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January 25, 2019

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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.

NamesCon 2019: Two Things You Can Count On: Great Networking and News Overload!

The 2019 NamesCon conference gets underway Sunday (January 27) at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas where it will run through Wednesday, January 30. By bringing so many people from throughout the industry together in one place, NamesCon is able to offer a networking opportunity that just can't be beat. Representatives from all of the top companies will be there, along with successful domain investors and developers, legal experts and an all star line up of speakers. 

Another thing you can count on when NamesCon rolls around

is a tidal wave of news releases from companies throughout the industry. In fact, that has already begun. Getting news about new offerings out just ahead of or during NamesCon gives companies an opportunity to create a flow of contacts that will check out their offerings in the exhibition hall or, if they at least pique the interest of potential clients, entice them to connect after the hustle and bustle of the show subsides. The only downside to that is having so much news competing for attention that a lot of it can get lost in the crowd. That's what more and more releases are coming out before the show event starts. I'll give you four examples of that in this post (published before heading out to NamesCon myself).

Bhavin Turakhia
Founder & CEO
Radix Registry

One of the biggest highlights on the NamesCon agenda will be a keynote speech from the young billionaire Founder & CEO of Radix Registry, Bhavin Turakhia. I am expecting a full house when Bhavin delivers his address in the Keynote Hall Monday morning (January 28) at 10am local time in Las Vegas.

Dovetailing nicely with Bhavin's appearance is Radix's latest release of their semi-annual Premium Domain Report (.pdf file) covering the second half of 2018. Radix operates multiple new gTLD domain registries, including .online, .tech, .store and .website, to name just a few. The report provides sales results for their premium level sales across multiple Radix TLDs.

The company reported $1.3 million in total premium revenue from over 1,200 domain sales during the 6-month period. 31% of revenue came from new registrations of tiered premiums, 57% from the renewal of tiered premiums and 12% from one-time premium sales. Radix also reported that their 1st-time renewal rate stands at 51% and subsequent renewal rate at a robust 76%

.CLUB is another new gTLD registry operator that will have high visibility at NamesCon (their exhibit hall booth always draws a crowd with a variety of games and cool schwag). They will be using NamesCon to launch what CMO Jeff Sass says will be "a big addition to our Names.club platform. Any domain owner will be able to 

list their names for sale and we'll accept names with any extension, including .COM. We're very excited to make a much wider range of brandable and keyword domains available with 60-month Easy Payments, as we are confident paying monthly is an attractive way for businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs to build a brand on a great premium domain. This also represents a great new distribution channel and model for all domain investors to sell their names." 

.CLUB has even produced a short video clip (under two minutes) illustrating how to list your names on their platform:

Domain monetization (parking) companies will also be out in force at NamesCon. One of the leaders in that field, ParkingCrew.com, just launched a new domain feature.

They can now serve parking pages over HTTPS with valid SSL certificates at no extra cost for the domain owner. With Google Chrome'd push towards HTTPS and expired traffic often coming over HTTPS, ParkingCrew expects this to increase revenues and future proof domain parking. You can get more details on that development here (.pdf file).

The Internet Commerce Association (ICA), the non-profit organization the protects the rights of domain registrants, including investors and develops, always has a major presence at NamesCon and 2019 will be no exception. ICA leaders will be in stage on multiple occasions, they will host a member's meeting Monday morning (January 28) at 11am and an annual dinner at the House of Blues (in Mandalay Bay) Monday evening starting at 6pm.

In between those two events, at 3:30pm Monday in the Afilias Lounge, the ICA will present their annual Lonnie Borck Memorial Award to pioneering domain attorney John Berryhill. In a letter sent out to members the ICA noted "John has been at the forefront of the fight for domain owner rights for over 20 years and has taken on many cases pro bono. He has devoted considerable time and effort to educating the domain community about their legal rights, often by actively engaging on the forums and we are honored to present him with this year's award." 

The ICA does a great job and always has the welcome mat open for new members. You can learn more about that on their website.

We will of course be at NamesCon to cover all of the key sessions and events throughout the week for you. Each busy day runs from early morning to midnight (or beyond), so we will be 

John Berryhill
2019 Lonnie Borck Award Winner

getting up especially early each day to put together a Lowdown post featuring the previous day and night's activity in Las Vegas. For those of you who will be there too, we look forward to seeing you at NamesCon 2019!

(Posted January 25, 2019)  

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