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The Lowdown
June 2022 Archive

Welcome to the 
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

Acquisition of Innovative Aftermarket Sales Platform Dan.com is Another Smart Move By GoDaddy

I had no idea GoDaddy was about to buy fast-growing, innovative domain sales platform Dan.com, but when Dan broke the news in a blog post this morning, buttressed by a separate press release from GoDaddy, my instant reaction was, "Well, that makes perfect sense." 

GoDaddy, of course, was already an aftermarket powerhouse and in recent years that division of the company has played an increasingly important role in the industry giant's overall success. With its incomparable name recognition and expansive sales network GoDaddy is the first place many businesses look when they need a premium name for their 


enterprise. However, as business history has often shown, even the best known brands can have a profitable apple cart upset by an innovative newcomer. Especially one that arrives on the scene with an extraordinarily appealing product at a great price that is winning over new converts every day. Few domain companies in recent years have fit that description better that Dan.com. 


Getting Dan eliminates a growing competitive threat and brings GoDaddy some impressive new technology that will go a long way toward future proofing their aftermarket cash cow. So, it's all good for GoDaddy and a fitting reward for Dan.com Founder Reza Sardeha and his entire team for the remarkable sales engine they created. What remains to be seen is how well it works for domain buyers and sellers. Dan has a much lower fee structure (ranging from 5 to 9%) but more widely-known GoDaddy/Afternic sells an enormous number of domains for clients, making it a lot easier to justify their 20% commission. At this early stage, no one knows exactly how the two platforms will be used to complement each other or where the fee structure will settle.


If they can combine the best of both platforms, everyone will come out a winner. As it always does, it will all come down to the execution. Seeing how the newly minted GoDaddy/Dan team goes about the process is something everyone in the industry will be watching with keen interest in the months ahead - and it won't be long before it gets started, the deal is expected to close in the 3rd quarter and that starts Friday (July 1)! 

(Posted June 28, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


Domain Sales Remain Hot With Public Company Closing $1.6 Million Acquisition of Chill.com

Chill Brands Group PLC has made the $800,000 final payment due to complete a $1,600.000 acquisition of the Chill.com domain name. The company, that trades on the London Stock Exchange (CHLL), is a developer, producer and international distributor of cannabidiol (CBD) products. They zeroed on Chill.com as the key component for executing a refresh of the Chill brand that they believe will improve consumer targeting and ensure that marketing of the brand is consistent across all regions

Chill Brands CEO Callum Sommerton said, "We are the proud owners of a highly brandable, premium domain asset reflective of a word that is pervasive in the everyday lives of consumers and is easy to say, spell, and remember. In an increasingly complex world, people 


Image from Bigstock

everywhere are looking for ways to chill. Those qualities are gold dust for marketers, and we intend to maximize the potential of the Chill.com domain by expanding and improving our brand which, in common with our consumers, should be bright, energetic and youthful."  


We will be officially charting this sale when our next bi-weekly domain sales report comes out Wednesday evening, July 6. Unless a bigger seven-figure sale comes to light before then, Chill.com will move into #3 spot on our Year-to-Date Top 100 Sales Chart that tracks publicly reported domain sales. As of now, only IT.com at $3.8 million (also completed with a final payment this month) and Galaxy.com at $1.8 million have been bigger. This is the sixth sale of more than $1 million reported so far in 2022. 


A special thank you to George Kirikos who was the first to sound the alert on this deal being finalized. If you aren't already following George on Twitter, you should be! 

(Posted June 27, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


Donuts Fills Branding Holes with a More Relevant New Name - Identity Digital

Donuts Inc., the administrator of the world's largest portfolio of top level domain names with more than 300 TLDs, has given itself a new name - Identity Digital (and a new web address at Identity.digital). The new brand has been applied to both Donuts and Afilias, the well-known TLD operator and service provider that Donuts acquired in 2020. 

When Donuts was founded in 2010 to operate its own new TLDs, the name was a clever way to stand out in the huge crowd that gathered around the opportunity to run one or more of what wound up being over 1,000 new domain extensions. Now that more than a decade has passed and new TLDs have become more familiar to web users, the time was right to pull all of the 

Has a New Name

elements of the business together under a single new brand that would clearly articulate what the company does. In their words, that is "helping customers find, grow and protect their authentic digital identities."


A press release announcing the move today noted, "A new corporate name, logo, visual identity, voice/tone and website (identity.digital) are all critical elements in bringing the rebrand to life.

