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June 17, 2019

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The Lowdown
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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.

Latest Verisign Quarterly Report Says Worldwide Domain Registrations Increased By 18 Million In Past Year

Verisign (the administrator of the .com and .net TLDs) has released their latest quarterly Domain Name Industry Brief covering the 1st quarter of 2019. The report said total domain name registrations across all top-level domains (not just those Verisign operates) reached a record high of 351.8 million at the end of 1Q-2019. That is a rise of approximately 18 million domain registrations (or 5.4%) over the same point one year earlier.

Verisign's .com and .net TLDs had a combined total of approximately 154.8 million domain name registrations at the end of 1Q-2019, a 4.4% rise year over year. The quarter ended with approximately 141 million .coms registered -  7.1 million more a year ago which translates to a 5.3% jump.

The .nets did not fare as well as they continued to give up ground. 1Q-2019 ended with approximately 13.8 million .nets registered, down from 14.4 million a year ago which represents a year over year decline of 4.2%

It was a mixed bad for the new gTLDs. Total new gTLD domain registrations stood at approximately 23 million at the end of Q1-2019. That is 13.8% higher year over year (an increase of 2.8 million domains), however the new G's have started moving in the opposite direction since the end of the previous quarter (4Q-2018). Since then they have lost about 800,000 domains, a 3.4% decrease quarter to quarter.

The ccTLDs remained a bright spot. Total country code domain name registrations stood at 156.8 million at the end of 1Q-2019, an increase of 10.5 million registrations (a solid  7.2% leap year over year) that showed the ccTLDs outperforming the market at large.

That is much more valuable information in the full report that you can read here.


(Posted May 30, 2019) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Guta.com's Latest Quarterly Report on Premium Domain Sales Provides Insight Into 1Q-2019 Market Activity

Last November Guta.com, a domain brokerage firm that has established itself as a bridge between the Western and Chinese domain communities, launched a new quarterly Premium Domain Sales Observation Report. The free publication includes valuable information for anyone interested in selling to or buying from the Chinese market.  Guta's bilingual Founder & CEO George Hong maintains homes and offices in both the U.S. and China which has put him and his staff in the middle of many high end sales between and within the two nations.  

Guta just released their latest report covering the 1st quarter of  2019.  The quarter was a mixed bag with some categories reaching new highs while others cooled after being red hot a year ago. The report summary noted that strong demand from end-users, especially those involved with the cryptocurrency market, resulted in a number of rare two-letter .com domains selling for big prices in 2018. However, Guta said, "from the last five quarters of data we have collected, we have noticed a consistent decline in the sales of LL .com domains. It is not a coincidence that the market conditions for cryptocurrency changed from bull market to bear market in 2018 and the cryptocurrency winter continues into Q1 2019."


George Hong
Founder & CEO, Guta.com

In contrast, Guta found "sales of premium one-word dictionary domains have generally been growing steadily over the last fi ve quarters. More and more global end-users are purchasing their brand-matched one-word .com domains. Likely encouraged by publicly reported high prices for  dictionary .com names, domain investors have been very actively buying one-word dictionary .com domains for investment purposes."

The report is also filled with information on sales in other popular categories Guta specializes in, including 3-letter .coms and short numeric .com domains. You will find many examples of the exact prices paid for specific domains in the new issue that you can read here.

On another domain sales note, I joined Domain Name Wire Founder Andrew Allemann as his guest on a new DNW podcast (#237) this week. We talked about the latest sales trends in the domain aftermarket, covering all categories - .coms, ccTLDs and non .com gTLDs. We also discussed the relative merits of each group as an investment 

vehicle. The show runs a little over 30 minutes and we pack a lot into that space that I think you'll find interesting, so check it out!


