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February 05, 2018

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The Lowdown
December 2017 Archive
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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.

Wishing Our Friends and Readers Around the World a Merry Christmas and the Happiest of Holidays

On this Christmas Day  we want to send out our warmest wishes for this special season and for the new year ahead. Whatever your faith or beliefs may be, we hope that your holidays, and all of your days ahead, will be richly blessed. 

With over 2.5 million visitors to our site each year, our readers are located all over the globe, come from every race, color and creed, and have a rich variety of inspiring holiday celebrations in their respective cultures. Regarding Christmas, American actress Marlo Thomas once said "Our many cultures not withstanding, there's something about the holidays that make the planet communal. Even nations that do not celebrate Christmas can't help but be caught up in the collective spirit of their neighbors, as twinkling lights dot the landscape and carols fill the air. It's an inspiring time of year."

Image from Bigstock

We have always found that to be so and the core of our belief is that, regardless of the troubles we will always see around us in this world, the best is yet come. With that in mind we hope that you head into the new year filled with inspiration, happiness and eager anticipation of the good things that lie ahead!

(Posted December 25, 2017) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Latest Verisign Industry Brief Reveals a Rare Retreat in Total Domain Names Registered Worldwide Due to Expiring New gTLDs 

Verisign has released their latest quarterly Domain Name Industry Brief covering the 3rd quarter of 2017. We have typically seen steady growth in the number of domain names registered worldwide but this time out there was a slight decline from the previous quarter. On the plus side, the number was up from a year ago.

The VeriSign report said 3Q-2017 closed with approximately 330.7 million domain name registrations across all top-level domains (TLDs), a decrease of approximately 1.2 million domain name registrations at the conclusion of the 2nd quarter. The entire fall off can be attributed to millions of new gTLD domains (primarily .xyz and .top) that were dropped 

after essentially being given away last year with prices as low as a penny. Year over year, the number of registrations across all extensions still managed to grow 1.1%

Verisign administers the .com and .net TLDs and said those two extensions closed the year with a combined total of 145.8 million registrations - up 1.2% from the same time a year ago. As of Sept. 30, 2017, the .com domain name base totaled 130.8 million domain name registrations (by far the world's most popular TLD), while the .net domain name base totaled 15.0 million

ccTLDs managed to grow at a faster clip, finishing 3Q-2017 with 144.7 million country code domains registered - a jump of 3.2% year over year. That number represents a smaller 0.3% increase from the previous quarter though. 

As of Sept. 30, 2017, the new gTLDs had a total of 21.1 million domain name registrations, which represents 6.4% of total domain name registrations worldwide. There is much more data in the latest Verisign DNIB that you can download here.

(Posted December 20, 2017) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

.GLOBAL Christmas Contest Offers $1,000 Amazon Gift Card in Effort to Cut Through New gTLD Clutter

With hundreds  of different new gTLDs competing for market share, registry operators have to create new ways to break through the clutter so their domain extension doesn't get lost in the crowd. The .GLOBAL Registry has come up with a timely promotion aimed at boosting their recognition - a Christmas themed contest with a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card awaiting the winner of a random drawing that will conclude the contest.

They are using a two-and-a-half minute YouTube video as the vehicle for the contest. In addition to providing clues that will lead viewers to the secret contest website, the video showcases some of the companies that have set their enterprises up on a .global domain name.

For example, the screen capture below was taken from a snippet in the video featuring a multi-national company whose website is at Imagen.global. You will notice a large letter (N in this case) overlaying the scene. In the course of the brief video eight letters will be shown. You collect and enter those letters (in the order they appear in the video) in your browser, along with the .global extension to create the domain name/web address that will take you to the contest entry site (the format would be www.[letters].global). 


Once you arrive at the secret contest site you can complete your contest entry thorugh a form that is  presented in a text message conversation format. Then keep you fingers crossed until the winner is announced on December 26th. You can review all of the contest terms and conditions here and view the full video by clicking the play button below:


(Posted December 14, 2017) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

New gTLD Registry Operator Radix Shares Their Revenue Numbers for the First Time

There  has been a lot of speculation about how new gTLD registry operators have been faring since ICANN delegated the first new domain extensions four years ago. Few registries release specific financial information but it has clearly been a mixed bag with some operators exiting the business after selling off extensions they couldn't make profitable and others, with deeper pockets, staying the course or expanding (in some cases by acquiring TLDs acquired from those leaving).

A member of the latter group, Radix, the world’s 4th largest new gTLD portfolio registry operator (and a part of the Directi Group, which is currently valued at $1.4 billion), has, for the first time, released some of their actual numbers. The self-funded company that

operates nine new gTLDS (.ONLINE, .STORE, .TECH, .WEBSITE, .SPACE, .PRESS, .SITE, .HOST, and .FUN) revealed today that their 2017 revenue numbers had reached $11.7 million and would pass $12 million by the end of the year. The $11.7 million does not include revenue generated in the month of December. The figure also excludes the complete renewal-revenue from domains expiring in November and December as registrants have up to 45 days to renew their domains.   

