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December 27, 2016

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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.

Sedo's Expectations Exceeded as Series of Short .AT Auctions Closes With Over $1 Million in Sales

Sedo, in association with .AT (the official Registry for Austria's country code top level domain), concluded a series of three special November auctions on Monday (November 28).

Today Sedo released final sales totals from those auctions that all featured ultra-short 
domain names. 

Sedo reported moving more than 1,000 domains totaling over $1 million in winning bids. The top ten sales across the three auctions were:





















Though .AT is best known as the online home of Austrian domains, Sedo saw global interest in names put on the block with bids coming from China, the United StatesCanada, and other non European countries, as well as Germany and Austria where there is a natural affinity for .AT. 

Sedo CEO Tobias Flaitz said, “We couldn’t be more pleased with the results of the .AT Auction which exceeded both our partner's and our own expectations. This auction complimented the trend towards short domain names and further emphasized the value and demand for quality domain names. Furthermore, the auction allowed us to showcase our expertise as a premium domain and registry partner. I’d like to extend a big thank you to .AT CEO Richard Wein and his team for the valuable partnership.”  

For a summary from the .AT auction, you can visit the Sedo Newsroom and if you would like to keep track of Sedo's upcoming premium auction events you can find that information on the regularly updated Sedo auction calendar.

Sedo CEO Tobias Flaitz

(Posted November 30, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


Registry Operators Form a New Association to Promote Geographic Top Level Domains

Operators of new geographic top-level domains like .nyc, .london, .berlin and .tokyo have founded an international non-profit association called the GeoTLD Group. According to a press release announcing the initiative, the Brussels, Belgium based association aims to "promote geographic top-level domains, ensuring they become essential components of the digital infrastructure, benefiting stakeholders of a location, language or culture. 

Image from Bigstock

Geographic top-level domains are here to foster information, communication, growth, wealth and prosperity at the  community-level, and the GeoTLD Group is there to support them."

Along with the TLDs noted above, the GeoTLD Group counts as its initial members Amsterdam, Cape Town, Paris, Sydney, Vienna and other worldwide cities and regions. Prior to the launch of this new generation of geo-specific domain extensions, cities and regions have had to peg their digital identities to their respective country code top-level domains or international ones. For example, Brussels operated online at www.VisitBrussels.be, owing its identity to Belgium's .be ccTLD. Today cities and regions may own their geographic extensions such as a .brussels or .alsace, as well as cultural communities and languages such as .gal for Galician. With its own top-level domain, the City of Brussels is now using www.Visit.Brussels for its branding, locally and internationally.

Sébastien Ducos, the Senior Client Services Manager at Neustar, who is serving as the GeoTLD Group’s Chairman, said With the new geographic TLDs, we enter into an age where local communities have their own slice of the Internet. With an international association we are now able to connect and promote the interests of our members and engage the different stakeholders locally, nationally and internationally.”

Current members of the GeoTLD Group are governments, institutions, companies and associations from 23 large cities and regions and language/culture communities across 16 countries. The group plans to make more cities, regions and communities aware of the advantages of their own local Internet identity and said the experience and best practice of the association and its members will help interested parties promote their benefits and speed access to their slice of the Internet.

Sebastien Ducos
GeoTLD Group Chairman

(Posted November 28, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

In the United States we are celebrating one of our biggest annual holidays today - Thanksgiving Day - a day we pause to reflect on the many things we have to be thankful for. Wherever you may live around the world, one of the things I am most thankful for is YOU! After 14 years I'm still doing this with joy and appreciation thanks to every reader and advertiser we have been blessed with along the way.  DNJournal.com would not exist without you! So whether or not today is an official holiday where you live, I hope it will be day filled with love and happiness for you, your family and friends!

(Posted November 24, 2016)  Image from Bigstock

Radix's Startup League Continued Its Ramp Up With Big Presence at Web Summit in Lisbon

In September I told you about Radix Registry's launch of Startup League, a  startup-support program designed to aid early stage startups that use any of Radix's TLDs to launch their idea or company (Radix is a new gTLD registry operator whose portfolio includes .website, .tech, .store, .online and .space to name a few).

Startup League took another giant step forward this month with a significant presence at Web Summit 2016 in Lisbon, Portugal - Europe's biggest tech conference and the world's biggest startup event. The show that ran November 6-9 attracted 53,000 attendees and 1,500 startups from around the world. 

