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The Lowdown
July 2021 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.


GoDaddy Releases Top 20 Sales From February - Seven Reach 6 Figures Including a $792,000 List Topper

GoDaddy has released a list of their top 20 domain sales for the month of February 2021. The industry giant reports their top sales a few months in arrears which helps assure they are meeting their obligation as a public company to fully vet any financial information they release. As a company that handles a major slice of high end domains sales, their lists provide valuable insight into aftermarket sales results and trends. 

That was shown once again in the February list that is led by seven 6-figure sales, including a $792,000 sale of AVA.com at the top. The domain currently resolves to a teaser page promising a January 2022 launch of new unspecified product. LiveWire.com was next at $623,500, followed by Monero.com at $316,250. Also ringing the six-figure bell were Unchained.com ($174,999), Verano.com ($115,000), Terry.com ($114,000) and Aquilius.com ($102,000). The complete list is comprised of 16 .com domains, 2 .nets and 2 ccTLDs. The complete list is below.

Image from Bigstock

We will be adding all of these sales to our charts when our next bi-weekly domain sales report comes out Wednesday evening, August 4. As of this writing, AVA.com would be ranked at #11 on our Year to Date Top 100 Sales Chart.

Here is the full list of GoDaddy's top 20 public reported sales for February 2021:

ava.com

$792,000 

livewire.com

$632,500 

monero.com

$316,250 

unchained.com

$174,999 

verano.com

$115,000 

terry.com

$114,000 

aquilius.com

$102,000 

starfire.com

$96,000 

ubeauty.com

$96,000 

alex.net

$85,000 

electricworld.com

$80,000 

scraping.com

$75,000 

gic.com

$69,002 

happytiger.com

$68,000 

bright.cn

$66,000 

patientsrights.org

$59,888 

100.co

$55,500 

tau.net

$55,000 

arula.com

$54,000 

callcesar.com

$50,000 

(Posted July 28, 2021) 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/2021/dailyposts/20210728.htm

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ICA Public Webinar August 4 to Address Plans for a Second Round of New gTLDs 

While an exact timeline has not yet been set, ICANN is continuing to formulate plans for a second round of new gTLDs. Hard to believe nine years have passed since the first round opened the door to hundreds of new domain extensions in 2012, with the initial wave of those added to the root the following year. Anyone interested in learning more about how the process is expected to work this time around, especially those with an interest in applying for a new gTLD, will be happy to hear that the Internet Commerce Association (ICA) has scheduled a free public webinar on the topic for August 4, 2021.

The event, that will begin at 1pm U.S. Eastern time, will feature a panel of seasoned industry experts and new gTLDs veterans who will provide actionable intelligence and guidance on the next application round. The panelists - left to right in the photo below - will be attorney Jeff Neuman (a co-chair of ICANN committees on new gTLDs who assisted multiple applications in round one), Jothan Frakes (CEO of ICANN Accredited Registrar PLISK.COM, Co-Founder of NamesCon and consultant for registry/registrar strategic and operational projects) and Phil Buckingham (CEO of Dot Advice Ltd, a UK-based consulting firm, which provides advisory services to gTLD applicants), with Christa Taylor hosting the session (Christa, the Fpunder at dotTBA, has been launching and driving TLD registry businesses since 2014 and supported over 50 new gTLD applicants in the 2012 round).  

They will address material changes from the first round, as well as expected timing and operations that anyone thinking about pursuing a new gTLD for their new entrepreneurial venture, global brand or growing business will want to know about.

You can register now to reserve your spot and receive a Zoom webinar link for this free, open to the public event. For newcomers to the industry, the ICA is a non-profit trade association that advocates on behalf of domain name registrants and domain related companies. You can learn more about the ICA here.  

