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The Lowdown
December 2022 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.

Marketing Whiz Jeffrey Sass Saddles Up For Another Domain industry Ride as CMO at the .ART Registry

I was happy to see a post on my Facebook feed from Jeffrey Sass Thursday evening letting his friends know that he was returning to the domain business! As most our readers know Jeff was the innovative Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for the .CLUB registry from the time it was founded to the time it was sold last year to GoDaddy. After the sale, Jeff stayed with .CLUB  Chairman and Founder Colin Campbell to serve as CMO in another one of Colin's growing enterprises, Paw.com. However, as has often been said, the domain business is kind of like the Hotel California - "You can check out any time you like but you can never leave!"

That proved true again when the .ART registry came calling and persuaded Sass to become their new Chief Marketing Officer, effectiive on New Year's Day. As an active shareholder in Paw.com, Jeff will also continue to provide advice to that enterprise devoted to dog lovers. In his Facebook post Jeff wrote, "To all my friends in the Domain Industry, I am delighted to say I'm back! On January 1st, I will join the DotArt team as CMO. I have missed you all and the industry over the past year and look forward to reconnecting on behalf of .ART. I am excited to join Ulvi, Kurt, Alexey, Kate, and the rest of the talented .ART team, and to support artists and the Global art community with such a meaningful and innovative top-level domain! Wishing you all a very healthy, happy, and ARTful New Year!"  

Jeffrey Sass
Chief Marketing Officer
.Art Registry

Sass, who wrote the entertaining and inspiring book Everything I Know about Business and Marketing, I Learned from THE TOXIC AVENGER: (One Man's Journey to Hell's Kitchen and Back), led a marketing team at .CLUB that, no matter where you turned, always seemed to have their TLD front and center. In his new role, I have no doubt Jeff will be a major asset to .ART as well as the domain industry at large as one of our most creative thinkers and friendliest personalities. Welcome back, Jeff!

(Posted December 29, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


For all who are celebrating around the world, we wish you and yours a wonderful Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and joyous holiday season with many more to come. Year in and year out, for the past 20 years, your friendship and support has been the best gift we could have ever hoped for!

(Posted December 25, 2022)

Cloudfest Announces Return to USA - Event Will Run Concurrently With NamesCon Global in Austin Next Spring 

The cloud computing and domain hosting industry's Cloudfest conference, best known for its huge annual event at Europa-Park in Germany, is returning to the United States after a 7-year absence. Cloudfest USA 2023 will run concurrently with the NamesCon Global conference at the Omni Hotel in Austin, Texas May 31-June 3, 2023

Anyone who has a ticket to NamesCon will be able to attend any Cloudfest USA session and vice versa at no extra charge. The symbiotic relationship between the two shows is a 

natural as they are owned by  the same parent company. Registration for Cloudfest USA opened today with 65% off Early Bird tickets available until January 6, 2023.

Cloudfest made a previous foray into the American market with Stateside conferences in 2015 and 2016 when the event was known as World Hosting Days (WHD). We covered the inaugural WHD USA event at the Seven Springs Mountain Resort in western Pennsylvania in May 2015. Day 1 of that coverage is here and closing day 2 is here. WHD USA returned in 2016 with another May show that was held in Phoenix, Arizona

With the domain and hosting businesses so closely connected, it makes a lot of sense to bring Cloudfest USA back and run it in tandem with NamesConGlobal, a move that will made both events stronger. The combination will be especially appealing to managed service providers (MSPs), cloud service providers (CSPs), registrars and website developers that usually include both domain registration and hosting service in their offerings. Bringing more people from those sectors together in Austin should also give domain sales a boost, including those offered in the NamesCon Global auction. 

(Posted December 22, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


Energetic Head of NamesCon Helga Neumer Has Left the Building - Departure Announced Today 

If you've attended any NamesCon conference since World Hosting Days (WHD) purchased the domain industry's premier conference from Richard Lau in 2016, you have almost certainly crossed paths with Head of NamesCon Helga Neumer. You may not have known it because Helga spent most of her time behind the scenes skillfully managing the endless array of tasks that kept the show running like clockwork. As busy as she was, she always had a smile for attendees and went out of her way to make everyone feel at home. 

Helga is the ultimate pro and she always made my job of covering NamesCon easier.  That is why I was sorry to get the email she sent to the NamesCon community today letting us know this was her last day with the big event, but I am happy for others who will benefit from her efforts in whatever she chooses to do in her next adventure.

Helga Neumer
Head of NamesCon 2018-2022

In the email Helga wrote, "Today is my last day with the NamesCon team. What a wild ride! Thank you for making my experience with this event so wonderful. I will miss NamesCon—especially the friendly and welcoming community that makes the domaining world so great. I won’t say “goodbye”, because it’s such a small world—hopefully, I will see you around soon! The future is exciting, and I hope we’ll still explore it together one way or another. Meanwhile, please stay in touch through LinkedIn and my personal email. Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!"

When WHD (who also stages the massive annual Cloudfest conference for the hosting industry)  purchased NamesCon, Helga was their Director of Marketing, so she immediately took on those duties for NamesCon too. In December 2018 she was elevated to Head of NamesCon, the role she has filled so ably through today.

Head of NamesCon operations Helga Neumer and the Chairman of the NamesCon Advisory Board, Soeren von Varchmin, at the 2022 NamesCon Global conference in Austin, Texas.

