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November 23, 2013

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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.

Reflections on HA's First Live Domain Auction + Mann Goes Behind the Mike &  New Video from bree (featuring David Castello) Has Band on Verge of Major Breakout

It has been another very interesting week in  the domain business. All eyes were on New York City last night (Wednesday, Nov. 21) where Heritage Auctions (HA) staged their first live domain auction. While domain auctions have been commonplace within the domain industry for many  years, this was the first time that one of the world's three largest auction houses (an elite trio including HA, Christie's and Sotheby's) has gotten into the game - making it a landmark event.

The auction, produced by Aron Meystedt, the Founder & Director of HA's new Domain Name & Intellectual Property Division, produced good results for a maiden voyage with nearly 40% of the domains offered being sold. Total sales came in at just under $420,000 with XZ.com ($138,000) and Animation.com ($112,125) producing the biggest sales. 

The marquee name in the event, MutualFunds.com (which had a $1 million reserve) did not find a buyer, something I was surprised to see as I think the domain would be worth several times the reserve to the right company. I also  thought having the sale in New York, where Wall Street reached an all-time 

Aron Meystedt, Founder & Director,
Domain Name & Intellectual Property Division
Heritage Auctions (HA.com)

high this week, made a sale more likely. Still, you never know when the right buyer will appear and someone may yet step forward as the names not sold in the live event will remain available on the HA website for 60 days.

HA promoted the auction heavily and they knew going in that they have wage a long term educational campaign to spread awareness of the intrinsic value in great domains. The sale drew plenty of mainstream media attention too. Forbes published a lengthy piece by Deborah Jacobs about it today.  While I don't agree with most of her characterizations and conclusions (and the Wikipedia all time top 20 domain sales chart she cited  is riddled with errors - including website sales like VacationRentals.com being counted as domain sales and sales that never even happened, like Israel.com, being ranked) it is still good to see mainstream press taking an interest in domain names. They too should become better educated as time goes on.

Remember that the mainstream press thought the party was over with the .com bust in 2000, but a few billion dollars worth of domains have been sold since then and many millions worth are still being sold every week. We also saw a very significant jump in market activity in the last quarter (3Q-2013). If HA stays the course, I think they will be well rewarded in the years ahead, particularly if they can reach the right end users who make blockbuster sales happen.

Michael Mann

Elsewhere - hold on to your hats - the venerable Domain Masters internet radio program at WebmasterRadio.fm is going to be revived next month with outspoken Domain Hall of Famer Michael Mann behind the mike! The show, which originated with Monte Cahn as host (followed by Victor Pitts) has been on hiatus since March.

Mann announced on his Facebook page today that the show is coming back with him handling the hosting chores. If you follow his posts there, you know Michael doesn't leave much unsaid, both personally and professionally. He is not only one of the most successful domain investors of all time (having sold BuyDomains.com to Name Media) he is also one of the most colorful - making him a perfect choice to host the show. I know I'll be tuned in for the first broadcast (the time and date has not yet been announced). 

Last, but certainly not least, if you follow this column regularly you know all about how another Domain Hall of Famer, David Castello, has returned to the music business as the manager and hard rocking drummer in a rapidly rising Nashville-based trio named for red hot lead singer and guitarist bree. I've been following their adventure from the start and they just took another huge step forward with the release of a stunning new video for "I'm the Boss", a standout cut from bree's debut album, All American Girl

The video, directed by Casey Culver and shot at the Joy Mansion in Nashville, debuted at a premiere party Wednesday night at Music City's Club No. 308. It's as good a video as I've seen from any artist, new or old. So, if you love great rock and roll, there is no better way to start your weekend than clicking the play button on the video below!

Capture from bree's "I'm the Boss" video.


(Posted November 22, 2013)

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