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The Lowdown
June-July 2020 Archive
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Welcome to the The Lowdown from 
DN Journal
- your source for notable news 
and information from all corners of the global domain name industry! 

The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal 
Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.


Humble Domain Industry Icon Nat Cohen Goes Deep in Revealing New Interview at GGRG.com 

Telepathy.com Founder Nat Cohen is one of the most successful investors in domain industry history. He holds the world's biggest collection of 3-letter .coms (over 1,000 of them!) as well as several ultra-rare 2-letter .coms and many top tier one-word dictionary domains. Nat is also one of the staunchest defenders of domain owner's rights through his tireless service on the board of the Internet Commerce Association

The only reason there are still some people in this business who don't know how much Nat has accomplished is because the kind-hearted Washington, D.C. resident would rather talk about anything else but himself. Thankfully, ICA member Giuseppe Graziano of GGRG.com finally persuaded Nat to sit for an in-depth interview by convincing him that he could help a lot of other people find their way in this field by sharing what he has learned since he first discovered domains back in the 1990s. 

Nat's story of how he built his incredible portfolio, how the game has changed over the years and how he plays it today is one that everyone in 

Nat Cohen
Founder, Telepathy.com  

this business would profit from reading. In addition to a great business story, it gives you some rare insight into the life of one of the most genuine nice guys in this or any other industry. It's an object lesson in the right way to treat people - and we live in a time when we could all benefit from getting better at that!

 

By the way, in addition to the interview with Nat, GGRG.com (a popular domain brokerage and consulting firm based in Lisbon Portugal) has also released their latest Liquid Domains Market Report covering 2Q-2020. GGRG's reports break down aftermarket sales results for short .com domains comprised of 2-4 letters, 2-5

numbers and a combination of 2-3 characters mixing letters and numbers. Collectively, GGRG refers to domains that fit those parameters as liquid domains because there are almost always buyers (at least at the wholesale level) for them.

(Posted July 29, 2020) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
https://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2020/dailyposts/20200729.htm

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Guta.com Breaks Down 2Q-2020 Premium Domain Sales Trends in Their New Quarterly Report

International domain brokerage firm Guta.com has released their latest free  quarterly Premium Domain Sales Observation Report (.pdf file) covering the 2nd quarter of 2020. With offices in both the U.S. and China, Guta, founded by CEO George Hong, has a perfect vantage point to see what is happening in the domain aftermarket in both the Eastern and Western hemispheres. Their reports focus primarily on .com domain sales in these categories: 1-4 Numbers, 1-3 Letters, 2 Characters and one-word English dictionary domains.

The report shows continuing soft demand for short .com numeric domains in the Chinese market (where most buyers in that category hail from), noting, "In 2Q-2020 2020, the sales volumes of NN .com, NNN .com, two-character .com remained at the lowest level since 2018. The sales count of NNNN .com was down by 31.1% from the previous quarter."

Short acronym domains fared much

better with the 3-letter .com sales count was up 35.3%, though prices continue to be generally lower than at the height of the China boom a few years ago. Guta reported that nearly half (11 out of 23) of the LLL.com sales they saw came with publicly reported prices, all of which fell in the low five-figure range. The scarcity of two-letter .com domains kept prices for that category in line with the previous quarter, with  Chinese buyers acquiring all of those that were sold.

Guta.com Founder George Hong

The brightest spot, as has been reported from several other sources in recent months, has been the popularity of one-word English language .com domains. Guta reported, "In Q2-2020, the total sales count of one-word English .coms reached the highest amount since 2018. From among those whose prices were publicly reported, the top four sales were low six figures with the remaining ones below $100,000. The number of end-user purchases was higher than in Q1 2020 but lower than in Q3 2019 and Q4 2019. From that Guta surmised that domain investors jumped at opportunities to purchase premium one-word .com domains at relatively lower prices.

You can read the entire illuminating report here.

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(Posted July 27, 2020) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
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The Year's First Online Domain Conference is Underway at TheDomainShow.com

Earlier this month we told you about a new online only domain conference called The Domain Show that was being put together by industry veteran Page Howe. That free admission event got underway Thursday (July 23) with a full slate of sessions and will be continuing through Saturday (July 25). The free ticket, made possible through the sponsorship of DAN.com, lets you view all sessions live, but also lets you replay any sessions for 48 hours. So, even if you haven't registered yet, you can still see all of the opening day sessions. A VIP Pass is also available for $199 that will give you unlimited year around replays as well as additional VIP content.

  

The opening day schedule featured sessions on Domain Development & SEO, Expanding the Domain Market, Monetization, GeoDomains, Marketing Tips and special interview sessions with Squadhelp CEO Darpan Munjal and domain industry pioneers Michael Mann with Bill Sweetman, and Monte Cahn.

Another busy day is on tap today (Friday, July 24. You can see the full schedule here. At 3:15pm (US Eastern time) I will be on to conduct an interview with Castello Brothers Co-Founder David Castello who will be talking about The Future of .Com. David and his brother Michael got started back in the 1990s and have had great success both selling and developing top tier domains. That is a session you won't want to miss and the same can be said for the entire Friday line-up that kicks off at 12:30pm (US Eastern time).

