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The Lowdown
January 2023 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.


Andrew Allemann Sells Thriving PodcastGuests.com Platform He Founded in 2016 to Brian Scully

Shortly after my post yesterday about joining Andrew Allemann for the latest episode of his Domain Name Wire podcast, I learned that Andrew had sold another one of his successful enterprises - PodcastGuests.com - at an undisclosed price. The official press release that came out today noted that Andrew launched the site in 2016 with one goal in mind effortlessly connecting podcasters with experts, authors, and other guests to be featured on their shows. Since then Andrew has used his streamlined email and directory membership business model to grow the business into a platform that has been able to connect over 40,000 users

Andrew Allemann

Andrew, who is best known in the domain world as the publisher of the Domain Name Wire news site, said "I created PodcastGuests.com to solve a problem I had, finding new and exciting guests to feature on my own podcast. I knew the time was right to find someone to take the platform to the next level. FE International found a buyer it had previously worked with, making the process super simple." Regarding the domain name, Andrew added, "I searched for the perfect domain name for the site and landed on PodcastGuests.com, which I bought at Sedo. The good domain name was instrumental in getting the business off the ground quickly."

The buyer, serial entrepreneur Brian Scully, said "I am excited to expand and innovate on the great platform and community that Andrew founded. The power of podcasts to bring people and conversations together in long-form media,  accessible to anyone, has become one of the 

best use cases of the internet. Andrew was the first to create a podcast-guest matching service and I intend to preserve the spirit of the platform while finding ways to take it to the next level."

(Posted January 31, 2023) 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/2023/dailyposts/0131.htm

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Andrew Allemann and Ron Jackson Review 2022's Biggest Domain Sales in Latest DNW Podcast 

Shortly before we both headed out for the 2023 ICA Annual Meeting in Las Vegas last week, Domain Name Wire's Andrew Allemann and I got together to review 2022's biggest domain sales for the latest edition (episode #422!) of Andrew's popular DNW Podcast. We took a deeper look into the year's 10 biggest sales (all of which reach seven figures) to see who purchased them and how they are each being used now. We also talked about the latest trends in the overall aftermarket. 

In case you missed it, Andrew was one of the 21 experts who shared their views on what happened in 2022 and their forecast for 2023 in our 2023 State of the Industry Cover Story. That story and the new podcast provide some solid insight into 2022 aftermarket activity and where we are headed now.

 

Domain Name Wire Publisher Andrew Allemann (at right) chatting with DigiArt 
Co-Founder Fred Hsu at the 2023 ICA Annual Meeting in Las Vegas January 22, 2023.
 

(Posted January 30, 2023) 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/2023/dailyposts/0130.htm

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Photos & Highlights from the Final Two Days of the 2023 ICA Annual Meeting in Las Vegas 

The Internet Commerce Association's 2023 Annual Meeting concluded Tuesday (January 24)  at the Las Vegas Hilton in Resorts World. After an opening day devoted to social events Sunday, day 2 Monday featured a full day of informative business sessions followed by an evening party at the colorful Bar Zasu. The meeting closed with a Tuesday morning talk from one of the industry's top attorneys, John Berryhill.

Above: ICA General Counsel Zak Muscovitch kicked off day 2 with a Monday morning
Policy Briefing at the 2023 ICA Annual Meeting at the Las Vegas Hilton that updated members on what the ICA has accomplished and issues they are currently addressing.

Above: After Zak's policy briefing he joined other members of the ICA leadership team for a Town Hall meeting that gave members a chance to get answers to any questions they had about ICA operations and future initiatives.  

Below: During the Town Hall, one of the industry's leading attorneys, John Berryhill was among those providing valuable advice on how the ICA can best fulfill the non-profit organization's mission to protect domain registrant's rights. Bill Sweetman (standing) moderated the popular session.

