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June 10, 2014

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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.

Tooting the .XYZ Horn: Founder Daniel Negari Says His New gTLD Debuted With a Bang 

Daniel Negari
.XYZ Founder & CEO

The new gTLD field is getting more crowded with each passing week, making it harder and harder to stand out in the crowd. .CLUB, currently the #1 new gTLD released, has done it with a high powered marketing campaign complete with celebrity registrants like 50 Cent and Demi Lovato

.XYZ Founder Daniel Negari, whose extension just entered general availability Monday, has also been one of the few new gTLD operators that has spent big to publicize their extension. Daniel has also drawn attention by talking big, predicting that .XYZ will have 1 million registrations in its first year and is destined to be the "new" .com. Those audacious comments have put him and his TLD both in the spotlight and under the microscope of skeptics and critics who seek to deflate his balloon. 

The opening day numbers have kept the pot boiling on both sides of the debate surrounding the viability of .XYZ. NTLDStats.com currently shows .XYZ with 18,621 registrations after one day, but Negari, in a blog post today, said the number for the full 24 hours since the opening bell are actually over 31,000, which would 

put .XYZ in the top ten new gTLDs after one day (the 18,621 figure would also leave them in good shape at #11). 

Even so, an oddity in those numbers is drawing a lot of attention. Over 9,000 registrations were made at one registrar, NetworkSolutions, under WhoIs Privacy (that is more than half of the registrations reported by NTLDStats.com - unusual since NetSol usually gets well under 5% of a new gTLD's registrations). Also, .XYZ is a bargain priced domain by new gTLD standards (just $8.88 at Uniregistry, which is even lower than the wholesale cost I get as a reseller for my current registrar). So, why would thousands of people pay 3 to 4 times more at a registrar known for its high prices? Some speculate that those names were given to .com owners of the same term at no charge to inflate numbers.  

Whatever the case may be, it is hard to call winners and losers after just one day on the market, though that hasn't stopped a lot of people from trying. Negari, a young entrepreneur who has been successful in many other enterprises certainly seemed to be thrilled with how .XYZ came out of the gate, as shown in this launch video, shot today, that he posted on YouTube

 

.XYZ will continue to bear watching in the days ahead and not just because people want to see how well the registration numbers hold up against Negari's next big thing prediction. .XYZ is something of a unique animal in the new gTLD space in that it doesn't mean anything. Negari believes the generic nature of the extension is its biggest advantage - allowing it to work with any keyword - thus expanding its audience. Critics claim just the opposite - that 

it doesn't work with any keyword because it adds no meaning to the string, just unnecessary random letters.

It has been said that you can brand anything with enough money. Whether or not Negari, who is all in with his extension, can build .XYZ into a widely-known and adopted brand will be one of the most interesting stories to come out of the entire new gTLD initiative. On that level, .XYZ, like .CLUB, has already succeeded. They've made themselves a story in a field of mostly anonymous extensions. When it comes to publicity - when you are trying to take market share from a behemoth like .com - every little bit helps.  

(Posted June 3, 2014) 


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