This rebrand coincides with helping customers understand that they no longer have to compromise when they get their domain name. As the heart of their digital identity, they can use both sides of the dot to express what their company is and why it matters. United under one brand, Identity Digital cements its status as a leader in connecting the online world with domain names and related technologies that allow people to build, market, and own their authentic digital identities."

Identity Digital CEO Akram J. Atallah said, "This brand refresh is an exciting moment for our company and stakeholders. Identity Digital reflects a stronger platform for expressing the core values we have had all along – to provide a secure, authentic digital identity. The new name lets us more precisely define to customers who we are and what we can do for them. The internet is expanding, and businesses must have a digital presence to survive and be successful, so the timing was critical.” 

Akram J. Atallah
CEO, Identity Digital

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


The 2022 Web Marketing Festival in Italy Last Week Reminded Us What We've Been Missing

As the domain industry gears up  for its first major in-person conference in over two-and-half years (NamesCon Global in Austin later this summer), it has been good to see that several other large Internet related conferences have been able to stage well-attended events around the world. While we  haven't eradicated Covid 19 completely, it looks like we've finally made enough progress to allow people to safely get back together for the kind face to face meetings that are so important for building relationships and growing businesses in every field. 

The latest example of that was the 2022 Web Marketing Festival that ended Saturday (June 18) at Rimini Fiere in Italy. Thousands of attendees and over 250 exhibitors from around the world turned out for the annual event that serves as an accelerator of culture, training and innovation for the online marketing industry. The three-day festival featured over 100 events devoted to training, B2B meetings, networking, culture, concerts, shows and entertainment. 

Natalija Japerte, Intis Telecom Business Development 
Director (at right), with a fellow attendee ready to head into the 2022 Web Marketing Festival at Italy's Rimini Fiere center last week.

A new registrar, IT.com, was one of the domain companies that had a big presence at the Web Marketing Festival. In the photo below, IT.com's Social Media Manager, Tatyana Tarassenko (left), was on hand to greet attendees at the company's booth. It made a lot of sense for IT.com to exhibit in Italy. The country's ccTLD is .it, so being able to register 3rd level domains at IT.com (like Rome.it.com or Vino.it.com) could resonate with Italians who also recognize .com's status as the world's most popular gTLD.

Below: The vast exhibition space at the Rimini Fiere included a number of spots where attendees could take a break, catch up with messages and chat with friends.

Above & below: IT.com Business Manager Rolandas Japertas (at right) stayed busy making new acquaintances from the steady flow of attendees at the IT.com booth throughout the Festival.

Below: Meanwhile, Tatyana (right) continued to work the room, making sure no one went home without an IT.com business car and ink pen....and you thought Social Media Managers only worked online! 

We don't know who ended up with the bottle of champagne at the IT.com table above, but those who missed out still had no problem getting a celebratory drink at this evening party sponsored by IT.com (below). 

After seeing photos from the Web Marketing Festival (courtesy of Igor Furdyk at Linkoeln.com) we are even more excited to know that our turn is coming on this side of the pond when NamesCon Global runs August 31 through Sept. 3 in Texas's capital city. Hope to see you to Austin!

(Posted June 20, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


Joe Uddeme at NameExperts.com Brokers $570,000 Sale of IW.com + $3.8M IT.com Deal Closes Early

Our next bi-weekly domain sales report Wednesday evening (June 22) will be highlighted by the completion of the first publicly reported 2-letter .com sales of 2022. We just got word this afternoon from NameExperts.com Principal Joe Uddeme that he had brokered a $570,000 deal of IW.com. Joe represented the seller. A post about the sale on Twitter made by the CEO Founder and CEO of 62.com, Xiaosheng Liu, indicates his company represented the Chinese buyer of the rare two-letter domain. For Uddeme, this will be his second Top 20 sale of the year to date, joining his April sale of Bobber.com at $250,000 (Joe also had the biggest non .com sale of the year in 2021 when he helped close a $750,000 deal for Poker.net).

We also have an important update on that $3.8 million transaction involving IT.com that we told you about last November. The buyers made a $1.5 million down payment at that time and agreed the pay the remaining balance over a 36-month period. Broker Igor Furdyk at Linkoeln.com (who represents the new owners of IT.com) let me know this week that the company decided to pay off the balance early and has now taken possession of the domain to conclude the blockbuster transaction. 