Above & below: In Monday's main event GoDaddy President for Domains Paul Nicks filled the room with members eager to take him up on his offer to Ask Me Anything!  One of the most talked about moves in the new year has been GoDaddy's announcement of a new commission structure that raises rates in some cases but lowers them in others.  Effective February 1, The rate on their Dan.com platform goes up from 9% to 15% but the rate at Afternic, GoDaddy Auctions and Uniregistry Market goes down from 20% from 15% if you use the landers of one of those platforms. Otherwise the rate goes up from 20% to 25% - so the impact could be positive or negative depending on the path you choose. Nicks explained the reasons for the move toward uniformity between all four platforms and also answered a wide variety of questions about the many services the industry giant offers domain investors.

Above: The Monday afternoon sessions continued with a timely panel discussion about UDRP Reform Proposals that featured (left to right) ICA General Counsel Zak Muscovitch and ICA Board Members Nat Cohen and Jay Chapman.

Below: The Monday business day concluded with a broad range of Guru Discussions in an expert roundtable format. 16 different topic tables were made available so members could sit in on as many as they wanted to over the course of the hour.  The ccTLD Investing table below, headed by Josh Reason, was one of the many that quickly filled up.

Above: At this table, Brokers Tessa Holcomb (DomainAdvisors) and Negar Hajikhani (Sedo) - 2nd and 3rd from left - offered useful advice on how to Make The Most of Your Relationship with a Domain Broker.

Above: With the Monday business day done attendees started moving over to Bar Zasu, located in the same Resorts World complex at the host hotel, the Las Vegas Hilton. It quickly filled up as guests enjoyed food and drink provided by Dr. Gregg McNair's PTL.

Below: You always know it will be a good night when you see these three domain investor OGs in the house - (left to right) Ammar Kubba, Chad Folkening and Michael Castello.

At right: Everyone had a great time at the party though there was one hiccup. We understand that some ladies don't like to arrive at an event only to see someone else wearing the same dress. Well, this wasn't an exact match case, but pretty darn close given Diana Jackson's leopard print tights and party host Gregg McNair's leopard print collar and cuffs! Have to admit it though - they both looked positively stunning!

Below: For me it was a great opportunity to see a lot of long time friends. I had seen some as recently as the NamesCon Global conference last summer but in other cases it has been as long as three years (partly due to the Covid epidemic). So it was a treat to get together again with (left to right) Ray Dillman Neu, Steven Kennedy (after me) and Michael Castello. Next I have to round up Michael's brother and partner at CCIN, David Castello!

Tuesday morning (January 24), attorney John Berryhill hosted the meeting's final business session - What You Do Know Might Hurt You - in which he dispelled a lot of misinformation that has caused some domain investors a lot of unnecessary grief. To many his advice could up being worth more than the entire cost of coming to Las Vegas for the meeting. 

Above: To close out an very successful 2023 Annual Meeting, ICA Board Member Braden Pollock and Executive Director Kamila Sekiewicz, thanked everyone for coming and asked attendees for input on when and where the next annual meeting should be held. The general consensus seemed to be it didn't matter when or where - the members plan to be there. You could be too by becoming an ICA Member yourself. You can join here! Thank you to the entire ICA team for a great job and and outstanding  meeting.

(Posted January 24, 2023) 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/2023/dailyposts/0124.htm

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The 2023 ICA Annual Meeting Started Sunday Under Sunny Skies in Las Vegas

The Internet Commerce Association (ICA) welcomed approximately 100 members from around the world to their 2023 Annual Meeting Sunday at the Las Vegas Hilton in Resorts World Sunday (January 22). The three-day event got underway under sunny skies on a cool, but beautiful winter day in the entertainment capital of the world.

Above: The Sunday morning sunrise in Las Vegas viewed from Resorts World where 
the 2023 ICA Annual Meeting is underway and continuing through Tuesday (January 23).

Below: ICA Executive Director Kamila Sekiewicz greets Sedo CMO Christian Voss
 at the registration table Sunday morning at the Las Vegas Hilton.

Above: Shortly after registration began, ICA Board Member Braden Pollock (standing at far left) gathered some of those first to arrive so they could introduce themselves to fellow members.

