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The Lowdown
Sept. 2022 Archive

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Ron Jackson


After Selling $519 Million Worth of Domains in a 1-Year Span Escrow.com Sees Them as the REAL Land of the Metaverse 

Figures from Escrow.com's newly released  Q2-2022 Domain Investment Index revealed the company rang up $256 million in domain name sales volume in the first half of 2022 and a total of $519 million over the 12-month period ending June 30. The latter figure represents an 85% surge in sales volume over the past two years. 

Escrow.com Domain Name Sales (USD), trailing twelve months

Having handled transactions for premium domain names Meta.com, Uber.com, Instagram.com, Twitter.com, Crypto.com and many others, Escrow.com staked a claim to be "the the place where the land of the metaverse is bought and sold" in a detailed press release issued today.  Escrow.com CEO Matt Barrie noted, "Virtual real estate isn't a plot of land in the metaverse next to Snoop Dogg or an NFT on the blockchain, it's domain names. When Facebook rebranded to Meta, it didn’t buy virtual land in a game. Facebook bought the best possible address in the best street on the internet: meta.com." 

The Escrow.com release highlighted the diverging fortunes of the domain name aftermarket vs. NFTs with a link to an article at CoinTelegraph.com titled Metaverse housing bubble bursting? Virtual land prices crash 85% amid waning interest. Escrow.com added supporting evidence for the domain name case with these points:

  • Over the last two years, the average price of premium domain names has boomed. The average sale price in 2Q22 was US$49,910.65, up 28% from US$38,939.57 in 2Q21, and up a whopping 199% from US$16,694.49 in 2Q20.

  • The gains have not all been at the high end, with the median sale price for domain names up 23% to $5,000 from $4,064 in 2Q21, and doubling in 2Q22 from $2,500 in 2Q20.

  • Some niche segments outperformed: four-letter domains (LLLL.com) appreciated to a median of $10,000, up 59% from $6,300 in 2Q21 and $3,500 (up 186%) in 2Q20.

Andrew Rosener, CEO of MediaOptions.com,  added “Domain names are the bedrock foundation on which the entire internet is built upon, including Web3 and NFTs. Value accrues from the top down. So as more adoption occurs and more technologies and utility is created on top of the internet and its digital pipe lines, the more value accrues to the land beneath; namely domain names.” 

Rosener, who has won Escrow.com's Master of Domains Award for the last three years in a row (presented to the world's highest sales volume broker on the Escrow.com platform), can also back up his view with a long record of blockbuster sales, including NFT.com at $2.1 million and Zoom.com at $2 million.

Andrew Rosener

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


Verisign Reports Worldwide Domain Registrations Reached 351.5 Million at the End of 2Q-2022

Verisign (the administrator of the .com and .net TLDs) has released their latest quarterly Domain Name Industry Brief (DNIB) covering the second quarter of 2022. The quarter ended with 351.5 million domain name registrations across all top-level domains (TLDs) worldwide, a gain of 10.4 million domains from the same point a year ago, representing a 3% increase year over year. Total registrations were up by one million from the end 1Q-2022 (a 0.3% rise that represents a  considerably slower rate of growth than we saw for the past year as a whole).

At the end of 2Q-2022, .com registrations reached 161.1 million, 3.1 million higher than at the same point a year ago, representing 

a 2.6% jump YOY. .Net did not fare as well, losing 400,000 domains over the past year to finish 2Q-2022 with 13.2 million registrations.

Total country-code TLD domain name registrations came in at 134.1 million at the end of the 2Q-2022, a gain of 2.6 million domains (2%) year over year. The top 10 ccTLDs, as of June 30, 2022, were .cn, .de, .uk, .nl, .ru, .br, .fr, .eu, .au and .it.

Total new gTLD domain name registrations stood at 27.0 million at the end of the 2Q-2022 after enjoying a healthy 18.1% jump year over year with the addition of 4.1 million registrations.