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(Posted July 24, 2020) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
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Merger of i2Coalition & The Domain Name Association Creates Powerful Internet Infrastructure Advocacy Group 

The Internet Infrastructure Coalition (i2Coalition) and The Domain Name Association (The DNA) have joined forces to create a powerful combination that will amplify the voice of  the companies that build the Internet’s foundational infrastructure. The combined entity will operate under the i2Coalition banner.

The i2Coalition formed in 2012 and quickly became  the leading voice for web hosting companies, data centers, domain registrars and registries, cloud infrastructure providers, managed services providers and related tech. The DNA was established in 2014 as  a nonprofit global business association that represents the interests of the domain name industry. The newly combined organization  becomes the largest Internet infrastructure advocacy group in North America. It will maintain the i2Coalition’s existing organizational and management structure with The DNA being represented by two members on the Board of Directors. A DNA-branded working group 

will also be created to continue to advance the DNA’s mission to protect and empower businesses and individuals with education and engagement that underscores the importance, benefits and opportunities of domain names.

Christian Dawson

The strategic alliance that takes effect on July 28, 2020 will enables access to an expanded set of resources and economies of scale that will allow the collective to mount more far-reaching and expansive campaigns to ensure policy doesn’t impede growth, knowledge and access to the Internet and its resources. Effective upon the close of the merger, the new DNA working group within the i2Coalition’s existing construct will be implemented with a formation meeting scheduled within 30 days.

Christian Dawson, Co-Founder of the i2Coalition, said “The merger of our organizations underpins the mission of both the DNA and the i2Coalition, combining our mutual dedication to Internet industry best practices and policies to empower continued growth. Combined, we represent over 100 organization members and their online business interests."

Statton Hammock, founding DNA Board member and current Board Secretary noted, "The mission of the DNA has always been to spread awareness, promote growth, offer resources and facilitate communication about innovation and value in the Internet domain name space. Our mission aligns well with that of the i2Coalition, and I look forward to remaining part of the new organization and to creating an even larger impact.”

Melinda Clem, Chairwoman for the i2Coalition, added,  “Domain names are a key part of the growth of the Internet infrastructure, and the i2Coalition is excited to become an enabler for the great work the DNA is accomplishing in this sphere. We’re excited to collaboratively foster a healthy domain environment with universal acceptance of non-traditional domains and provide access to expertise and resources that help address issues facing the domain name industry.”

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(Posted July 20, 2020) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
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SedoMLS Brokerage Expands Its Reach with Major European Registrar united-domains Coming On Board

The SedoMLS Brokerage is a service that allows participating domain registrars to give their customers access to professional brokers who will help them acquire the domain they want, whether or not it is currently listed for sale. New businesses (or established ones looking to upgrade their name) typically start their search for a name by visiting a domain registrar. Their first choice is almost never available for registration and odds are it won't be listed in the registrar's aftermarket  listing either. However, 

 

that's not the end of the line if the registrar also offers access to the SedoMLS Brokerage, as European giant united-domains has just started doing, joining SAV.com, Fabulous.com, DirectNic.com and several other popular registrars around the world.

Sedo.com CEO Matthias Conrad noted,  "We are convinced that our new SedoMLS Brokerage Service is all around beneficial for registrars, prospective buyers and also sellers within the ever-expanding domain market. SedoMLS registrar partners can now literally provide their clients with a one-stop-shop, giving them an extra layer that makes them stand out within their highly competitive market”

Tobias Sattler, CTO of united-domains, added, “The partnership with Sedo enriches our domain name search results. Before SedoMLS Brokerage, registered domain names were a dead end. Now we have a valuable service for our customers – a shot at their first-choice domain name."

You can get complete information in the SedoMLS Brokerage offering and all of Sedo's registrar services here.

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(Posted July 15, 2020) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
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TheDomainShow.com Announces Speakers and Opens Free Registration for Upcoming Online Conference

The Covid-19 pandemic has, for now, closed the door on traditional domain conferences where attendees travel to a central location to meet face to face. However, domain investors, developers and service providers will still have a couple of opportunities to gather online for virtual conferences this summer. We previously told you about the NamesCon Online conference coming up in September. Now domain industry veteran Page Howe has opened registration for an earlier event, The Domain Show, that he will be producing later this month. 

 

Howe today also announced the first two dozen speakers he has lined up for the three-day virtual conference that runs July 23-25. The all-star roster includes Andrew Rosener, Braden Pollock, Jeff Gabriel, Michael & David Castello, Ari Goldberger, Larry Fischer, Alan Hack and Shane Cultra, to name just a few. Howe said the list of speakers and presenters will expand to more than 40 by show time. The entire line-up (and new additions as they are confirmed) can be seen on the show website.

Howe, who will serve a host, is a domain name marketer, investor and educator who has sold over 5,000 domain names over his more than two decades in the business, including two of the top all time sales at over $1 million each (Seniors.com and Guy.com). Page also heads up local marketing for the .LA local domain namespace for Los Angeles, writes and make educational videos at DN.BIZ and runs the wholesale marketplace DomainOutlet.com.