(Posted July 23, 2021) 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/2021/dailyposts/20210723.htm

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Andrew Rosener Confirms MediaOptions Sold Wise.com for $2 Million Last Year Giving Our 2020 Top 100 Chart a New Leader

In our latest bi-weekly Domain Sales Report that came out Wednesday evening (July 22, 2021), we shared some major domain sales information that George Kirikos had discovered while looking through a prospectus released by a money transfer service, previously known as TransferWise, that had rebranded as Wise and gone public. The prospectus pointed to the acquisition of Wise.com at $2 million in 2020 but the disclosure referred to "domain purchases" in the plural. Given that Wise.com is a domain worth $2 million alone, we speculated that perhaps some low value domains registered for defensive purchased were also part of the deal. With that question still up in the air we couldn't add Wise.com to our sales charts.

Today, MediaOptions.com CEO Andrew Rosener was able to give us the definitive answer. Andrew confirmed that MediaOptions had brokered the Wise.com sale, the price was $2 million and no other domains or assets were involved. Rosener has completed many deals at this level but his brokerage normally will not comment on prices paid unless the information has become public through other sources. The information Kirikos turned up made it possible for him to do that with Wise.com and that, in turn, clears the way for us to add Wise.com to the 2020 Top 100 Domain Sales Chart in our Archive. We will be doing that when it is next updated August 4 (the release date for our next bi-weekly report).

Andrew Rosener
CEO, MediaOptions

Wise.com will not only be added to the chart, it will move into the #1 position on the 2020 leader board at double the price paid for the previous chart topper, Bullish. com, a domain that sold for $1,080,000 in November 2020. Prior to confirmation of the Wise.com sale, Bullish.com was the only publicly reported 7-figure sale in 2020 (although there were undoubtedly many in that range that were never reported due to non-disclosure agreements). While Wise.com gives 2020 two publicly reported 7-figure sales, 2021 is blowing the old year out of the water on that count. We are just over half way through the new year and have already had a half-dozen sales in the 7-figure range reported. The latest was the headliner in our latest report, EE.com at $1.35 million (placing it at #4 on the 2021 YTD Top 100). 

(Posted July 22, 2021) 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/2021/dailyposts/20210722.htm

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Andrew Allemann & Ron Jackson Discuss .US Domains and Dissect the Year's Biggest Domain Sales in New DNW Podcast

Those who have been in the domain business for a long time will remember DomainNameWire.com's Andrew Allemann and veteran executive Ted Olson (from Name Media and Endurance International) often being kidded about being twins, because they looked so much alike - or possibly even being one person using two different names! I'm starting to believe a different variation of the theme - that there are two identical people but both of them are Andrew (perhaps the original and an identical clone)! Look, Andrew lives is Seattle and so does multi-billionaire Jeff Bezos who has enough money to make anything happen (Exhibit A: he will be riding a rocket into outer space tomorrow). Just a coincidence? I don't think so!

How else could one guy churn out industry news (often multiple stories daily) for 16 years and, for the past 7, also produce 347 full-length episodes of a popular podcast? Whatever the case may be, I had a great time being Andrew's guest on episode #347 that was released today. When we recorded it late last week, only one of the two Andrews showed up, but I think that was just to throw me off the trail! 

Andrew gave me an opportunity to talk about the new American Domain Names news and information site I launched on July 4th and how things are going with America's .US ccTLD today. The short answer is, "it could and should be a lot better." Still, the current rush by business owners to get online after seeing brick and mortar enterprises get clobbered in the pandemic has given .US a boost (as has the ubiquity of Zoom.us). 

During the show, Andrew reminded me that he had bought a .US domain from me many years ago (probably 15 or so by now), Prefab.us. He also noted that he still has one of the great .US geodomains - SanFrancisco.us. When he mentioned that, it brought back a painful memory of me rejecting a good offer for Reno.us back in the day. If you want to know more about that and a lot more of the .US back story, check out the fast-paced 38-minute show for the details.

Andrew Allemann
DomainNameWire.com

Knowing that interest is .US is still limited in the industry at large, we spent the second half of the show dissecting the biggest domain sales across all extensions reported so far this year. We took them one by one and looked at what is being done with them now (of the top 10, only two remain without an active website on them). It was an excellent first half for the industry and we are both excited to see how the rest of 2021 unfolds!