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


GoDaddy Beefs Up Newly Acquired Dan.com With Addition of Domain Brokerage Services 

After acquiring innovative domain sales platform Dan.com in June GoDaddy is moving quickly, in tandem with the existing Dan team, to make the already popular aftermarket option even more appealing. An email sent to Dan customers today broke the latest news, stating "We’re excited to share progress on this combined effort with the launch of Dan Brokerage, in partnership with the world’s leading domain broker, GoDaddy." 

The message, above a "Dan Brokerage Team" signature, promised the new service will give Dan customers access to more than 100 experienced brokers stationed around the world with close to 24/7 coverage that will provide faster response time to both sellers and their prospective buyers.

The message, sent from [email protected], concluded "At Dan, we’re driven by the idea of putting customers first. We’re confident this new brokerage capability where you can relay any negotiation with a value of at least $1,000 to our brokerage team, will benefit our sellers. To discover what this team can do for your portfolio, simply respond to this email."       

(Posted September 19, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


Radix is Celebrating Their 10th Anniversary With "We Are X" Campaign Launched at NamesCon Global 

Just about everywhere you turned at the 2022 NamesCon Global conference that ended September 3rd in Austin, Texas you saw a sign emblazoned "We Are X"!  It was all part of a new 10th Anniversary celebration for Radix who has established themselves as one of the world's most successful and innovative new gTLD registry operators. Radix now has over 5.5 million domains under management across their 10 TLDs - .Online, .Store, .Tech, .Website, .Space, .Press, .Site, .Host, .Fun and .Uno. In 2019, Radix became the first portfolio Registry to have more than one TLD with over 1 million domains under management - .Online and .Site.   

Of course, registration numbers tell only part of the story. The figure that really makes the Radix story jump off the page is the phenomenal 216% growth in revenue they have experienced over the past five years. The company credits their success to a focus on reinventing the marketing of domains by treating each Radix TLD as an individual brand. That required coming up with new ideas that addressed actual 

customer pain points, resulting in campaigns like Ideato.store and Startin.tech, which connected deeply with their audience. Their platform, Namify.tech, also opens opportunities for Radix to bridge the gaps in the customer journey from ideation to execution. Radix has confirmed other projects in the pipeline that they are confident will keep the company's blazing growth going over the next decade and beyond.

After working so hard to achieve their vision over the past 10 years, Radix certainly earned their right to celebrate and they did it in style during NamesCon Global with a big anniversary party at the popular Roosevelt Room in Austin on the opening night of the conference on August 31

Above: Radix leaders ready to welcome guests to the Roosevelt Room. Left to right are Karn Jajoo (Director, Premium Names), CEO Sandeep Ramchandani, Neha Naik (VP, Channel Partnerships), Joel Rasquinha (Associate Director, Strategic Partnerships) and Mark Ghoriafi (Senior Manager, Strategic Partnerships). All photos are courtesy of Radix.

Heading into the evening Sandeep noted, “Even when we started as a team of 10 with a big vision, success to us had always been about creating more value for our customers and partners than we ask of them. As we look forward to the next decade, we hope to continue contributing towards helping our customers succeed while they work towards realizing their dreams.”   

Below: In selecting the Roosevelt Room for their celebration, Radix booked an Austin institution that features what may well be the most well stocked bar in Texas's capital city!

Above: It seemed like everyone in Austin for NamesCon Global was overjoyed to be able to see each other in person again (after a two-and-a-half year wait caused by the global Covid pandemic). That was certainly the case at the Radix 10th Anniversary Party. In the center of this photo you see Sandeep greeting NamesCon Co-Founder Richard Lau with a big hug.

Below: In this shot, Neha is happy to have a chance to catch up again with Richard's fellow NamesCon Co-Founder, Jothan Frakes.

Above: Leaders from many of the industry's other well-known firms were on hand to celebrate with Radix. Encirca President Thomas Barrett (at right) was among those congratulating Sandeep and his team.

Below: Radix also had a camera crew on hand, led by Mark Ghoriafi, so they could document the big event for posterity. Here Mark is interviewing WordPress Senior Manager Jason Nickerson.

Above: Dynadot Founder Todd Han (left) was there too and having a great time catching up with Kellie Peterson. Todd knows full well what it takes to stay on top for the long run as Dynadot is celebrating their 20th anniversary this year. 