In addition to two free registration options for The Domain Show, there is a $99 premium option that comes with some additional perks. Howe added, "There are also sponsorship opportunities that will provide access to a global audience before and during our show, as well as 24/7-365 access through repeats and replays. Contact page@pagehowe.com for more information on that."

Page Howe

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(Posted July 6, 2020) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
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NamesCon Rechristens Their First Virtual Event - NC 360° is Now NamesCon Online

A couple of weeks ago, we told you about NamesCon's decision to hold their first online-only virtual conference September 9-11, 2020. The event was originally named NamesCon 360° but today show organizers announced a new name - NamesCon Online - and a new web address that is a perfect match - NamesCon.online

The move comes in conjunction with the news that Radix has signed up to be the event's first 

 

Diamond Partner. Radix operates several of the most popular new gTLDs on the Internet, including .online, so the tie-in between them and NamesCon is a natural.

The updated NamesCon Online website notes, "This virtual conference will deliver the elements you know from our in-person events—and more—in a brand-new way. At NamesCon Online, you can expect a packed agenda with keynotes, live streams, expert round tables, and region-specific learning and prime networking opportunities. NamesCon Online will be held in a custom online venue that offers the unique experience of NamesCon right at your fingertips from your home, office, or favorite local café. You’ll be able to access everything through your web browser and via a mobile app."

Registration for the event is open now with Standard tickets priced at $59 each. If you have never been to a NamesCon event before, they have an even better deal for you. Newcomers can get free admission by filling out a quick survey on the show website.

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(Posted July 1, 2020) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
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NamesCon 360° Addresses Covid-19 Crisis With Online Conference Coming September 9-11 

The Covid-19 pandemic has made it virtually impossible for people in any business to gather safely in significant numbers. However, the biggest conference in our industry, NamesCon, has decided the solution to the "virtually impossible" is to go virtual - at least in the near term. While they still plan to hold the annual NamesCon Global conference live at a location still to be announced next January, they are going to fill in the gap with NamesCon 360° - a three-day virtual conference to be presented online September 9-11, 2020.

The official announcement of NamesCon 360° today said, "NamesCon 360° will feature live and on-demand presentations, workshops, networking, and deal-making opportunities on a scale not yet done in the domain industry. Besides bringing elements you love from NamesCon straight to your home or office, we're adding some new features that can only be done in a virtual environment."

The notice emphasized, "This is no Zoom meeting! You'll take part through your web browser and mobile device for a wide range of interactions. From presentations for a global audience to regionally-relevant content, NamesCon 360° will have something for you, wherever you are. While we all miss our face-to-face meet-ups, this is the right time to create a virtual event. You'll meet everyone who is serious about domaining: an easily-accessible virtual conference is a big step in bringing more domainers - with all their experience, perspectives, and of course portfolios - together."

With people around the world living in different time zones, some are sleeping while others are awake. NamesCon  360° organizers say you can forget the clock and join in at whatever time best suits you schedule, noting, "A domain never sleeps, and neither does NamesCon 360°! During the run of the event, you'll have all-day, all-night access to the event hubs, as well as on-demand content and networking with professionals in your region—and the other side of the world."

No pricing for the event has been set yet and there are many details still to be filled in over the couple of months but you can keep track of the latest developments by periodically checking in on the NamesCon 360° website.

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(Posted June 19, 2020) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
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Latest Verisign Quarterly Report Says Worldwide Domain Registrations Increased By Nearly 15 Million In Past Year

Verisign (the administrator of the .com and .net TLDs) has released their latest quarterly Domain Name Industry Brief (.pdf file) covering the 1st quarter of 2020. The report said total domain name registrations across all top-level domains (not just those Verisign operates) rose to 366.8 million at the end of 1Q-2020. That is a rise of approximately 14.9 million domain registrations (or 4.2%) from the same point one year earlier.

The quarter ended with approximately 147.3 million .coms registered -  a jump of 6.3 million (4.5%) year over year. Meanwhile, the .net TLD, that has been sliding for several years, looks like it may finally be stabilizing. Approximately 13.4 million .net domains were registered at the end of 1Q-2020, down 2.9% from 13.8 million a year earlier, but .net lost no ground from the last quarter (4Q-2019) when it also came in at 13. 4 million.

The ccTLDs have finally started seeing a slowdown after several years of high growth. 1Q-2020 ended with 157.4 million country code domains registered worldwide, up just 0.4% (600,000 domains) from a year earlier and they actually went down 200,000 domains from the previous quarter (4Q-2019).

The new gTLDs continue to rebound sharply after some major losses in their first years of operation. The new gTLDs ended 1Q-2020 with 32.3 million domains registered, a 40.7% leap from the 23 million that were registered at the end of the same quarter a year earlier. Of the 9.3 million domains added in the past 12 months, 3 million came in 1Q-2020 indicating continued acceleration.

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

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(Posted June 3, 2020) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
https://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2020/dailyposts/20200603.htm


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