Citing struggling registries, group requests temporary fee rollback and marketing effort.
The gTLD Registries Stakeholder Group (RySG) has asked (pdf) ICANN to cut its fees for a year and to undertake a $3 million marketing effort to promote new top level domain names.
In a letter to ICANN last week, RySG chair Paul Diaz said that “A number of gTLD operators are struggling” and reducing the fees will give the registries more money to do marketing.
Currently, registries with fewer than 50,000 annual transactions pay a quarterly fee of $6,250. RySG would like this fee reduced to $1,562.50 per quarter for a year.
The letter points out that a registry with just 1,000 names is paying $25.00 per name per year in ICANN fees. Domains that existed before new TLDs generally pay lower fees.
Additionally, RySG wants ICANN to seed $3 million in a fund “to promote universal awareness of new
gTLDs to the general Internet user community, and universal acceptance of new gTLDs across the
RySG says the money should come from the $100 million surplus it expects ICANN to have from running the new TLD program. (This amount does not include the $200 million + in auction proceeds). Funding the discounts and marketing would cost about $20 million. ICANN has said its fee structure for the new TLD program was designed to be cost neutral.
While many new TLD operators are indeed struggling, some of the ones that have many strings are not. Donuts, which operates about 200 strings, has said it is very profitable. It would get over $900,000 in fee reductions if ICANN were to adopt RySG’s proposal.