than they’re put to use, there will obviously be a glut. Increased supply doesn’t raise prices. That’s my main point. If I’m wrong, please tell me why.

        2 observations:

        (1)
        “80%+ of buyers are from China – so they’re voting with their wallets”

        Yes. So? Domain speculators do vote with their wallets. Their own spending doesn’t imply that their bets will be profitable.

        (2)
        “the vast majority of the .VIP names sold have been purchased for ~ 10 USD (or less) – so there isn’t any ‘unsustainable speculation’ happening here”

        Most of those purchases are by domainers. They only buy because they hope to resell for higher amounts. That’s the very definition of speculation. And it’s happening at a fast pace on a large scale. If they buy for $10 or less, does that somehow prove that the asset class they’re buying will enjoy sustainable appreciation? I fail to see why. Perhaps you can explain.

  5. John says

    That’s why as both an end user and a domain seller the only thing I’m interested in since everything else I checked was unavailable is one that I would use even if I didn’t sell it.

    • gene says

      @Luan

      I’m sure you will see many sites soon enough, but don’t you think your question is a bit premature given that this extension has only been around for one week? To build a world-class site takes several months (or more), so give it some time.

  6. C.S. Watch says

    @Gene

    Respectfully, you may be of a generation which is marked by a disastrous inability to 1) allow ridicule to trigger healthy self-examination, nor 2) incorporate advice from anyone except older white males or your investor crush. The response is too often financial self-immolation in an infantile attempt to ‘not look foolish’ and ‘run with the big dogs.’

    Pair this intractability with limited empathy flowing from perceived necessity, betting that ‘someone else is the mark,’ and investment opportunities like this can be fatal.

    The sociocultural pattern above shows up not only in older white males, but in asian males a couple decades younger. You are swimming in a barrel alongside each other, each thinking he’s taking advantage of the other’s particular stupidities. Spoiler Alert: neither of you is the shooter.

    You’ll ignore this comment, but I post it with good intentions. God willing, you’ll solicit the advice of marketing experts and trademark attorneys before you dispatch any more of your savings.

    • Gene says

      @ C.S. Watch

      I’m guessing from your comment that you’re not as intelligent as you you’re trying to portray. Your comments are completely unintelligible, and your injection of race – INTO A STRING THAT’S DISCUSSING A DOMAIN NAME EXTENSION – is just disgusting, frankly.

      Oh, and btw, you need to brush up on your research skils, as well, because I AM a trademark lawyer – which you could have quickly discovered online had you spent 30 seconds of research, and less time shooting your mouth off to make a fool of yourself with an anonymous post.

  7. C.S. Watch says

    @ Gene

    Again, trying to help you.

    1. I injected race into this discussion? Your entire investment premise is racist—that is the point. I quote, ”There are 7 billion people on the planet. They’re not all ‘highly educated’ or ‘sophisticated’ in the investing sense.” “80%+ of buyers are from China…” Your words, Hustler. Is that ‘just disgusting, frankly?’ Yep.

    2. Why would one Google you personally? It is that foxhole mentality and the resultant empathy-block that puts you at risk. You’re an older white guy hoping to take advantage of asians, and TM cybersquatting is now 99% asians hoping to take advantage of older white guys. Okay, so you don’t see the humorous irony, but maybe try to see the doom and futility…

    3. So, as a trademark lawyer, you would advise your client to build a brand on a TLD for which the .com is taken? No one believes that. (And I hope to God you don’t, or you need to stop posting on blogs.) Of course you’re not operating as a TM lawyer, you’re operating as an investor…or more precisely, as an exploitative naif. And it’s going to bite you in the 401K.

    I’m sorry I’ve offended you. But you are a cliche in domain speculation, I regret to inform. You likely watched a snotnosed domainer traipse through your law office to pick up a fat paydirt check and you’ve been chewing your nails about it ever since. But you didn’t see the legwork that that domainer put in. And you are not. doing. the. legwork.

    I didn’t say swallow this wholesale, all I said was get outside advice. But you want to take offense rather than take a hint.

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