(Posted May 23, 2019) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

New Escrow.com Report Shows Domain Sales Rebounding - Up 10% in Q1-2019 From 4Q-2018

Escrow.com's new quarterly Domain Investment Index report covering the first quarter of 2019 includes a lot of good news for domain investors. As the world's largest online escrow provider for domain names (and a wide range of other assets), Escrow.com has access to a treasure trove of domain sales information. While they do not disclose


details on individual sales (to protect the privacy of buyers and sellers who use their platform) Escrow.com does compile data on total sales transacted on their platform that provides a great deal of insight into the current health of the domain market

The new Q1-2019 report (.pdf file) disclosed that Escrow.com's total domain sales (including domains with and without content) in the most recent quarter produced over $85 million in sales. That is a 10.4% jump over the $77 million recorded in the previous quarter as well a solid increase year over year. Escrow.com also reported their sales of developed websites reached an all time high as domains with content hit $15.2 million in Q1-2019. In terms of median prices, Escrow.com said their median domain name sale held steady at $2,500 while their median developed website sale price rose to $9,800.

Escrow.com also broke out sales results geographically, noting, " the United States still leads the way in total transaction value but Canada was among the biggest gainers. In the U.S. total domain sales (with and without content) jumped from $55.6 million in 4Q-2018 to $62 million in 1Q-2019 - an 11.5% increase. That is particularly impressive because the 4th quarter has historically been a strong one for domain sales. Canada moved past the United Kingdom into the #2 slot with $9.16 million vs. the UK's $8.58 million). Meanwhile, the China boom continue to recede. After hitting a high point of $18.4 million in Q2-2018 China sales were down to $5.8 million in Q1-2019.


(Posted May 16, 2019) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

VPS Web Hosting

China's Global Digital Summit Returns to Xiamen May 31-June 1 for 2019 Event at the Swiss Hotel

The 2018 edition of China's Global Digital Summit at the Swiss Hotel in Xiamen was so well received show organizers decided to stage the upcoming 2019 conference at the same venue. This year's event, that will again attract Internet business leaders from around the world, will run Friday May 31 and Saturday June 1. It will be co-hosted by Badidu AI Cloud, Alibaba Cloud, Bizcn, GoDaddy and several other well-known companies.

While the domain industry has been a centerpiece of GDS from the start, many other topics are covered as well, including blockchain technology applications,


new media marketing, cross-border integration and innovation of digital assets, digital media and digital ecology. Here are some more specific examples of sessions on the agenda:

Domain-related topics:

  • Current Situation and Trend of Global Domain Names

  • Opportunities and Challenges for the Development of Domain Name Industry under the Intervention and Support of National Policy

  • Diversified Development of Domain Name Transactions

  • How Domain Names Help Chinese Enterprises Develop Cross-Border E-Commerce Business

Topics related to AI, Big Data & Cloud Computing:

  • How will AI, Big Data, Cloud Computing Move Towards Industrial Application and Commercialization

  • Sharing of Innovative Technologies in AI, Big Data, Cloud Computing

  • Future Development and Opportunities AI, Big Data, Cloud Computing Industries

  • Solutions and Products of AI, Big Data, Cloud Computing Driving Enterprises’ Intelligent Transformation

Cross-Border E-commerce:

  • Industry experts and excellent cross-border E-Commerce enterprises to discuss new trends in the industry, sharing marketing experience of overseas E-Commerce and intellectualized reform of overseas E-Commerce, and help cross-border E-Commerce to quickly open up the market.

Xiamen is a beautiful waterfront city on China's southeast coast with nearly 2 million residents in the metropolitan area. Many view Xiamen as the "domain capital" of China because so many industry companies have offices there, including Guta.com, the well-known brokerage firm run by George Hong that also has a Philadelphia office in the U.S.

You can get more details on GDS2019 at the conference website (available in both English and Chinese versions) at www.gdsdays.com.


(Posted May 13, 2019) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Chicago.info and Opinions.org Sold for About the Same Price. Which One Was the Better Buy & Why?