(Posted July 19, 2021) 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/2021/dailyposts/20210719.htm

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There is a New Dan in Town! Dan.com 2.0 Arrives With Stylish New Interface and Enhanced Feature Set

The first iteration of the innovative domain sales and escrow platform Dan.com was a hit right out of the gate when it appeared in June 2019. By the end of 2020 over 9 millions domains were listed on the blockchain-powered platform. Domain sellers were attracted by Dan's low fees, ease of use and lightning speed in getting transactions done. 

Over the past few months Dan CEO Reza Sardeha has been teasing the impending arrival of Dan 2.0 and he was clearly excited about how it was shaping up. The new Dan finally arrived Thursday (July 15, 2021) and a quick spin around the revamped site reveled it was clearly worth the wait. The look is all new - more modern, stylish and easier than ever to navigate. Features are better organized and there are many more options to  customize the look of both your account and your individual landing pages. 

There has even been a subtle change in the company's name itself,  from DAN (all in caps that stood for Domain Automation

Network) to the more personal Dan. On the surface, that looks like a minor change but their was a big reason behind it. As the company has grown it has focused more on becoming the partner of entrepreneurs, stakeholders, and the rest of the industry and now stands for more than just the automation that was its original calling card.

Dan released a very detailed letter that will show you all of the improvements they made (as well as what remains the same) and tell you why each change was made - from the choice of fonts and color options to more impact landing pages and everything in between. As a company that is always looking to innovate there is also a section on additional features they have in the works.  It is great insight and well were the read.

(Posted July 16, 2021) 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/2021/dailyposts/20210716.htm

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VIP Brokerage & DomainAssets.com Close 7-Figure Sale of EE.com in One of Year's Biggest Sales to Date

Due to their rarity, we don't see many 2-letter .com sales, especially ones with repeating letters and ones that can be publicly reported - but today we have one for you! We have learned that Mark Thomas at VIP Brokerage and John Mauriello at DomainAssets.com worked together to close a $1.35 million sale of EE.com. Mark told me that he and John have actually been going back and forth with the parties to sale for several years before an agreement was finally reached. As has been the case with so many two and three letter .coms in recent years, this one also went to a buyer in China.

When we chart this sale in our next bi-weekly domain sales report July 21, it will rank as the fourth highest sale reported year to date (assuming nothing higher comes in before then. It will be another coup for Thomas, who already has the biggest publicly reported sale of 2021 in Christmas.com at $3.15 million. VIP Brokerage and has yet another in the YTD Top 20 in #19 (tie) Arizona.com at $350,000.

Mauriello, who has been closing big deals since 2002, opened his own shop in 2015. DomainAssets works with large Enterprise level accounts, small and medium size corporations, start-ups, entrepreneurs, technologists, and investors from Silicon Valley and around the world.

(Posted July 14, 2021) 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/2021/dailyposts/20210714.htm

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New Quarterly Reports From Guta.com and GGRG.com Reveal Domain Sales Gains in  2Q-2021

With the 2nd quarter of the 2021 domain sales season now in the books, we have just gotten new quarterly reports from two of the industry's leading international domain brokerages, Guta.com and GGRG.com

Guta's latest Premium Domain Sales Observation Report (.pdf file) reported the strengthening of a trend we've been watching develop all year - a rush by end users to acquire one-word .com dictionary domains for their online businesses. Guta reported 112 one-word .com dictionary domain sales in 2Q-2021 with 68 of those - 60.7% - going to end users. That is both the largest number of one-word sales and the highest percentage of end user sales they have seen since 2018. 47 of those 68 end user buyers were based in the United States. 

In contrast, most 3-letter .com sales continue to go investors, rather than end users, and to buyers in China rather than the U.S.  Of the 17 three-letter .com sales Guta saw in 2Q-2021, only four went to end users. Seven of the 17 went to buyers in China, with only four going to American buyers.

There is much more data on all of the premium domain sales categories in Guta's free report that you can get here.