Below: More familiar faces in the crowd, (left to right) Prakhar Bindal (NameKart.com), Mark Ghoriafi, Aishwin Vikhona (Gloabl Websoft), Candice Castro (Dynadot) and Shaun Wilkinson (Bodis) turned out to toast Radix.

Radix was founded by domain industry giant and serial entrepreneur Bhavin Turakhia. His previous ventures in the domain industry include ResellerClub and BigRock, both ICANN accredited registrars, and LogicBoxes, a web products and consulting company. These companies were acquired by Endurance International Group, now Newfold Digital, in 2013. Bhavin went on to launch Titan, Flock, and Zeta, all of which he continues to run successfully as CEO.  With this history of an unwavering commitment to excellence, it is not surprising that Radix had upheld the "family tradition" so well. We wish many more decades of success in the years ahead!

(Posted September 13, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


Some Photos and Thoughts From NamesCon Global's Show Closing Fun Day Saturday in Austin

The NamesCon Global 2022 conference completed it's four-day run Saturday (Sept. 3)  with a big Fun Day at Banger's Sausage House and Beer Garden in Austin, Texas (you will find find some initial photos and highlights from the three business days (Wednesday through Friday) here.

We are back home in Florida now and while most Americans are celebrating the Labor Day holiday today I am starting work on a new Cover Story that will be a start to finish wrap up of an unforgettable week in Austin (update: that story is up now). After getting to see  each other face to face for the

first time is over two-and-a-half-years (due to the Covid pandemic), the joyous mood at this year's show made it feel like we have finally gotten an irreplaceable part of our lives back.

Above: The Fun Day was a great way to wrap up the week. No business - just hanging out, having a good time with old friends and making new ones. The latter is an easy thing to do in this business because everyone is welcome and we all feel a special kinship with those who share our love for domains (and understand how difficult it can be to explain that passion to people who are not in this business). 

Above and Below: Banger's, an Austin institution, was the perfect place to celebrate domain world camaraderie with their tasty homemade sausages and vast array of craft beers.


Above: One of the most popular gathering spots at Banger's was in front of the rows of taps that deliver 132 different varieties of beer, hard cider and other specialty beverages!

Below: No matter what time of day you dropped by (Fun Day ran from 10am to 5pm Saturday) you were sure to see both new faces and familiar ones in the crowd. We were happy to meet April Hawthorne (at left) for the first time and grateful for a chance to see Maxam and Abigail Magnata (center and right) again for the first time in years. The thing about long time friends in our field is that, no matter how much time has past, you can just pick right back up where you left off  as if no time had passed at all. 

Above: In this group you see a guy who stands out in any crowd, Braden Pollock (at center in the NamesCon shirt). The personable and witty Californian (I had to admonish him for being funnier than me) is one of the industry's most familiar faces after years of success as a domain investor and countless appearances on conference stages as a popular speaker and skilled moderator. In the latter role there was never a dull moment in Braden's sessions at NamesCon Global 2022 - and I can say they same thing for every conversation I've had with him over the years.

Below: Speaking of successful investors and fun people to see, it was good to connect again with Texas's own Francine Callahan (left), top notch broker Jeff Garbutt from PrimeLoyalty.com (center) and, of course, spend another day with my wife, Diana Jackson (right - well, she is always right, so what did you expect!), who has spent the past 20 years enjoying the journey with fellow domain travelers every bit as much as I have.

Above: (L to R) Aishwin Vikhona, Monte Cahn (RightOfTheDot.com), Ron Jackson (DNJournal.com) and NamesCon CEO Christian Jaeger

I continue to be amazed how our business - one that spans the entire globe and sits at the very center of the Internet infrastructure that allows anyone to instantly communicate with others worldwide - has managed to retain the feeling of a small family business. People come to NamesCom from all over the planet and quickly become personal friends,  regardless of what culture or unique background they come from. Aishwin is an industry veteran from India, Monte (who has been in the business since the late 1990s) and I are Americans (both based in Florida) and Christian, who became NamesCon's CEO last year, is from Germany. NamesCon attendees also included people from Canada, Australia, multiple countries in Europe, South America, the Far East and more. It's a diverse crowd, some cosmopolitan, some country, but all intellectually curious about the world we live in, creative and just a joy to be around. 