16 years ago we started our weekly domain sales reports (that come out every Wednesday evening) as an educational tool. Showing the exact prices paid for specific domain names each week gives all of us a chance to learn more about domain values, gain insight into the latest trends (what's hot and what's not) and have access to a large pool of comparable sales that can be pointed to when buyers question domain valuations. We recently came up with a new feature aimed at providing additional insight into how domains are being valued -  a periodic Name Vs. Name poll and discussion in which two similarly priced but otherwise different kinds of domains are matched against one another.  

In our latest weekly sales column a couple of domains jumped out at me as being very good values. One was Chicago.info at just $2,200 and the other was Opinions.org at only $2,100 (both are non .com gTLDS that were sold through NameJet). I was actually shocked to see Chicago.info at that price as it is one of the world's great cities and the .info TLD is a good match for geodomains.


Image from Bigstock

The name itself implies being a definitive source of information about the destination and Chicago is one that attracts well over 50 million visitors annually! I also very much like Opinions.org  - an excellent, versatile one word domain in a popular long established legacy extension. It would be a perfect name for unbiased consumer reviews or a site curating opinions from thought leaders on a wide variety of topics related to the public good. At $2,100 that was also a terrific buy in my opinion. It came in what was an especially good week for the .orgs as they swept the first 8 positions on our weekly Non .Com gTLD Top Sales Chart. 

So having introduced the contestants - let's get ready to rumble! (The poll will remain open for 5 days (closing on Tuesday afternoon, May 14, 2019). We will share the final results with you in our next Name vs. Name battle where it will be listed in the table of past battles you see at the bottom of this post).  Chicago.info or Opinions.org - which was the better buy and, if you are willing to comment, we would like to know why you feel that way (the View button will let you see the poll numbers and comments):



Chicago.info ($2,200) and Opinions.org ($2,100) Sold for About the Same Price - Which One Was the Better Buy?
pollcode.com free polls

Previous Name vs. Name Battles (2019)


Contestants and Amount Each Sold For


Score (ties)


eCommerce.co vs. RealEstate.asia
($16,650 | $16,095)

eCommerce.co 43-32


StartupFunding.com vs. CryptoMining.org 
($7,000 | $7,000)




QV.net vs. Insurance.us 
($4,000 | $4,000)


76-46 (12)

*Each contest link goes to the original poll page where you can get more information on the matchup and also see reader's commentary (by selecting the View button on that page).


(Posted May 9, 2019) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Sedo Removes Minimum Sales Fee & Lowers Minimum Bid Requirements for the Rest of 2019

Investors who buy and sell domain names employ a variety of different strategies. Some are able to specialize in high end assets that often run into six figures but a more common approach is trying to sell a higher volume of easily affordable domains. One drawback to the latter approach has been that minimum sales commissions can take a big chunk out of seller proceeds 

and minimum bid requirements make it harder for buyers to justify buying a lot of domains.Aftermarket giant Sedo just tackled both of those problems head on with a major change that is bound to be a popular one with a lot the buyers and sellers who use their global platform. They have eliminated their minimum sales fee (going from $60 to $0) for most TLDs and dramatically lowered minimum bid requirements (from $90 to $20) for the rest of 2019

For sellers, that will mean more net profits from domain sales priced at the lower end of the price spectrum and for buyers it creates more purchase opportunities for all budgets. Sellers will pay just the commission of 10%, 15%, or 20%, depending on the type of sale and where the buyer came from, regardless of the sales price. This promotional offer applies to domains within Sedo's Category I TLDs (which 


Image from Bigstock

is the vast majority of TLDs). Category II TLDs (that tend to have premium price structures) aren't included in this promotion. Expiring Domains Auctions and External Transfers also aren’t included in this promotion.

Sedo's announcement included some examples of the impact the new pricing initiative can have on the bottom line:

Three possible outcomes if you sell a domain for $100:

1) The domain had a Buy Now price AND was parked at Sedo AND the buyer came from the Sedo platform: There is only 10% commission, so you pay $10 and earn $90. With the minimum fee eliminated, you earn $50 more.