Image from Bigstock


The new owners had already been putting IT.com to good use as the foundation for a widely publicized domain registration service that offers third level domain names ending with .it.com - making names like buy.it.com, sell.it.com, etc possible. They have also been buying up the IT letters in every possible TLD and just added IT.cm to that list after acquiring the domain for $38,500.

With the IT.com sale now concluded, the domain can be charted for the first time and will almost certainly be the #1 sale on both our bi-weekly Top 20 Sales Chart and our 2022 Year-to-Date Top 100 Chart when those are updated with the release of the next sales column Wednesday evening.

(Posted June 17, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


Break the Code 2 Gives .Tech and Radix's Marketing Team Another Win and Other Marketers an Example to Follow 

I've often written about the innovative marketing campaigns Radix has come up with to successfully promote their various new gTLDS (Radix administers .tech, .online, .store, .site, .website, .host, .space, .fun and .press). For each of their end-user targeted campaigns they have created a novel approach that has caught people's attention.

One of Radix's biggest hits was a Break the Code campaign in 2020, tailored for the tech community,  that attracted over 100,000 developers who competed for thousands of dollars in prize money by solving puzzles, ciphers and trivia challenges. The campaign was so popular there had to be an encore and there was - the now completed Break the Code 2 competition, that racked up even more eye popping numbers. Over 110,000 competitors signed up, generating more than 1.3 million visits to BreakTheCode.tech in just three weeks. Overall, the campaign generated 8 million+ impressions digitally.




When it comes to attracting eyeballs to new TLDs, Radix is clearly doing something right, so we wanted to get more insight into how their process works, thinking there have to be some tips in there that would help all of us who are trying to market our domains and websites. To get that information we connected with Suman Das, Senior Director of Brand Operations at Radix. Suman clued us in on the tactics and thought process behind Radix’s marketing of its top-level domains in general, as well as Break The Code 2 in particular. 

Suman Das
Radix Sr. Director of Brand Operations

"At Radix, each TLD is still treated as an individual brand with its respective managers," Das noted. "We operate in this way because each TLD caters to a very specific target group. So while .Tech Domains focuses on engaging with the tech community through innovative campaigns such as Break The Code; .Store Domains focuses more on campaigns such as #IdeaToStore to enable aspiring store owners to take the first step. Recently, we concluded #FempowerOnline, a campaign for .Online Domains to bring forth women-centric online business ideas by aspiring women entrepreneurs. These are just some of the many examples of how we at Radix are able to create high-impact end-customer campaigns because of our dedicated focus to each TLD."

Regarding the internal process of creating a campaign like Break the Code and BTC 2, Das said, "Every campaign at Radix is born from the same principle: customer-centricity. Therefore, we start with intensive research about the customer, changing market trends, 

engagement patterns, customer channel affinity, their preferences, etc. The more we understand our customers, the higher the impact we can create."

"Talking specifically about Break The Code 2, the most important insight we were working with was that the tech community has a high ad filter and doesn’t appreciate intrusive advertising," Das noted. " This inspired us to create a campaign in the form of a high-engagement game. We put in months of additional research and planning to make it more air-tight. Once we had the basic structure and theme in place, we spoke to industry heavyweights such as GitHub, Namecheap, Digital Ocean, MLH, Dev.to, and Hackernoon. They immediately loved the concept and came on board as partners. From thereon, we worked towards the actual creation of the game along with planning a comprehensive marketing campaign to promote the game."

Das added, "The game's theme was inspired by Windows-98, with a moral conflict ingrained within. We planned for a bunch of easter eggs and cheat codes to be peppered throughout the game. As a final joke and to end the game on a high note, we got Steve Wozniak, Co-founder, Apple Computer Inc, to drop a video where he was revealed to be behind the conflict. It took the community by surprise and left them in awe!," Suman declared with justifiable pride.

Still, some might wonder, why the Win 98 theme? Das explained, "The nostalgia associated with Windows 98 and the 90’s PC gaming experience immediately struck a chord with our target audience. The challenging nature of the puzzles appealed to even the most hard-to-please techies. What

began as a “digital touchpoint” for .Tech Domains quickly morphed into an experience that brought the tech community together and organically transcended to Reddit, Discord, and Twitter."

Das said, "What’s more, the tech community loved the game so much that we had fan-made browser extensions and NFTs about the game."