By early afternoon most of the attendees had registered and ready to start a busy day of social events that gave them a chance to choose among several attractive options. One group (at right) went to the famous Neon Museum that has preserves dozens of dazzling original casino and hotel signs from the city's golden era. Having seen the museum on various TV programs over the years it was a place we always wanted to visit so we went with that group.

In another photo from the Neon Museum (below) you see the massive original sign that graced the historic Moulin Rouge hotel and casino in the 1950s and 60s. There were also original signs from the Sahara, the Stardust, the Golden Nugget and many more. Nothing says Vegas like neon so it was a real treat to get this close up look at the city's history.

Meanwhile, others were either exploring the city's old downtown art district on an electric scooter tour, driving exotic race cars or hiking to the highest elevation they could find in Red Rock Canyon.

Above: ICA members on the electric scooter tour of old Las Vegas Sunday afternoon.
(Photo courtesy of Kevin McKim)

Below: At the same time one of the most adventurous groups went on a hike at Red Rock Canyon. We heard the temperature at the highest point in their trek dropped to just 20 degrees!

Above: After the busy day of social outings, members returned to the Las Vegas Hilton
 for the opening night reception and dinner sponsored by GoDaddy

Below: Some of the familiar faces in the opening night crowd (left to right) 
were ICA Board Member Nat Cohen, Attorney Jason Schaeffer
ICA Legal Counsel Zak Muscovitch
and ICA member Ryan Finnesy.

Above: After dinner members were treated to an astonishing show put on by veteran Las Vegas mentalist Alain Nu - Tthe Man Who Knows. The entertaining magician, mentalist and comedian incorporated members in one remarkable trick after another, including Penny Nicks (above), Penny's husband Paul, Tessa Holcomb, Ammar Kubba, Dr. Gregg McNair and Christian Voss among others. Alain's appearance was facilitated by ICA member Kina Merdinian who is a personal friend of Nu's.

Below: Truc Tran (center) and Nat Cohen try to figure out how Alain Nu does it but, like the rest of us, were left in amazement. Kind of the way we felt were after seeing how well ICA leaders performed in bringing their members such an unforgettable opening day! 

 

(Posted January 23, 2023) 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/2023/dailyposts/0123.htm

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2023 ICA Annual Meeting in Las Vegas is a Giant Leap for the Domain Industry's Leading Advocate

This has been quite a whirlwind month for us with the release of our 19th annual State of the Industry Cover Story and two big domain sales columns - one wrapping up 2022 (and finalizing our Top 100 Sales Chart for the year) and the other kicking off 2023 with a bang that included a $3 million sale and three other that reached six figures. Now, less than 3 weeks into the new year, we are getting our bags packed to head out to Las Vegas for the Internet Commerce Association's Annual Meeting that gets underway Sunday (January 22).

Having this opportunity to get together with so many industry friends in a relaxed environment is just what we needed after a hectic start to 2023! The relatively new ICA Annual Meeting has quickly grown into a unique and invaluable free standing event of its own

For years now, the non-profit organization that fights to protect domain registrant's rights has held meetings within the friendly confines of the industry's biggest event, NamesCon Global. Those have been great and will undoubtedly continue but the 

Image from Bigstock

ever growing ICA also saw a need to expand its horizons. In September 2021, to celebrate its 15th anniversary, the ICA experimented with its own event with a small but well received meeting at the Green Valley Ranch in Henderson, Nevada (just outside of Las Vegas). 

 

Some of the attendees at the ICA's 15th Anniversary Meetup in 2021 
took a morning hike through Red Rock Canyon - an activity that several members
will be doing again at the ICA's 2023 Annual Meeting this weekend.

The format for the 2021 gathering combined creative social activities, where members could get to know each other better, with a limited number of well focused business sessions including a popular Town Hall event. It was a winning formula so planning began on something much bigger that already looks like it will exceed the ICA's own optimistic expectations. With a grand new venue on The Strip at the Las Vegas Hilton in Resorts World, the number of registrants has nearly tripled from the number on hand at that initial event in Henderson.

