final day of business at the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. ccTLDs
conference in Amsterdam Thursday (June 4) got underway with a
session featuring three companies that offer ccTLD registration or
aftermarket sales services; Sedo.com, Name.com and InterNetX.com.
dominates the ccTLD aftermarket and Mathias Meyer-Schoenherr
noted that some of that success can be attributed to the
fact that Sedo operates sites in four languages; English,
German, French and Spanish. They also have 200 employees
spread across 25 countries. Their main office is in Cologne,
Germany with other key offices in Boston and
provided some interesting stats noting the market shares for
various ccTLDs extension on the Sedo sales platform. .de
dominates, accounting for 60% of sales. co.uk comes next
with a 13% share at Sedo, followed by .in at
9%. He said the
company is also seeing solid growth in .es and .fr.
Peterson of Name.com cited the importance of
picking the right registrar to handle your ccTLD domains.
"Pick one you trust who knows the conditions and
requirements for each of the individual markets," she
said, adding that multiple language support is also critical
to avoid miscommunications that could have very adverse
registrars, Jochen Kieler of InterNetX said that Mexico,
with 110 million people, is one of many big opportunities in
the ccTLD space. Despite the large population only 270,000 .mx
domains have been registered, leaving room for a lot of growth there.
He also noted that another key Spanish language country, Spain,
had seen phenomenal growth for their extension (.es). It
recently passed 1 million, a number Kieler said he would
never have dreamed of a year ago. He added that he is seeing a
big surge in new registrars starting to offer ccTLDs as the category
gets more important every day.
the extended lunch break that followed, attendees were given some
extra time to visit the sponsor booths in the exhibit hall to get
specific questions answered about the many products and services in
Jodi Chamberlain welcomes a visitor to the Offshoring.com
booth in the exhibit hall.
Below: Stephanie & Toby Clements hold down the fort at
the Rick Latona Auctions booth.
(these two photos courtesy of Barbara Neu)
led off the afternoon schedule with a talk about ccTLD and
general market sales trends. In breaking down the
composition of the 50 biggest ccTLD sales so
far this year I noted that 14
those have been .de domains, followed by 10 co.uk and 7 .fr.
.nl, the ccTLD for our host nation, the Netherlands, had 4
of the 50 biggest sales as did .pl. Three extensions had two
apiece; .es, .it and .eu while four others each placed one;
.us, .at, .ru, .br.
.de swept 6 of the 10 biggest reported sales led by FlateRate.de
at $200,000. Motor.es (representing Spain)
also cracked the 6-figure mark at over $113,000. Of
course, these are just the publicly reported sales - I heard
about many even larger ccTLD deals while I was at the show,
but those were not revealed due to non disclosure agreements
that are commonplace, especially at the high end of the
the way, if you are not familiar with which countries all of
these extensions belong to there is a handy
reference here that gives you the complete list
of the world's ccTLDs and the countries they
had some extra time during the hour allotted to me so I
invited Rick Latona and Ray Neu (who
administers Latona's ccTLDs.com forum) to join me on
stage for a special interview. I
Neu to fill everyone in on the growth they are experiencing
at ccTLDs.com, a great resource for people from all over the
world to discuss their local ccTLDs (and do so in their own
languages if they wish). With those local experts on board
it is a great place to learn the ins and outs of each
country code market so you can take advantage of some of
the hottest growth areas on the Internet.
had been on stage Tuesday as part of a large panel. That limited his
comments to a few minutes that day, so I wanted to bring him back so
the audience could hear more details about his conversion from .com
diehard to ccTLD evangelist. He explained how his travels
around the world had convinced him that it was worth pouring
hundreds of thousands of dollars into the acquisition and marketing
of selected ccTLDS - even though many of his .com only colleagues
thought he had taken a wrong turn. It is becoming clear now that the
turn Latona took was actually a short cut that has once again put
him ahead of the pack.
