do domain sales continue to boom? Because
advertisers continue to pour online at an amazing clip, rapidly
increasing the pool of revenue domain owners can draw from
when they monetize their domains through PPC, development or
cashing out by selling at a higher price. Online ad revenue
soared to a record $3.9 billion in the first quarter of
2006 according to a report issued this week by the Interactive
Advertising Bureau and Price Waterhouse Coopers.
That's a 38% jump over the same quarter a year ago.
Further evidence came from a report in the Financial Times
this week which quoted global media company GroupM as
projecting that by the end of 2007, the Internet will receive
more ad dollars than newspapers in the UK do. The report added
that newspapers and TV will both show revenue drops this
year, meaning only Internet spending is keeping the
advertising sector out of a recession in the UK. In the U.S., Merrill Lynch
analysts issued a report on newspapers Friday titled
"DEEP Depressing Dive," in which the
company's analysts said they are lowering estimates once again for newspaper ad spending. "We remain concerned regarding the newspaper industry's outlook as the dual impact of changing media consumption habits and the migration of highly lucrative classified ads to the Internet are squeezing margins and hampering growth," wrote Merrill Lynch analyst
Lauren Rich Fine.
Posted May 31, 2006
acquired certain assets
of Open List, Inc.
today, including its content aggregation, search technology and user-generated content platform that Marchex plans to deploy to its proprietary network of
over 200,000 web sites. Marchex paid approximately $13 million
in cash and Marchex common stock (approximately $6 million
in cash, $5 million in Marchex common stock and $2 million in restricted Marchex common
stock). The restricted stock, granted to employee shareholders of Open
List who will join Marchex, is subject to vesting. Marchex believes
the Open List assets will allow the company to increase the utility of selected proprietary
web sites, through the addition of Open List’s content aggregation, including product/service descriptions, ratings, expert
third-party reviews, user-generated reviews, articles, maps and other information. Marchex has
already launched 31 local/vertical beta web sites that feature
Open List integrations including www.lasvegasvacations.com,
More details are available here.
Posted May 30, 2006
3rd Annual GeoDomain Expo coming up Friday and
Saturday (June 2 & 3) at the Hyatt Regency Hotel
in Chicago will be the largest gathering of
geographical domain name owners to date. Sponsor Associated
Cities says that many geo domains have established strong inroads in their respective markets in areas that have been long dominated by local and traditional media.
Attendees will include representatives from NewYorkCity.com,
LosAngeles.com and Chicago.com, to name just a
few. Scheduled speakers include Gordon Borrel (Borrell &
Associates), Michael Adelberg (Google), Dan Pulcrano (Boulevards New
Media), Ari Bayme (Milbank Roy & Co.), Brian Benko
(NoParking.com) and Truman Hedding (InfoSearchMedia).
The list of sponsors features DomainSponsor, SuperPages.com,
Hotels.com and Local.com among others.
Posted May 29, 2006
Britain's .uk country code, the world's 4th largest
extension, just hit the 5 million registrations mark. Nominet, the
organization in charge of .uk, handles over 144,000 new registrations every
month. Nominet CEO Lesley Cowley said, "The UK market for domain names remains incredibly buoyant, with companies increasingly building a web presence and electronic communications into their business
strategies." For the record, the 5 millionth name registered was
HosePipeBanBuster.co.uk, registered by Watermatics
Ltd, an irrigation company based in Hertfordshire.
Posted May 26, 2006
has been named one of five finalists in the Best Customer Service Organization category
for the 2006
American Business Awards. The New York Post
has called the awards (known as the "Stevies")
the business world's version of the Oscars. Winners will be announced during
a ceremony June 12 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York
City. The ceremonies will be videocast on the Internet and broadcast on
radio and more than 800 executives from across the U.S. are expected to attend.
More than 1,500 entries from companies of all sizes in a variety of industries were submitted for consideration in multiple categories, including Best Overall Company, Best
Executive and Best New Product or Service, to name just a
Posted May 25, 2006
it really just 6 months ago that the first major
mainstream media articles on the domain business appeared?
Hard to believe when we now see the industry featured in major
publications on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis. Forbes.com
just got on board with an in-depth
article by Rachel Rosmarin featuring Marc
Ostrofsky and Bob Martin of iREIT.com.
While some mainstream outlets have had trouble getting their
facts straight, Rosmarin's piece is on the money and plays the
ball right down the middle of the fairway, with none of the
prejudices that some writers who do not understand the
business have allowed to color their stories. It's a prime
example of why publications like Forbes are universally
respected while those that go for short term readership gains
with sensationalism and inaccurate reporting always end up
losing in the end. In the news business, credibility is your
most important product. We continue to be amazed by how many
media outlets fail to understand that.
Posted May 24, 2006
another mainstream media take on the domain
business, a Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle) article
picked up by MSNBC.com. Writer Eric Engleman has
his facts straight but his work was severely diminished by an
incredibly misleading headline - "Online 'Squatters'
Might Yield Big Revenue." Generic domain names, which
the story is about, have nothing to do with cybersquatting,
a term that relates to registering trademarked domains.