Thanks to Christian, Soeren von Varchmin, Helga Neumer and the entire NamesCon team for a great week and a triumphant return to in-person conferencing! Can't wait to see you again when NamesCon returns to Austin in 2023 (dates to be announced)!

(Posted September 5, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


Some Highlights From NamesCon Global 2022 As We Head Into the Home Stretch 

Before I even left for NamesCon Global 2022 in Austin my plan (as I wrote in my last Lowdown post) was to change the way I normally cover the conference. After a two and half year dearth of domain conferences due to the Covid pandemic, my top priority was to spend as much time as possible on the show floor re-connecting with friends and colleagues. In the past I would spend 4 or 5 hours of each 24 hour cycle in my room editing photos and writing a long daily recap as the show went along. This time I spent those hours catching up with as many people as I possibly could. 

It was the right decision. The pandemic delivered an important life lesson - never take the time you have with people you care about lightly. The opportunity could disappear forever overnight.  Being able to see everyone in person again has already made this the most appreciated conference I've ever attended. The first three days have been a pure delight on every level and we still have one more to go today - a Fun Day that will close the show. 

On this beautiful Saturday morning in Austin I finally had enough time to sift through the hundreds of photos I've taken and pull out a few highlights to share with you. Once we get home the real work will begin on a new Cover Story that will cover the complete conference from start to finish (expect to see that by Tuesday evening, Sept. 6).

Above: There was a full house when the 2022 NamesCon Global conference opened Wednesday morning (August 31) at the Omni Hotel in downtown Austin, Texas.

Below: When Soeren von Varchmin, the Chairman of the NamesCon Advisory Board, hit the stage at 10am to open the show, the level of excitement (clearly reflected in Soeren's face) was off the chart. A wait over more than two and a half years to see each other face to face was finally over!

Above: After Soeren had called me (at left) onstage to talk about what has been happening in the domain world since we last met, I was surprised to see NamesCon CEO Christian Jaeger walk in with a birthday cake. I had spent my birthday Tuesday flying to Austin, seeing other early arrivers in the hotel lobby and attending Sedo's pre-show party (there could not have been a better way to spend a birthday)! This thoughtful gesture from Christian, Soeren and Helga Neumer (Head of NamesCon Operations) is something I will always treasure. We also celebrated landmark dates for two of the industry's leading companies - NamesCon coincided with the 25th Anniversary of Trellian (whose Above.com unit was NamesCon's title sponsor) as well as the the 10th Anniversary of Radix.

Below: Now it was time to get down to business! Paul Nicks, the President of GoDaddy's Domain Registrars and Investors division, delivered the first keynote - titled Igniting Investor Success. Paul has always been an advocate for domain investors as he has risen through the ranks at GoDaddy. We would not be getting the attention and continually expanding investor-oriented services from GoDaddy we have seen in recent years were it not for Paul.

Above: I was back on stage for two other sessions in the Bodis Keynote Hall on opening day Wednesday. The first was a morning Fireside Chat with Artist Christian Calvin (that we will dig into in the upcoming Cover Story on NamesCon Global 2022) and the second in the afternoon (seen here), Insights Into the Domain Industry's Evolution, with Trellian President and Co-Founder David Warmuz (right). As I mentioned above, Trellian is celebrating this 25th Anniversary and David has been there to see and help build this industry from its beginning. He had some great stories to share, including a fascinating account of his 22-year-long efforts to acquire the domain Trillion.com. The original plan was to use Trillion as the company name. David did finally get it but by that point Trellian was the established brand. Still, check out Trillion.com to see how many well-known brands the company owns and operates now. I think you will be surprised!

Below: In another highly anticipated session that drew a wall to wall crowd, two of the best negotiators in the business, Kate Buckley (Buckley Media) and the Domain King himself, Rick Schwartz, shared their views on the The Art of Negotiating. Kate and Rick have very different negotiating styles, yet they both consistently ring up huge sales. Insight into the way they go about it made this session alone worth the cost to attend NamesCon. 

