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September 27, 2012

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Here's the The Lowdown from DN Journal,
updated daily
to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry. 

The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

Companies in the News: Yahoo, Media.net, Sedo, Go Daddy, NameMedia, Team Internet and Oversee.net 

If company activity in the domain industry over the past 24 hours is any indication, the final quarter of this year (that gets underway Monday) is shaping up to be a busy one. I don't recall the last time I've seen so many notable announcements packed into such a short period of time.

Let's start with Yahoo's decision to make another run at Google's powerful AdSense platform by joining forces with Directi's Media.net division to serve ads for third party sites from across the Yahoo Bing Network. The move comes two years after Yahoo threw in the towel on their previous Adsense competitor - the Yahoo Publisher Network.

Website owners will undoubtedly welcome the new option for earning advertising revenue by using the Media.net platform to create and place relevant pay per click ads monetized through the  Yahoo Bing Network.

Media.net founder and CEO Divyank Turakhia said Media.net has contextually optimized over $200 million worth of Internet traffic and is expanding rapidly, with plans to reach 500 employees by the end of this year. Yahoo's Vice President for Business Development, Al Echamendi, said, "Since its inception, Media.net has invested tremendous resources – people, capital and time – to build what Yahoo identifies to be a terrific monetization solution for web publishers. During our evaluation process, we recognized Media.net as a technology and innovation leader, with a strong management team that has a significant business track record and industry experience.”

Elsewhere, Sedo announced two significant initiatives, including a new auction offering for its SedoPro clients called Last Chance Auctions (LCA) that gives domain owners an outlet for domain names that might otherwise languish in their portfolios. LCA domain auctions will start under $99, and all names have low reserve prices.  

Sedo’s Chief Sales Officer, Liesbeth Mack-de Boer, said “Sedo is always exploring new ways to help domain name owners maximize the potential of their portfolios. Our Last Chance Auctions provide valuable Sedo customers with the means to auction domains to our user base of over 1 million members around the world. With our international reach and industry reputation, we hope to help our clients find the best prices for any domains they are ready to sell.”  

Currently, listing domains in Sedo’s Last Chance Auctions is available exclusively to SedoPro  customers. Every auction runs for seven days, and sellers have the ability to choose when an auction starts. To view names that are currently in Last Chance Auctions and Sedo’s Marketplace Auctions, you can use this link.  

Sedo also announced an expansion of their existing partnership with Go Daddy that adds SedoMLS Make Offer domain listings to the Buy Now offerings that Go Daddy customers have seen since January 2012 when the giant registrar teamed up with Sedo. End users worldwide can now place bids on premium domains listed at Sedo and negotiate a purchase price without leaving their Daddy account.

NameMedia had some big news of their own - unveiling a new service called NameFind that they described as "the first collaborative, one-stop business name generator platform." The NameFind site allows new business owners

to generate ideas for naming their new business by checking for available domain names, determining name availability on social media sites and receiving feedback on their name choices from their network of friends and colleagues.  

The NameFind platform anticipates both legal and marketing considerations, showing a matrix of 

NameMedia CEO Kelly Conlin

options: domain names (including unregistered, aftermarket and premium variations), available social media handles on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, and U.S. trademark registrations. Users can then review the price of each domain and share their top name choices with their communities and networks to receive feedback, comments and ratings.

NameMedia CEO Kelly Conlin said, “Bringing together all these services in one platform makes naming a new business easier than ever. While there is a common perception that ‘all the good names are taken’ this tool makes it clear that there are literally millions of compelling domains and social media handles that are still available to register or to buy on the secondary market.”

Team Internet AG also had a new service offering to announce - the Direct Navigation Traffic eXchange at DNTX.com. Team Internet is widely known for their ParkingCrew.com platform that monetizes top tier traffic, however they also have rapidly growing traffic that can't be monetized 

through their tier 1 upstream provider. Feeling that second tier traffic still had considerable value that was not being recognized, the company created DNTX to unlock that revenue. 

Team Internet CEO Nico Zeifang said "We feel that what traditional 2nd tier feeds pay for this traffic inventory does not reflect its true value and decided to tackle the issue from a new angle. We believe the traffic was never priced right as a lot of targeting options were missing at traditional tier 2 feeds. The more granular we allow our advertisers to target the traffic inventory they want to buy, the more they can pay for the respective subset of traffic.  Our advertisers can therefore choose from a variety of settings:

1) Traffic Category: A filter that let's the advertiser chose between Non-Adult (brandsafe) and Adult traffic

2) Campaign Type: Run of Network (all traffic from a certain country) or Keyword Campaigns

3) Ad Type: Pay Per Redirect or Pay Per Click

4) Device Targeting: Desktop, Mobile or Tablet  

Zeifang added, "We soft-launched DNTX during Affiliate Summit East 2012 and advertiser feedback has been great so far. As more and more advertisers discover our product, we can already see RPMs rise on our tier-2 traffic. We believe that DNTX.com should be an open product and will give other publishers access to our advertiser inventory in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Also crossing our desk was news of a new executive appointment at Oversee.net. The company hired Min L. Chan as General Manager, Mobile Solutions. Chan will be responsible for the 

development of mobile apps for Oversee’s consumer-oriented websites in the travel, retail and consumer finance verticals.  He will also bring his expertise to initiatives designed to enhance the monetization of mobile users on Oversee’s DomainSponsor direct navigation traffic network.   

Chan is an experienced technology executive with a long track record of developing and delivering successful mobile strategies. In his most recent position as Executive Director, Mobile Consumer Products for YP Holdings LLC (formerly AT&T Interactive), he led product and distribution efforts for the YP mobile app.  Prior to that, Chan was Director, Mobile Search, Ads, and Digital Media Service for Helio LLC.  

(Posted Sept. 27, 2012) 

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