NamesCon itself has now gone through three ownership changes since 2016. In 2017 WHD (and their two conferences) were acquired by GoDaddy as part of a bigger deal  in which GoDaddy bought WHD's parent company, Host Europe Group. Then, in 2021, GoDaddy sold the two shows to a newly formed enterprise - their current owner, WHD Events GmbH. Throughout the ownership changes, NamesCon continued to present consistently great conferences, including innovative online editions created by necessity in the middle of the global Covid 19 pandemic. The entire NamesCon team deserves credit for that constant presence and consistent quality, and Helga's indispensable role will always stand out on her resume. So, we will also decline to say goodbye, instead saying thnk you Helga and we look forward to saying hello again at the next available opportunity!

(Posted December 21, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


Michael Riedl Named CEO at CentralNic, James Iles Joins Godaddy and Andrew Rosener Repeats as Escrow.com's Top Broker 

A new week begins with some some familiar industry names in the news. Today CentralNic announced Michael Riedl has become their new CEO, replacing Ben Crawford who has overseen a tremendous growth spurt at the company since first taking the role in 2009. In the 13 years since then CentralNic's revenue has grown from $2 million to $700 million with a string of acquisitions fueling the surge. Mr. Crawford is also retiring from the Board. 

Michael Riedl has served as CentralNic's Chief Financial Officer since February of 2019. Chairman Iain McDonald noted, "Michael has brought a wealth of industry experience and excellent strategic and leadership skills to CentralNic, and I am delighted that he will be our new chief executive officer. He has impressed the board with the impact he has made over the last four years, where he has brought clarity, structure and focus, with the combination of skills and experience to lead the business through its next strategic phase."  With Michael's move up, Group Financial Director William Green will become the new CFO. 

Michael Riedl
CentralNic CEO

James Iles, GoDaddy
Domain Name Industry
Community Manager

GoDaddy has created a new Domain Name Industry Community Manager position and selected prolific writer James Iles to fill that role. James has his own blog at JamesNames.com and has also been a frequent contributor to NamePros, MediaOptions, DomainSherpa and DomainNameWire

Iles explained his reasons for accepting the GoDaddy offer in a post on his blog Friday (December 9). In it he noted, "Domain investors likely interact with GoDaddy every day. Whether that is buying domains through closeouts and auctions or managing domain sales on Afternic. Despite this, domain investors have had no specific point of contact within GoDaddy to help with issues, provide information and insight, or give feedback to help improve products. My role with GoDaddy will hopefully provide a bridge between the company and the domain industry."

For any GoDaddy related questions, suggestions or information you can email James at [email protected]

Escrow.com has announced their annual Master of Domains list for 2022. The honor roll recognizes the top ten domain name brokers based on the total dollar volume of transactions they closed on the Escrow.com platform. At first glance, when you see Andrew Rosener's name and photo associated with the top spot on the  MOD list you might think it is old news. That's because the MediaOptions CEO was number 1 in 2021...also in 2020...and, oh yes, 2019 too. Yes, he did it again in 2022, making it four in a row! The competition was not easy either as you can see from the names on the complete list. If this was a baseball team, every one of them would be an all-star:

1. Andrew Rosener
   (Media Options)
6. Ryan McKegney
2. Todd Reum
7. Hobi Michalec
(Lumis Group)
3. Cameron Gordon
Josh Bourne 
   (Digital DNA)
8. Stephen Miholovich
   (Name Arena)
4. Jeffrey Gabriel
9. Joe Uddeme
   (Name Experts)
5. Mark Daniel
   (Domain Holdings)
10. Brian Harbin
   (Grit Brokerage)

Andrew Rosener
CEO, MediaOptions.com
(Parent company, DomainX)

(Posted December 12, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


Verisign Reports Total Domain Registrations Worldwide at End of 3Q Down a Bit From 2Q But Up YOY

Verisign (the administrator of the .com and .net TLDs) has released their latest quarterly Domain Name Industry Brief (DNIB) covering the 3rd quarter of 2022. The quarter ended with 349.9 million domain name registrations across all top-level domains (TLDs) worldwide, a drop of 1.6 million domains (-0.4%) from the end of 2Q-2022. However, the year-over-year picture is much better. Total registrations have gone up by 11.5 million (3.4%) from the same point a year ago. 

At the end of 3Q-2022, .com registrations stood at 160.9 million, down by 200,000 domains (-0.1%) from the end of the previous quarter but up 2.3 million (+1.5%) from from a year ago.

.Net remained static at the end of 3Q-2022 with the same 13.2 million total the TLD had at the end of the previous quarter. Year over year the .nets were down slightly from the 13.5 million that were registered at the end of 3Q-2021.

Country-code TLD domain name registrations mirrored the overall market, slipping quarter to quarter by rising year over year. The ccTLDs finished 3Q-2022 with 132.4 million domains, down 1.7 million (-1.3%) from the previous quarter but up a healthy 4.5% from the same point a year ago after adding 5.7 million domain since the end of 3Q-2021.

The new gTLDs, with 27.3 million registrations at the end of 3Q-2022, had the highest year over year percentage increase, jumping 16.2% from the same point in 2021. The new G's also managed to eke out a small increase from the previous quarter, adding 300,000 domains (+1.0%).

(Posted December 8, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


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