Verisign called on China to deliver Q1 domain growth.
.Com registry Verisign (NASDAQ:VRSN) provides guidance each quarter for how much it expects its total base of .com and .net domain names to grow. The company hardly misses because it’s quite easy for the company to pull some levers to hit the numbers.
Consider Q1 of this year. Verisign forecasted 1.5 million to 2.0 million net adds for the quarter. The company was pretty far behind at the end of February, as you’ll see:
End of Q4 2017: 14.95 million
End of Q4 2018: 135.03 million
By the end of February, .Net was down 0.20 million and .com was up 0.75 million based on the official data Verisign provides to ICANN. That meant Verisign had grown the combined base by 0.55 million domains with one month to go, well below what it promised the street. (Verisign has many measures for domains under management, so the numbers here are off slightly from what the company reported to the street.)
What do to? Verisign can throw “marketing dollars” at registrars to move the needle. It can pay them to promote .com and .net domains. What really moves the needle is offering discounts if the registrar hits certain growth targets. Click to continue reading…