We asked Suman what elements the Radix decision-makers look for that they consider necessary for a campaign like Break The Code to be successful.  He said, "For us, the key ingredients for any campaign to be successful are value generation for the end customer, virality, engagement, and earned media potential. We also look at the ROI for which we rely on internal financial models and metrics."

As to what metrics Radix looks for that increase chances for success in marketing campaigns such as these, Das said, "Our success metrics mainly include sign-ups and website visits. Social proof and post-campaign feedback are also closely tracked."

Last, but not least, on the heels of their success with the second edition of Break the Code, we had to wonder what's next for .Tech? Suman replied, "Our purpose has always been to help anyone looking to create a positive impact using tech, and our marketing efforts aim to reflect that. In the future, we will continue to drive engagement, build a sense of community, and be a vehicle for those that want to better the world through tech. Keeping that in mind, our team is working on some exciting initiatives at this point, and we will be launching them soon."

(Posted June 14, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


NamesCon Global Accepting Domain and NFT Submissions for Live Digital Asset Auction September 1, 2022

When the NamesCon Global conference returns this summer with an in person format for the first time in over two and half years, a major highlight will be the long awaited return of the show's premium domain auction in front of a live audience. The big event will be held on Thursday, September 1, 2022 starting at 3PM (CDT) at the Omni Hotel in Austin, Texas. The conference itself will begin there on August 31 and continue through Sept 3

A lot of things have changed since the last auction event of this kind (also held at the Omni in Austin, on January 30, 2020). One of the biggest changes has been the emergence of NFT collectibles. NamesCon is recognizing that development by expanding their traditional domain sale into a Digital Asset Auction that will feature select NFTs (appraised at $5,000 and up) alongside about 150 premium domain names

Auctioneer Wayne Wheat (left) and RightOfTheDot 
President Monte Cahn
conducting the NamesCon Global 
Live Domain Auction
in Austin, Texas January 30, 2020.

Above: Part of the crowd at the 2020 NamesCon Global live domain auction.

Below: World Champion auctioneer Wayne Wheat directing the fast-paced 2020 auction.

One thing that won't change this year that RightOfTheDot.com will again conduct the big event with ROTD President Monte Cahn at the helm and World Champion auctioneer Wayne Wheat calling the action. ROTD has now opened submissions for the auction so, if you have top tier assets you would like to have considered for the sale, now is the time to send them in. Keep in mind, quality is going to be the over-riding factor in what gets selected for the auction catalog. ROTD provided this submission criteria:

  • 1 to 4 number (such as 123·com)

  • 1 to 4 letter (such as abc·com)

  • 1 word (with meaning)

  • Keyword and high-traffic English terms/words

  • .com, .net, .org (the auction will focus on .com premium names, but other TLD extensions will be considered)

  • Standard renewal-priced domains (no premium or tiered renewal fees over $100 per year)

The submission deadline is August 12, 2022.

You will find all of the details about the auction and submission process here.

We are looking forward to seeing you in Austin this summer (registration is open now) and if you can't be there this is the place to come for wall to wall coverage of the show!

(Posted June 9, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


2½ Year Wait for Return of NamesCon Global Finally Coming to End - Less Than 90 Days To Go

When we all headed home from the last NamesCon Global conference after it concluded on February 1, 2020, none of us had any idea it would be over two and a half years before we would have a chance to do it again! The big show was one of the countless casualties of the global Covid 19 pandemic but, thankfully, organizers were able to keep the flame alive with a series of well-produced NamesCon Online events. Still, like Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell used to sing, "ain't nothing like the real thing, baby!"


That's why the excitement is starting to build for NamesCon Global's long-awaited return to real life less than 90 days from now. It will be happening August 31 through September 3 at the Omni Hotel in Austin, Texas, the same place where we left off in 2020! While we first told you about the show coming back in February, a lot has happened since then including posting of the agenda and the naming of some of the key speakers (all of which you will find on the the NamesCon website). If you visit now you will also find discounted early bird tickets (offer good until June 17) with an additional 20% off applied for DNJournal readers using the link above. While you are at it, it would also be a good idea to book your hotel room at the Omni while you can still get the NamesCon conference's special rate ($229 a night + taxes). 

Now that we are entering the final countdown and new conference details will be getting colored in continually from now to show time, we'll be bringing you regular updates on NamesCon Global as they come in. Of course, we are also planning to be at the conference to cover it all and to finally see all of you who can attend in person again - it is long overdue and we are really looking forward to that!

(Posted June 1, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


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