Above: Throughout the opening days of the conference, the Exhibit Hall area was a bee hive of activity. It was conveniently located on level 1 of the Omni's beautiful atrium. There was a steady flow of attendees up and down the staircase at right that leads to the Bodis Keynote Hall, the TITAN Breakout Stage and other meeting rooms.

Below: Of course, one thing attendees especially love about the Exhibition Hall is the chance to pick up some cool swag! Here a visitor checks out the .HipHop booth where a huge pile of T-Shirts was steadily whittled down as the show progressed (as a former radio DJ and owner of several record stores in a previous business life, I had to pick up one of those myself)!

Above: At the end of the first business day it was time for the Above.com Opening Night Reception at the Omni. NamesCon Global attendees came from all over the world. Those as the Above party included industry veteran (L to R) Aishwin Vikhona and Prakhar Bindal (both from India) and Truc Tran (from Norway).

Below: Unfortunately, there was one tragic event at the Above.com party - the premature death of an 18-year-old bottle of Macallan Scotch! This particular star-crossed bottle was won by Marc Mojica from Sniamod LLC (at left below with Above.com Executive Vice President Nancy Bianchi) as part of a day-long Above.com Scavenger Hunt contest. Right after Marc won the bottle, another attendee picked it up and accidentally dropped the bottle, shattering it and sending the sweet smell of Scotch through the room - at least one attendee even dipped a napkin into the pool of liquid to sniff it! Macallan 18 typically retails for $400-$500 but to show how guests at NamesCon this year would not let anything dampen their spirits, Marc was still smiling when he told us about the mishap. As he noted, he now has a great story to tell even if it leaves a big hole in his liquor cabinet! (One way or another, odds are that problem will be fixed too).

Above: Evening social events are always a big part of the NamesCon experience, typically with multiple events, private and public, every evening. We were honored to join some longtime friends of industry legend Frank Schilling (at left above with dinner host Dr. Gregg McNair (center) and Frank's closest friend, Vern Jurovich) at Eberly in Austin Wednesday night to celebrate Frank's success and thank him for the inspiration and encouragement he has provided so many of us along the way. After the private dinner, a party open to all NamesCon attendees got underway at Eberly and ran well into the night.

Below: The second day of business Thursday, September 1, got off to s great start with iconic broker Andrew Miller (Managing Director at Hilco Digital Assets) sharing The Secret to Premium Domain Deals. Andrew has been in the middle of many of the biggest domain sales of all time. You don't hear the specifics about most of the them because sales at this level almost always come with non-disclosure agreements, but industry veterans are well aware of what Andrew has accomplished over the past two decades. In this session he shared how sales at this level get done and this was another one of those sessions where you needed to get there early or you weren't going to find an open seat!

Above: Another day two highlight Thursday was the RightOfTheDot NamesCon Global Live Domain and Digital Assets auction. As always, the sale was orchestrated b World Champion Auctioneer Wayne Wheat (left on stage) and ROTD President Monte Cahn. At this writing we don't have all of the auction results in (and the offline auction is still going on) but we should have more on that in our upcoming Cover Story).

Below: After another full day of business, another round of social events followed Thursday, including the annual Internet Commerce Association Dinner, held at Parkside, just a couple of blocks from the Omni. A highlight of the dinner is always the presentation of the annual Lonnie Borck Memorial Award and that was again the case this year. The award, recognizing a person who has done outstanding work in  helping foster a sense of community within the domain name industry went to Andrew Allemann of Domain Name Wire. ICA Executive Director Kamila Sekiewicz presented Andrew with the well-deserved award.

There was another full round of business sessions Friday, including some big news from Soeren von Varchmin in his daily kickoff session. He confirmed that NamesCon Global will return to Austin in 2023. The dates are still to be determined but Soeren said they would fall in either the spring or fall seasons.

Now, it is time for me to run again - it's off to Banger's Sausage House and Beer Garden for the closing Fun Day at NamesCon Global 2022. I'll likely have some photos from that for you by Sunday night - and again - today's column was just a sampling to give you some of the flavor of the show - the big wrap is still to come early next week!

(Posted September 3, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


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