Startup League sponsored 15 startup  

companies at the event, paying 30% of each company's booth fees, providing branded goodies at the booths, public relations support on leading startup event portals and more.

Radix reps with staff members from the startups they sponsored at Web Summit.

The companies powered by the Startup League came to Lisbon from three continents - 11 from Europe ( including three from host country Portugal), two from South America and two from South Africa

The new companies operate their startups on a range of Radix TLDs as shown in the full list at right. Some of these companies actually switched from a .com to a Radix nTLD in favor of a better name. Aera Windborne is one such company that moved from aerawindborne.com to aeracars.tech.

Four of these startups were 

Startup Name




Aera Windborne




























selected for the PITCH - the startup competition at Web Summit that brings the leading early-stage startups for a live on-stage battle - and one, NU-RISE, made it to the semi-finals.

Enrique (left) and Jose from Startup League member Foodstamp.tech at Web Summit 2016

Boris van Hoytema, Founder of the startup Post.press said "The program, I think, is both great for us and for them. It helps us get to some of the events we so desperately need to be at to show the world what we’re making and to connect to people. In return they ask for us to show our brand to as much people as possible, as if we didn't want to do that already! Sounds like a great deal to me!"

Startup League now has more than 40 startups onboard and over 20 partners from the startup ecosystem. After WebSummit, Startup League is gearing up to sponsor TechCrunch Disrupt that takes place in London at the end of the month, followed in the new year by CES in Las Vegas, SXSW in Austin and Launch in San Francisco

Radix believes that the Startup League is the best way to take new domains to startups and bring the superstar entrepreneurs of tomorrow onboard the new gTLD bandwagon. Suman Das, who leads the Startup League initiative at Radix, said "Startup League was a great success at Web Summit. We saw immense interest in the program from budding entrepreneurs and also startup founders who already have a .com domain name.  

Startup League Leader Suman Das (far right) at SL's Web Summit booth with Partner Staff member Erica Faria (left) and Radix Marketing Associate Tanisha Gupta (center)

With the vision we have in place for Startup League, we are sure the program will be very well appreciated by startups from across the globe." 

(Posted November 23, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Results From Sedo's 2nd .AT Auction Are In & The Big ROTD/NameJet NamesCon Auction is Underway

As we previously noted Sedo scheduled three auctions of short .AT domain names this month. Our report on results from the first one is here and the second one just ended Monday (November 22) with another impressive list of sales. .AT is Austria's official ccTLD but, unlike some country code domains, .AT names can be purchased by anyone. 

Sedo said thousands of bids came in from around the world on nearly 400 domains in the latest  auction. The top ten sales alone totaled €79,242 ($83,996 at today's exchange rate). Here's a list of those top sellers:


11,001 €


10,100 €


10,000 €


9,200 €


7,505 €


7,400 €


6,600 €


6,100 €


5,900 €


5,436 €

Sedo's third and final auction in the series is open now with lots closing next Monday, November 28. Some of the top names in the catalog for this final sale includes wh.at, r.at, s.at, sw.at, v.at as well as  numerics with meaning in the Chinese culture like 7.at and  8.at.

While Sedo's auction series is finishing up, NameJet and RightOfTheDot have just launched a big live and online domain auction they are once again staging in conjunction with the annual NamesCon conference in Las Vegas where the 2017 show will run January 22-25. The live event will be held on January 23rd from 3PM-6PM Pacific time but the online auction is  open now.

A joint press release about the event said, "The auctions will feature some of the best .com and new gTLD names available anywhere including a super premium bundled lot featuring BAR.COM, BAR.NET, CAFES.COM, GRILL.COM, PLACE.COM, PUB.COM SHELTER.COM, and other individual 


"There will be an estimated 400 names in the overall auction with an estimated 125 domains being offered at the live auction on January 23rd. Many premium domains will be priced at no and low reserves to promote competitive bidding and true market prices."

The last two NamesCon auctions resulted in over $3.5 million in sales. For those interested in placing names in the auction, the release also noted, "Additional domain names will be considered for inclusion by submitting names at http://rotd.com/auction-submission/. Please note that only ultra-premium names will be considered. Accepted names will be added continually to pre-bidding before the start of NamesCon so you will want to check the auction page often for new additions and bidding activity."