Cybersquatting is briefly alluded to once near the end of the
story but has nothing to do with the gist of the article which
is about monetization of generic domain names. Someone other
than the writer almost certainly wrote the dishonest headline
(in a weak attempt to sensationalize an otherwise solid
article). This serves only to mislead the public and
perpetuate a stereotype that has little to do with today's
Posted May 23, 2006
Melbourne IT announced today that they have entered into an agreement to buy
Australia's largest hosting provider. Melbourne IT provides domain registration services for
Yahoo! Small Business and Microsoft Office Live, among others.
According to a report from IPWalk.com,
the merged company would have approximately 400 employees worldwide and combined annual sales of over
$130 million. Both companies are traded on the Australian Stock
Exchange. WebCentral shareholders will vote on the acquisition
at a meeting expected to be held in August 2006. "The proposed acquisition will bring together two of Australia's leading web-services businesses, generating significant benefits for customers, shareholders and staff of both companies," said
Theo Hnarakis, CEO and Managing Director of Melbourne IT.
Posted May 22, 2006
roll out of the new .mobi
extension for mobile devices officially begins
tomorrow (May 22) with a one-week industry sunrise
period limited to companies that are members of recognized
mobile industry associations. A second sunrise period for
trademark holders will follow June 12-August 21.
Starting August 28, .mobi domains will be open for
anyone to register.
Posted May 21, 2006
(iREIT) today announced its acquisition
of the Netster.com web portal and major portions of the Netster domain name portfolio. Netster is the latest in a series of acquisitions for iREIT,
including such high-value domains as Bands.com, OfficeSupply.com and
AfricanAmericans.com. The company says the addition of the Netster portfolio gives iREIT more than
400,000 domains under management and brings the company’s total portfolio of traffic up to
50 million visitors per month. iREIT CEO Bob Martin
said the company is "working in partnership with top domain name portfolio owners to build the world’s largest, most profitable and highest-quality portfolio of Internet domain names that have traffic on par with the world’s leading media properties.”
Blake Bookstaff, co-founder of Netster.com, said,
“Netster was looking for a larger platform to take the portal to the next level.
Joining forces with iREIT gives Netster the additional resources to enhance functionality, expand the site, and add value across the entire portfolio.”
See item below for another major announcement from iREIT.
Posted May 19, 2006
today that it has raised a new round of equity and debt financing led by Maveron
LLC, the venture firm co-founded by Dan Levitan and
Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz. The round of funding also includes significant investments by existing investor
Jacobson Family Investments (JFI), as well as Perot
Investments, the investment firm founded by H. Ross
Perot. With this round of funding, Levitan, Managing Partner, Maveron LLC and
Steve Blasnik, President of Perot Investments, join the Board of Directors.
Mark Britto, CEO of Ingenio, has also joined iREIT’s board.
Prior to Ingenio, Britto was Amazon.com’s Senior Vice President, Worldwide Services, Sales and Business Development.
Since opening their doors just 15 months ago, iREIT, a leading supplier of high-value Internet traffic to
advertisers, has completed over 50 portfolio transactions, including
today's acquisition of the Netster.com web portal (see
Posted May 19, 2006
note on booming domain registrations;
According to a Chinese government report released Tuesday (May
16), that country's .cn extension now ranks 6th in the
world in total registrations with more than 2.6 million domains
taken (that figure includes 3rd level sub-domains like .com.cn
that registrants were limited to until the 2nd level .cn was
opened to the public last year). That is a 40% jump
over the previous year and if you look at the 2nd level .cn
only (which now has 1.1 millon registrations, making it
the larest TLD in Asia), the increase is 154% year over
Posted May 18, 2006
explosion in domain registrations is reaching all
corners of the globe. The IE Domain Registry, operator
of Ireland's .ie extension, reported this week that
total registrations in that ccTLD had soared 36.8% over
last year's figures. However IEDR reported that their after
tax profit of €865,000 for the past year was down
slightly from the previous year because of increased spending
on infrastructure and customer service improvements. Even so,
IEDR said its performance enabled it to cut registration and
renewal rates for customers by 20%.
Posted May 17, 2006
Founder and CEO Bob Parsons has lashed out at
"domain tasting" again, this time rechristening the
practice as "domain kiting" in the latest
entry at his popular blog site, BobParsons.com.
By coining a new term, Parsons is trying to cast domain
tasting in the same light as check kiting, though the latter
is illegal. Domain tasting is not, but Parson thinks it
should be and is calling on ICANN to make it so. Domain
tasting has become a widespread practice under which several
registrars try to grab every dropping domain, test the
ones they get for traffic, then cancel all those without
traffic within their five day grace period so it costs them
nothing to mine for domains that have traffic-based value.
Posted May 16, 2006
continue to pile up confirming the continuing
migration of eyeballs (and advertisers) from traditional media
like to TV to the Internet. In an article by Sarah McBride
in today's Wall Street Journal, this quote stood out:
"These days, people are spending as much time in front of a computer as a television
- in some cases, even more. Adults spend about 14 hours a week watching TV and 14 online, compared with 11 watching TV and 10 online two years ago, according to
Jupiter Research. Young adults, ages 18 to 24, spend about 10 hours a week online, two hours more than they spend watching TV. Many don't even own TVs but have laptops.”