Even with November & December renewal revenue not yet included, Radix reported that more than 50% of their total revenue has come from non-premium domain renewals.  The recurring revenue of non-premium domains was almost double the amount received from new registrations. Of the total revenue, $1.76 million was attributed to premium domains sold & renewed on registrar storefronts as well as one-time premium sales made directly by Radix. One-time premium sales contribute 14% of that amount with recurring premiums making up the remaining 86%.  

Despite being inactive in China through most of the third quarter of 2017 (due to the MIIT restrictions), Radix said total revenue in the quarter showed an upward trend. The company added that Radix will be ending 2017 on a high as November was its best month of the year in terms of new registration revenue.  

Radix also broke down the source of its registrar revenue by country, noting that the United States  was the top contributor with 49.6% of the total share followed by Germany at 14.4% and China at 7.7%

(Posted December 13, 2017) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Details Released for January's NameJet/RightOfTheDot Live Domain Auction at NamesCon 2018 in Las Vegas

Over the past three years, NamesCon auctions have produced over $4 million in domain sales. On January 30th, 2018 from 4pm-7pm Pacific Standard Time (7pm-10pm EST) NameJet and RightOfTheDot (ROTD) will partner again to produce their annual NamesCon live auction as part of the 2018 conference that will run January 28-31 at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas

A NameJet/ROTD press release said, "The 2018 auction will feature some of the best .com and new gTLD names available, including premium domain bundles sold as single lots (you can view all names currently entered in the auction here). Great.com, Super.com, Lucky.com, Pen.com, Tee.com and Coins.club are just a few examples of domains in the auction catalog.

You do not have to be in Las Vegas to participate in the Live Auction. Just go to the Live Auction Page on the NameJet website and click the link to enter the Live Auction portal ( which will appear on the Live Auction Page shortly before the Live Auction begins). You will need to be logged into your NameJet account in order to participate in the Live Auction. If you do not already have a NameJet account you can create one here.

Most NameJet auctions typically have a 30-day Pre-Release period followed by a 3-day "active" auction, but in this case the auctions are already in active public auction status and will remain so until they close completely. So, any bids placed will automatically be the next highest bid.

A scene from the January 2017 NameJet/ROTD Live Domain Auction in Las Vegas.

Following the live auction, an online auction will continue on NameJet for an additional 9 days. This extended auction will include the domains names not selected for live auction and any domains in the live auction that do not hit reserve, and will close completely on February 8, 2018.

New names are being added daily and  NameJet/ROTD is still accepting domains for the auction. However, at this time they are considering only names they consider to be " super-premium" .com domains. If you have a name or names that you think may meet that high standard you can submit them here for consideration.

(Posted December 7, 2017) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Domaining Europe Returning Home to Valencia, Spain for 10th Anniversary Show Next Spring

The Domaining Europe conference  began in Valencia, Spain almost a decade ago and the first seven shows in the annual series were staged at the Hotel Sorolla Palace there. In 2016 conference founder Dietmar Stefitz decided to take the show on the road, staging that year's event in The Hague, Netherlands, followed by the 2017 show in Berlin, Germany this past May. With the 2018 conference marking the 10th anniversary of the popular event, Stefitz decided it was only fitting that the event go back to where it all began in Valencia. So, he has booked the Sorolla Palace and set the dates for June 7-9, 2018.

Dietmar Stefitz
Domaining Europe Founder

Stefitz is determined to make the 10th anniversary show a special one so he has already started putting the agenda and speaker's line up together. He told me, "Braden Pollock is again coming over to Valencia from the United States to moderate the event. Also, we are planning an opening day Keynote address at 10am June 7 featuring pioneering domain investor and DomainMarket.com Founder Michael Mann with a talk titled Get a .com! Mann is also scheduled to participate on a panel discussion devoted to domain valuation."

Stefitz has also identified several other topics that will be explored in depth through presentations and panel discussions at the 2018 event including Inventory Carrying Costs, Brokerage, Domain Portfolio Monetization, Buy Now Pricing vs. Negotiation and Drop Catching. Of course, the latest trends in new gTLDs will also be covered with Stefitz expecting to have .CLUB CMO Jeff Sass, .GLOBAL CEO Rolf Larsen and a representative from Neustar on 

hand to give attendees an update on that sector. He also has an International Investor Roundtable in the works with participants from Asia, Latin America,  Russia, the USA and Europe.

Registration hasn't opened yet but it is not to soon to block June 7-9 out on your 2018 calendar to join domain investors, executives and service providers from around the world for this landmark edition of Domaining Europe.

(Posted December 1, 2017) 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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