(Posted November 22, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

2017 Date and New Location Announced for 2nd Annual BlogX Conference in India

The founders of India's DomainX conference, who held their 3rd annual show in New Delhi August 6-7, 2016, debuted a completely new event for bloggers - BlogX - that same weekend in New Delhi. BlogX was held in a different hotel August 5 (the day before DomainX started). The blogger's event was so well received that organizers immediately began making plans to return in 2017 and they have just announced the date and location for the return engagement.

Those who missed the first one or didn't look forward to a year-long wait before the next one will be happy to know that BlogX 2017 will be held less than three months from now. The show will go on Saturday, February 11 at Shangri-La's Eros Hotel

in New Delhi. Shangri-La's is where DomainX was held in August while the first edition of BlogX was staged at the JW Marriott Aerocity Hotel. Dates of Domain 2017 haven't been released yet but it looks like the domain conference and blog event will no longer be joined at the hip going forward. 

Part of the crowd at the debut edition of BlogX in New Delhi August 5, 2016.

Organizers describe BlogX as "A conference where bloggers and content managers from all backgrounds connect to learn from each other while networking with industry leaders in the blogging community. Accomplished bloggers share their experience and show you how to be a successful professional blogger. Hands-on, in-depth sessions with leaders in their niche; advanced topics where we take you to the next level in terms of content, relationship and brand building."

You can book early bird tickets for the event now but the speaker's lineup and session topics haven't yet been announced. As the agenda comes together you will find updated information on the BlogX website that also has more details for both attendees and those interested in sponsoring the conference.

(Posted November 21, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Legal Cannabis Boom Gives Birth to New Domain Aftermarket Devoted Entirely to Names for that Industry

Almost all of our readers are familiar with domain aftermarket platforms like Sedo, Afternic, BuyDomains, SnapNames, NameJet, GoDaddy Auctions, Uniregistry Market, Flippa and  many others. One thing they all have in common is a vast inventory of domains covering 

every conceivable product, service or category. As the domain industry has grown an interesting thing we have started seeing is the arrival of specialty aftermarket sales platforms that are dedicated to a single vertical or category (for example BrandBucket who focuses solely on selling brandable domains - typically made up names or word combinations that wouldn't normally be used together).

The latest example of this trend is ElevatedNames.com - a just launched marketplace dedicated to entirely to domains for the rapidly emerging legal cannabis industry. Here in Florida a constitutional amendment legalizing medical use of marijuana just passed this month. More than half of the states in the U.S. have now legalized cannabis for medical and in some cases even recreational use in one form or another.

According to Forbes Magazine, "the legal cannabis Industry is set to top $7 

Cannabis image from Bigstock

billion in revenues in 2017." Anytime new industries are created new domain names are going to be needed to represent those enterprises online and forecasts indicate thousands of new canna-related businesses will launch within the next few years. The magnitude of the opportunity convinced ElevatedNames CEO and Founder Farley Cahen that now was the time to move forward with the marketplace, but he is no newcomer to the cannabis field. 

Farley Cahen
CEO & Founder, ElevatedNames.com

Cahen told me, "I’ve been involved in the cannabis industry for nearly five years and  co-founded and launched MG Magazine a year and a half ago." MG is a printed business-to-business monthly magazine that highlights "the people, plants and products that drive this fast-paced industry forward."

Cahen said, “We are extremely excited about the launch of ElevatedNames.com and we are proud to offer existing and new cannabis entrepreneurs these valuable domain names at reasonable prices. Our team of cannabis professionals and domain experts has taken great care to offer some of the best internet real estate to this blossoming industry.”

“We have been diligent in our approach to acquire domain names which we feel can be easily developed and which will add immediate brand value and recognizability to cannabis-related organizations. Additionally 

keyword-rich domains are tremendous assets and are often critical to a brand’s search engine position and overall value," Cahen said.

Cahen noted the ElevatedNames website will be updated regularly with new domain additions as well as a soon-to-launch blog that will help to inform readers about cannabis industry related topics. He added. "Domain owners interested in selling their names to or on the website, may contact the company directly to discuss terms and details. Visitors are encouraged to explore the website and are welcome to contact the company through the form on the site or directly at [email protected]."

(Posted November 18, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Radix Registry Raked In Over $600,000 in Premium New gTLD Domain Sales in the Last Quarter Alone

Radix Registry offered a peak into their premium domain sales results for 3Q-2016 today when they issued their first quarterly report of this data in infographic format. Radix 

operates a portfolio of new gTLD extensions including .online, .website, .tech and .store to name a few.