Posted May 15, 2006
GoDaddy filed its
initial public offering Friday
(May 12) with the Securities Exchange Commission, seeking as much as
$200 million in Class A common stock. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the offering have not yet been determined, according to company officials.
GoDaddy is the world's largest domain-name registrar, with about 13.6 million domain names under management as of April 30, and North America's largest shared Web site hosting provider.
Posted May 13, 2006
one of the biggest domain sales of all time, online
diamond and jewelry retailer Ice.com has purchased Diamond.com
for $7.5 million from Odimo Inc. Ice.com will
continue to operate the Diamond.com brand and the company paid
an additional $2 million for inventory. The two parties
said the $7.5 million was for the domain name only. Details
are available here.
Posted May 12, 2006
another strong sign of an ongoing boom in the
domain business, InterSearch Group, Inc. (OTC:IGPN)
showed huge gains in nearly all metrics in their first quarter
report issued May 11. Revenue doubled from the
same quarter a year ago, gross margins rose from 48% to 69%
and operating income was up 400%. In commenting on the
results InterSearch President and CEO, Dan O'Donnell,
said, "revenue nearly doubled year-over-year, driven by a
combination of organic growth and contribution from irs.com,
which we acquired in September of 2005. Dramatically
increasing irs.com revenues in the first full quarter after
the acquisition reinforces our confidence in our ability to
replicate this success with other domains."
Posted May 12, 2006
corporations are waking up to the power country
code domains can give them in the increasingly important
area of local search. Canada's Yellow Pages Income Fund just
plunked down $2.5 million to buy
a prime portfolio of .ca (Canadian ccTLD) domains from
Emall.ca Inc. Nearly 400 names were involved in the
transaction including such prime keywords as Autos.ca,
Debts.ca and Doctors.ca. Yellow Pages chief
financial officer Christian Paupe said "the
acquired domains will become a very precious inventory. Online
is the future. We don't exactly know how this space is going
to evolve, but I'm convinced this was a no-brainer for
$2.5-million. Their worth over time will be very
significant." We agree and expect many more major
companies to come to this realization in the months
Posted May 11, 2006
sooner had we written the item below than another
major domain article came out in USA
Today. This is the second domain piece written by
Jon Swartz for America's newspaper in the past 30
days. That exposure is going a long way toward waking up Main
Street to the value of high quality domains. Top notch
reporters like Swartz who get their facts straight and provide
unbiased coverage are a credit to their profession and are
vitally important to ours in helping to dispel false
stereotypes of what domain investing is all about.
Posted May 10, 2006
we detailed a case of dishonest reporting in a
recent newspaper article about the domain industry (see our May
newsletter), by and large mainstream media is
producing fair coverage of the current boom in the domain
business. So many outlets are writing about this industry that
some noteworthy articles have slipped under the radar. A
reader just called our attention to a piece that appeared in
the prestigious Financial
Times a few weeks ago. The article details the
experience of one UK domain investor and credits him
for his foresight in recognizing the domain opportunity a
decade ago. Domain investors are no different that investors
in stocks, bonds, real estate or any other asset and it is
encouraging to see that fact finally being recognized by the
world at large.
May 9, 2006
to our free monthly newsletter
got a sneak peak at our T.R.A.F.F.I.C. West conference
coverage when our May
newsletter was emailed to them tonight. Our complete conference wrap up has now been published here. The May newsletter also
tells you why you can't always believe everything you read in
mainstream media, especially when the topic is domains. The
current market boom is reaching all corners of the globe. A
domainer from Brazil closes our latest letter with an
account of what is happening in South America's biggest
May 8, 2006
largest live domain auction ever was held at the T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
West domain conference Thursday (May 4) in Las Vegas.
Dozens of domains totaling more than $2 million were
sold during the packed event including three blockbusters; Sex.net
at $450,000, CD.com at $275,000 and POS.com
at $250,000. Payments and domain transfers will take a
few days to complete and if no hitches develop, Sex.net will
rank as the highest .net sale ever reported. The
conference ended Friday morning. DNJournal was at the Venetian
Hotel to cover the event and our complete wrap
up is no available here.
big news broke while I was flying across the
country May 1 to reach the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. West
conference that will be held in Las Vegas this week. It
was announced that former MySpace.com Chairman Richard
Rosenblatt has led formation of a new company, Demand
Media, Inc., that has raised $120 million dollars
to purchase generic domain names like FlashGames.com.
Other press outlets are reporting that Demand Media also
bought eNom.com, the world's #3 registrar and eHow
Inc., a San Francisco based content company. However,
information we have from an associate of Mr. Rosenblatt's
quotes him as saying the venture is a merger between
his group, eNom and eHow. Enom issued a press release saying
they were acquired but Paul Stahura (eNom founder and
CEO) becomes President and Chief Operating Officer of Demand
Media, the kind of key position that often comes with a merger
of equals. Whatever the structure of the deal, there's a
new heavyweight contender in town. (Post from Ron Jackson)