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January 18, 2017

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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.

WHD CEO Soeren von Varchmin (Whose Company Bought NamesCon) Talks About Next Week's Show and the Overall Industry Outlook for 2017

We just published our 13th annual State of the Industry Cover Story today with 17 domain experts commenting on what they viewed as the more important developments in our industry last year, as well as how they feel about the prospects for this business in 2017. One of the many industry leaders we invited to comment for the story was Soeren von Varchmin, the CEO at World Hosting Days - the company that now owns NamesCon (WHD in turn is owned by HEG who in turn is owned by GoDaddy!). With the 4th annual NamesCon conference opening in Las Vegas Sunday (Jan. 22, 2017), Soeren has understandably been so busy he didn't have a chance to get his comments in before the Cover Story was published but now that I have them I want to  share his timely insights with you here.

"The most significant event for World Hosting Days has been our acquisition of NamesCon, which will make NamesCon 2017 the first one under the WHD umbrella," von Varchmin 

Soeren von Varchmin
CEO, World Hosting Days
(WHD owns NamesCon)

noted. "We’ve loved what their team has been doing over the past few years, and we’re putting lots of effort into making it even bigger and better than ever. We’ll be providing lots of opportunities for attendees to learn and network, as well as the highly anticipated domain auction." 

"NamesCon will continue to run independently, but having the biggest domain event as part of our network of cloud and hosting events has additional significance if you think about how the traditional borders between hosting, domains and other services are breaking down - which speaks to a larger trend in the industry."

"Customers want to go to one place for their online services," von Varchmin said, "So, companies in this space - whether they’re hosts, domainers, or other online service providers - have to incorporate more services than they used to. And the way to be everything for your customers is to find great partners and always be exploring new opportunities. We think we can bring together more people across the industries with this year’s NamesCon and help form some of those great industry connections that keep companies on the cutting edge."

Soeren von Varchmin speaking at the first WHD.USA conference 
at the Seven Springs Mountain Resort in western Pennsylvania (May 19, 2015)

Looking further into his crystal ball for the balance of 2017 von Varchmin said, "There are several interesting trends we’ve been seeing take shape. Consolidation of new TLDs: We’re just at the beginning of the era of new TLDs. It’s a really exciting time, but we shouldn’t be surprised if it takes several years for a new TLD to really gain the maturity and recognition. There are a lot of enterprising small companies trying to promote their new TLD, but no matter how much effort they put into the rollout, it will take time to build a market. Larger companies have better efficiencies for promoting a range of TLDs, and many are waiting to buy new TLDs from smaller or less experienced companies with good TLDs that weren’t profitable in their early stages."

"China and India will continue play an even greater role in domains: Chinese investors may have once been drawn to domains because of foreign investment regulations, but now many investors in Chinese are buying names that have real value - they’re really thinking of their future potential. And India is a huge market that’s really picking up speed as more people come online."

"New TLDs will make old TLDs more valuable: The new TLDs provide more domain possibilities, but .com domains are still the dominant domains and will carry more prestige. At the NamesCon domain auction you’ll find a lot of interest in .coms. The new TLDs provide a lot of new options, but old TLDs already have widescale recognition. If anything, the new TLDs have grown the appeal of domains as a whole."

(Posted January 18, 2017)


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