As is the case with most new gTLD registry operators the sale of premium domains at considerably higher price points than standard registrations is a key source of revenue for Radix. These sales are made through their registrar partners or via marketplaces like Sedo, Afternic, auctions, brokerages and direct premium sales.

Some are "annuity" sales (those that carry a premium price that is paid again with each annual renewal) while others revert to a standard renewal price after a one-time premium price is paid when the domain is purchased.  

In 3Q-2016, Radix reported 406 premium domains were registered or renewed, generating $607,818 in revenue for them. .Online produced the lion's share of that income - $197,165 - accounting for 37.5% of the total. .Store was next at 19.8%, followed by .tech with 15.9%.  Five other extensions were each in single digits percentage wise. 

Their annuity sales were by far the most lucrative, producing 86% of their $366,071 in new premium domain registration fees vs. 14% for one-time sales (those with a high price up front that reverts to standard renewals fees after that). Their top one-time sales were 1.store at $30,000, Bam.tech at $15,000 and Hello.store at $10,000. Their annuity sales were led by eight domains that cost $6,500 each up front and require the same amount to be paid again each year as premium renewal fees. Those domains were Reg.tech, Fire.host, Project.space, Audible.store, AWS.store, Showroom.store, Bonds.store and Bot.store.

You will find a lot more data on these premium sales in this easy to read infographic.

(Posted November 17, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Sedo Pleased With Results from 1st Short .AT Auction - Top 10 Sales Average Over $19,000 Each

A couple of weeks ago I told you about a series of three weekly auctions that Sedo would be running this month with each featuring ultra-short domains from Austria's .AT  ccTLD. This afternoon Sedo released the results from the first of those auctions that ended yesterday. The top sale was C.at at €56,000 ($59,920 at today's exchange rate), followed by 1.at at €26,008 ($27,828.). Here is the rest of top ten sales from the event:


€20,500 ($21,935)


€12,500 ($13,375)


€11,100 ($11,877)


€10,100 ($10,807)


€10,099 ($10,806)


€10,002 ($10,702)


€10,000 ($10,700)


€8,408 ($8,996)

That works out to €174,717 ($192,181) for the ten biggest sales in an auction that drew almost 6,000 bids on a catalog of close to 400 domains. While .AT officially represents Austria interest in the domains extended well beyond that country and next door neighbor Germany. Sedo said bidders from China, the U.S. and Canada were also very active participants.

The second of the three auctions is underway now and you can see the full catalog here. Once again, a variety of one and two letter or number domains are featured including I.at, 6.at, Me.at and many others. The third and final week-long sale will begin November 21

(Posted November 15, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

China 101: New eBook From James Iles is a Solid Guide to Domain Investing in China  

China made domain investors sit up and take notice last year when buyers there ignited an astonishing market boom by snapping up everything that wasn't nailed down in categories they favored - especially short .com domains consisting of 2-4 letters or numbers. Most people on this side of the Pacific didn't know much about selling to Chinese buyers but they 

were eager to learn with hopes of cashing in on the rally before it ran out of steam.

The dizzying pace of buying and selling that drove prices into nosebleed territory did prove to be unsustainable and this year prices have fallen back to lower levels though still, for the most part, they are  higher than they were before the explosion. It has become pretty obvious that China is going to remain a key player in the domain business for many years to come so  researching and gaining an understanding of that market will be time and money well spent. 

A great place to start would be a new ebook, China 101: A Guide to Domain Name Investing in China, that has just been released by domain investor, freelance writer and Chinese market aficionado James Illes. The well researched, comprehensive 85-page compendium will quickly get you up to speed and the $27 price tag won't break the bank.

China 101 Author James Iles

Many of you are already familiar with James from the extensive writing and reporting he has been doing over the past couple of years for the NamePros Blog. He has done consistently good work there and broken a number of big stories so the quality of his new book comes as no surprise.

James called on a number of China market experts, including George Hong, Kassey Lee, John Xu, Daniel Chen, Michael Sumner, Gisuseppe Graziano and James Booth to get the latest information on the kinds of domains that Chinese buyers want (yes, they like short .coms - but the specific characters in the names and the patterns they follow can have a dramatic impact on value), how you can acquire domains with high resale value, how much you can expect to sell them for, the future of Chinese domaining and many other topics. 