The agenda for the ICA Annual Meeting that will run Sunday through Tuesday (January 22-24, 2023) has also greatly expanded. It will kick off with a social day Sunday with multiple activities to choose from including a Red Rock Canyon hiking expedition, Exotic Card Racing, an Electric Scooter Tour and a trip to the famous Neon Museum. There will also be a reception dinner hosted by GoDaddy (followed by a show) that night. 

The Las Vegas Hilton/Resorts World complex where the 2023 ICA 
Annual Meeting will be held Sunday through Tuesday, January 22-24.

Monday will bring a full day of business, starting with a briefing from ICA General Counsel Zak Muscovitch, followed by a MemberTown Hall. After a lunch break afternoon sessions will begin with an Ask Me Anything session featuring GoDaddy President for Domains Paul Nicks. The evening social will be at the conveniently located Bar Zazu within Resorts World. 

Things will wrap up with a half-day Tuesday when pioneering domain attorney John Berryhill will host a session with the intriguing title What You Do Know Might Hurt You. John will detail how things you erroneously think you know can be more dangerous that what you don't know!

I've only scratched the surface here but it might be enough for you to make a smart move by becoming an ICA Member yourself. You'll meet some great people and have an opportunity to attend events that will enhance both your business and personal life. More importantly, if domains are your business, you will be supporting an organization that works hard every day to help insure that your interests and assets are protected. 

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone who will be in Las Vegas and for those who can't be there, I'm looking forward to sharing some highlights with you here early next week when things will be underway. 

(Posted January 20, 2023) 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/2023/dailyposts/0120.htm

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Above.com Gets New Year Off to a Great Start with $3 Million Sale of Help.com

Well, that didn't take long! With the start of every new year in the domain business, there is a great deal of anticipation while we wait to see what the year's first blockbuster sale will be. Trellian/Above.com Founder and President David Warmuz made the 2023 wait a short one by letting me know today that the company has closed a $3 million sale of Help.com

It will be another year before we know where Help.com will rank among 2023 sales but, as of this writing, only three sales reported in 2022 were higher.   Because of the long holiday break, the last week of 2022 sales data won't be arriving until later this week. We will have those numbers for you in our next bi-weekly domain sales report that will be coming out Thursday evening (January 11). That will wrap up the 2022 sales season and now we 

Image from Bigstock

know the first report on 2023 sales that will follow will include at least one in seven figures thanks to this super premium sale. We may just use the news as an excurse to pour another glass of champagne and we're hoping it will be a harbinger of many more great sales in the months ahead. Congrats to David and everyone on the Above team for getting it done.

 

For Above.com and Trellian (their parent company), the big sale comes on the heels of one of their most memorable years ever, including the company's 25th anniversary celebration. As part of the festivities, Trellian/Above was the title sponsor for the NamesCon Global 2022 conference last summer in Austin, Texas. 

(Posted January 9, 2023) 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/2023/dailyposts/0109.htm

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GoDaddy Announces New Commission Rates for Aftermarket Platforms Afternic, Uniregistry and Dan

In a move to align sales commission rates across their popular aftermarket platforms, GoDaddy today announced new uniform rates that will apply to GoDaddy Auctions, Afternic, Uniregistry Market and Dan.com. Effective as of February 1, 2023, each marketplace is moving to a 15% commission rate for domain names pointed to Afternic, Dan, or Uniregistry nameservers at the time of the sale. If your domain name does not point to Afternic, Dan or Uniregistry nameservers, the commission charged will be 25%

Under the current structure, commissions ranged for a low of 9% (at Dan.com) to 20%. Dan.com has also offered a 5% rate for sellers who brought their own lead to the platform and that option will continue to be offered in the new system.

As a customer of all four platforms I received emails from each about the change today. The email from Afternic noted, "This new commission model rewards those choosing to do more of their business with Afternic, Dan, and Uniregistry Market by using any of our For Sale Lander options with a reduced commission on their sales, regardless of where it is sold.  For those already using our For Sale Landers, this will be a significant reduction in commissions versus the current 20% commission rate for the average sale." 

(Posted January 4, 2023) 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/2023/dailyposts/0104.htm

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(Posted January 1, 2023)

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