Should the domain name industry introduce perpetual domain registrations?
Consumers like predictability. They dislike price increases on their cable bill, healthcare premiums and mortgage.
Companies like cash in the bank. They can do a lot with it: invest, buy back shares, etc.
So the idea of a “forever” domain registration in which one payment is made and you own the domain for life could appeal to an end user. It also appeals to the domain industry because it can use the cash and not have to worry about renewals.
Last week at the ICANN meeting in Barcelona, Epik founder Rob Monster explained to me what he’s trying to do with the concept of perpetual domain registrations. He’s offering these registrations on Epik for $420. Think of it as a proof of concept to show there’s demand for such a product.
What really needs to happen for domain registrars and registries to start offering a product like this is for the entire supply chain to be on board. The registry must offer a one-time price and ICANN must as well. Would ICANN accept a one-time $10 payment to cover all future fees it charges for domain registrations? Would Verisign accept a one-time $200 payment to renew a .com domain in perpetuity?
Epik’s Forever registrations
As it stands right now, Epik’s forever registration starts with a 10-year registration, the maximum allowed by the registries. After considering the registry fee and ICANN fees, this leaves Epik with $326 in working capital. It then renews the domain for another year each year.
Depending on what rate you consider your cost of capital, this gives Epik a lot of room. Monster figures that as long as the renewal price of a .com is $19.50 or less per year, the .com is self-financing into perpetuity without even tapping into the $326 “deposit”. Click here to continue reading…