up was the final seminar session of the show, one focusing on
what the future holds for domain investors. This panel
featured Tim Schumacher (CEO, Sedo.com), Alexander
Wagner (European Business Development Director,
NameDrive), Donny Simonton (President, Parked.com)
and Markus Schnermann (the subject of our May
Cover Story who filled in at the last minute
when a scheduled panelist had to leave Amsterdam early).
a speech a couple of years ago Schumacher had predicted the
domain boom would not last forever - that revenues from
different sectors of the industry would rise and fall in the
same way the stocks go up and down. Time has proven him
right. He drew several parallels to the stock market in his
talk and also presented his personal recommendation for
extensions to buy, sell or hold. His current Buy list
includes .info, .us, major ccTLDS like
Germany's .de and Italy's .it plus IDNs (which
he predicted will be big). Schumacher rates .com, .net,
.eu and .mobi as Hold and he recommends
selling .biz, .cc, .ws and .tv.
CEO Tim Schumacher
Schumacher, Wagner, who helped found NameDrive in 2005, recommended
diversification in your portfolio and noted that you can still buy
attractive domains in the ccTLD space at very good prices. He also
recommended diversifying the methods of monetization you use by
making parking, sales and development all part of the mix. He is
less optimistic about mass development,
believing that any gains will be short lived before Google and
crack down on minisites built solely to attract search engine
placement to drive visitors to glorified parking pages.
talked about how automated systems were helping his company acquire
domain assets that think will grow in value in the future. He has a program
that will scan each day's drop list, or an auction catalog and
automatically spit out a list of names the company should buy (and
the maximum price to buy at) based on criteria they built into the
who has always been a strong proponent of ccTLDs said he
particularly likes the prospects for China (.cn), India
(.in) and Russia (.ru) as they all have the
potential to be financial super powers. Schnermann said if
you have to focus on just a few extensions stick with those
that use your native language. For English speakers he said
.us was a natural and is currently a very underestimated
ccTLD. Simonton, an American, agreed, adding that he already
owns a lot of .us domains.
final order of business was RickLatona.com's big live
domain auction featuring a large selection of ccTLD
domains. Like every other aspect of this show, the auction
exceeded expectations by booking over $600,000
in sales in less that three hours. The highest prices went
to DiamondRings.com (€162,000 = $230,179), Houses.co.uk
(€43,200 = $72,429) and Job.us (€25,200 =
from the RickLatona.com Live Domain Auction Thursday
the auction, luxury buses delivered attendees to the show's grand
finale, a closing night party hosted by Parked.com at a local
two-story townhouse that had recently been purchased by Parked.com
CEO Sig Solares.
building was in the middle of a renovation project so there was
plenty of open space for people to circulate on the ground floor
where a huge buffet was spread out along one wall with a large open
bar on the other. Servers were also constantly emerging from a rear
kitchen with platters full of food, cheese and dessert. Others enjoyed
a separate lounge area upstairs where a pair of local artists stayed
busy sketching attendees.
Donny Simonton (left) and CEO Sig Solares
guests to Parked.com's closing night party in Amsterdam.
party gets underway on the ground floor.
& Elliot Silver (ElliotsBlog.com) were among the guests.
party was a fitting conclusion to a week that gave ccTLDs (and their
investors) the kind of attention they deserve. If you missed this
one, you missed something special, but given how well it went, I
would wager this will not be the last ccTLD centric show.
of the people who helped Rick Latona make T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
ccTLDs happen. Above (left to right): Ray Neu (ccTLDs.com),
David Clements (President, RickLatona.com) and
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. co-founder Howard Neu.
At right: behind
the registration desk, Barbara Neu (the glue that
holds everything together!)
Diana and I
stayed over an extra day to visit the world class local
museums, then finally headed back home over the weekend,
exceptionally happy that we had the opportunity to visit
this great city and meet so many other domainers from around
the world for the first time.
You can't put a price on that
or on gaining a whole new understanding of ccTLDs and
their special place on an Internet that continues to expand
and offer boundless opportunities to those ready to seize