You will find a complete listing of the book's contents here, as well as a link to order a copy if you like what you see.

(Posted November 14, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

The Domaining Europe Conference is Coming to Germany - Berlin Chosen to Host 2017 Event 

After staging the first seven editions of Domaining Europe in Valencia, Spain, conference Founder Dietmar Stefitz decided it was time to take the show on the road. The first move in a direction aimed at better serving the entire continent came last May when Domaining Europe 2016 was held in The Hague, Netherlands.

Today Stefitz announced the 2017 event will be held in another great European capital, Berlin, Germany. The show will run May 14-16 at the five-star Steigenberger Hotel Am Kanzleramt in the heart of Berlin.

Above: The Steigenberger Hotel Am Kanzleramt in Berlin, Germany 
where the 2017 Domaining Europe conference will be held next May

Below: The hotel is located in the heart of Berlin within walking distance of the German 
capital's many historic attractions including the Brandenburg Gate that is just a mile away.

(Brandenburg Gate photo from Bigstock)

Dietmar Stefitz
Domaining Europe Founder

Stefitz said, "For 2017 we are going back to the roots with the majority of the panels discussing monetization and marketplaces. We will also have the pleasure of co-operating with ECO , The Association of the Internet Industry in Europe."

A peek at the preliminary agenda shows the conference opening with a Sunday evening (May 14) networking event in the hotel foyer, followed by two full business days. On Monday (May 15), sessions that will run from 9am to 6pm are scheduled to cover Monetization, Development, the Aftermarket, Brokers, Auctions, Direct Sales and Promotion/Branding as well as other topics. The day will be capped by an 8pm Gala Dinner Monday Evening.

On Tuesday (May 16) attention will turn to Legal Issues, New GTLDs, Brand TLDs, Startups, Major Global Changes including growing markets like China and India. The day and event will end with a 6pm Domain Auction

If you are going to Berlin you will also want to reserve some time for sight seeing. The city has many fabulous landmarks and museums and well as a lively nightlife. 

Above: The stunning Berlin Cathedral (Berliner Dome)
 is one of the many must see attractions in Berlin.

Below: Inside the historic Berlin Cathedral. (Both photos from Bigstock)

Early Bird Tickets for Domaining Europe 2017 are on sale now for €350 (plus taxes and fees) and can be booked at that rate until December 15, 2016 (after that the price will be the standard rate of €650). All Tickets include Catering during the Conference. The conference has also negotiated discount room rates for the show (€149 or €179 depending on the room category chosen) and those can be booked here. Sponsors interested in exhibit space can contact Stefitz through the event website. 

(Posted November 12, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Nearly 5,000 One and 2 Character .AT Domains to Be Sold in November Auctions at Sedo 

The .AT Registry - administrator of Austria's .AT country code top level domain - has decided to release 4,965 previously unavailable one and two character domain names that will be sold in a trio of Sedo auctions this month. The first of those will get underway Monday, November 7 and run for one week, with next batch starting November 14 and the final one November 21 (click on the dates to see a list of domains that will be sold in that week's auction). 

These ultra-short domains will consist of one or two letters, one or two numbers, or one or two mixed characters (one letter and one number). For example, C.at, Wh.at, 1.at or K2.at. All domains purchased in this auction will be entered into the .at zone on December 6. From that day on these domain names will be fully operational. There will be no premium prices charged when renewing domains won in the auctions - all will renew at the standard rate for any .at domain.  

While .AT, which was established in 1996, is Austria's official ccTLD, anyone can own one regardless of where they live (at one time I owned Jackson.at). A Sedo statement about the upcoming auctions noted that they expect significant interest in these domains from the China market because the AT letter combination has special meaning there. The statement said, "The .AT combination is the initial letter for certain Chinese words and phrases in pinyin like “loving him/her”, “lament”, “loving to listen” (e.g. music), etc.  Furthermore, .AT domains are easier for the Mandarin speaking population to remember making this TLD attractive to commercial end user groups in China as well as Chinese domain investors."

For more information and a detailed auction schedule you can visit Sedo.com/at.

(Posted November 2, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

If you've been out of the loop lately, catch up in the Lowdown Archive!

We need your help to keep giving domainers The Lowdown, so please email [email protected] with any interesting information you might have. If possible, include the source of your information so we can check it out (for example a URL if you read it in a forum or on a site elsewhere). 

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