2) The domain was bought through a negotiation or via auction on the Sedo platform: There is a 15% commission, so $15. You earn $85. With the minimum fee eliminated, you earn $45 more.

3) The buyer came from a SedoMLS partner site: There is a 20% commission, which is $20. You earn $80. With the minimum fee eliminated, you earn $40 more.

The bottom line is, for a domain sale of $100 you earn between $80 and $90, instead of $40 as has been the case in
the past. In all three scenarios, you earn at least twice as much as before.

Sedo also noted that you don’t need to adjust any settings or make any changes in your account to activate this promotion, it will update automatically. List all of your domains with Sedo to get the most from this savings. You save the most when you park at Sedo AND set a fixed price on your domains.

It is also important to note that sellers do NOT have to adopt the new $20 minimum bid. You can customize your preferred minimum bids in your account or by contacting your Sedo sales rep to set the amount manually.  


(Posted May 7, 2019) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

LosAngeles.com and SanFrancisco.com Added to Unprecedented Big City Geodomain Portfolio Sale

Last month I told you about a  remarkable portfolio of 20 big city .com geodomains that has been put on the market by Geocentric Media. The portfolio, that already included Houston.com, Philadelphia.com, SanDiego.com and Denver.com, among others, has just gotten even more eye popping. We've learned from Geocentric Media CEO & Founder Fred Mercaldo that LosAngeles.com and SanFrancisco.com have just been added to the unprecedented lot. 

While an exact price tag has not been placed on the portfolio, Mercaldo told us last month that the  number would likely fall in the $20 million range. An argument could be made that the two new additions - LosAngeles.com

San Francisco image from Bigstock

(representing America's 2nd largest city) and SanFrancisco.com (like LA, a major global tourist destination) - sold together, could be worth that on their own. That being the case, the full portfolio price will likely rise in concert with the added luster to what is now a coast to coast major market network of 22 great city domains. Here is the complete updated list of names in the portfolio being offered:

Interested parties can learn more about this opportunity by contacting Mercaldo directly at: [email protected]


(Posted May 6, 2019) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

NamesCon Europe Releases New Information on the Big Event Coming to Portugal in June

The 11th annual NamesCon Europe conference, coming up June 20-22, 2019 in an attractive new location, the Pestana Cidadela Cascais resort –a 5-star hotel located in the Pousada & Art District in the city of Cascais (just north of Lisbon), has released the first draft of the show agenda. It includes five expert panel discussions that will cover these topics:

* Dark Horses and Long-Shot Opportunities: Where to Invest in Today’s nTLD Market

* On the Basis of Trust: What to Look For in a Domain Broker

* Does Silicon Valley Still Need Domains?: How to Approach Tomorrow’s Startups 

* No Exit: How to Maximize your Portfolio’s Value Without Selling

* Navigating Appraised Value vs. Market Value of Your Domain

The full list of speakers for each session is still being finalized but Braden Pollock is already penciled in for most of the moderating duty that he consistently excels at. Organizers have also made sure to set aside plenty of time for networking, socializing, and enjoying the beauty Cascais is famous for. In fact, the last day of the conference will be dedicated entirely to unwinding with friends and colleagues at a day long beach party.

For the first time, NamesCon Europe will also feature a live domain auction, with carefully selected premium names set to go on the block while guests enjoy premium wine and tapas to match. As they did at NamesCon Global in Las Vegas in January, NamesCon has teamed up with industry-leading domain auction experts RightOfTheDot and NameJet to run the sale.

NamesCon Europe was founded by Dietmar Stefitz (under the Domaining Europe banner) who, after a decade of producing outstanding events, truned the reins over to NamesCon early last year. Tickets for the three-day event are priced at €649, however NamesCon Europe has given us a discount link allowing our readers to purchase tickets for €399 (+ €75.81 VAT) until June 1, 2019.


(Posted May 3, 2019) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


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