In the 20th edition of their quarterly Liquid Market (LMX) Report, covering 2Q-2021, GGRG also had a lot of good news to share. As most of you know, GGRG focuses on short acronym and numeric domains that, due to their popularity, offer a level of "liquidity" that most other domain categories do not.

They reported $17.6 million worth of liquid domain sales were made through Escrow.com in the most request quarter, a rise of more than 4% from the previous quarter. One thing I found especially interesting was a surge in how many of those sales are being publicly reported. GGRG said $5.7 million of the total came from publicly disclosed sales, a huge 57% jump from the previous quarter.

Starting with this edition, GGRG beefed up their coverage by supplementing their usual total dollar volume metrics with the actual list of transactions for the top tier domains (2L, 3L, 2N, 3N, 4N, 2C) and an indicative sample of transactions (top, median and bottom 10 sales) for the lower tiers of the liquid market (4L, 5N, 3C).

One other note - a navigation tip make sure you get the most from the voluminous GGRG report.  There are nine individual sub-categories (like two-letter .coms, three-letter .coms, etc) that you will want to access from links at the top of the main LMX page. Those are shown as: 2L, 3L, 4L, 2N, 3N, 4N, 5N, 2C and 3C (L = letter, N= number and C= characters in that category's domain names). There is also a link to useful Historical information on the same row.

Thanks to Guta.com Founder George Hong and GGRG.com Founder Giuseppe Graziano for their ongoing research into the latest market trends and making their findings available for all of us to benefit from.

(Posted July 12, 2021) 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/2021/dailyposts/20210712.htm

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Born on the 4th of July! .US Gets Its Own News & Information Website - American Domain Names at ADN.US

I've been in the domain business for almost 20 years now but I never would have discovered it if it weren't for a single magazine ad I saw back in the spring of 2002. The Internet and CD burning had killed my previous business - a string of record and CD stores in Florida - so I was trying to figure out what to do next when the latest copy of PC World magazine arrived in my mailbox (computers had dramatically improved every part of my personal and business life by then and I had started building my own PCs). 

I opened the front cover and saw a full page ad placed by the  .US domain registry (operated by Neustar at that time) announcing that, for the first time since .US was created in 1985 it was being opened up to all U.S. citizens and others who do business in the U.S. Prior to April 24, 2002, the TLD was reserved for use by government agencies, schools and a few other special uses.

I had only one domain  at the time, the one I had built a website for music business on at MusicParadise.com in 1997. MY stores were actually named Rock Island but RockIsland.com was already taken, even back then. So when I saw the .US ad, even though

 May 2002 edition of PC World magazine

I didn't know what I would do next, I decided I should register a few in areas I had the most experience in, media and music. 

In the course of researching business ideas and relevant domains I stumbled upon a link to DNForum.com where most of the domain investors of that era hung out. I was astonished to learn people were buying and selling domain names alone. I thought domains only had value if something was built on them! It was a revelation that set off a chain of events that continues to this day. I started buying names in .com. .org and .us, with far more purchased for investment rather than development. That led to founding DNJournal on New Year's Day 2003 because I couldn't find a trade magazine about an industry I was rapidly falling in love with. That led to what has been an amazing two-decade run that has taken me all over the world and given me the opportunity to meet hundreds of remarkable people that I never would have met otherwise.

So, even though I expanded beyond .US and most of my revenue came from other sources, I always felt I owed something to America's ccTLD for opening a door that led to me discovering an incredibly rewarding new world. It's taken 19 years but I finally figured out how I might best be able to do that - by giving the .US community a news and information website of their own with the hope that it will help spread recognition and utilization of America's domain extension. I felt nothing could be more appropriate than launching American Domain Names, the .US News & Information Website, at ADN.US on the 4th of July - and that is what I have done today. If you have an interest in .US, I hope you will enjoy it, find it useful, contribute information to it and help spread the word! In the meantime, I am wishing all of my fellow Americans a Happy Independence Day!

(Posted July 4, 2021) 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/2021/dailyposts/20210704.htm

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