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The Lowdown
July 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.


Namecheap's New Domain Insights & Trends Report Breaking Down 1H-2023 Covers All of the Bases

Now that the first half of 2023 is in the books a valuable array of quarterly or semi-annual reports on domain market activity have been coming out, but when it comes to a comprehensive yet easy to digest roundup of the key facts and figures, Namecheap's latest Domain Insights & Trends Report covering 1H-2023 is hard to beat. 

As the world's 2nd largest domain registrar (with over 17 million domains under management) and operator of a busy aftermarket marketplace, Namecheap has a birds eye view of what is going on in the global domain industry. They have used that lofty vantage point to slice and dice every conceivable aspect of  performance on their platform into a series of colorful charts (some of which are in the right column) and concise text that will quickly bring you up to speed on the following:

     Top 20 TLDs of 2023

     Global Domain Registration Trends

     Most Popular Non .COM TLDs by Region

     Top 15 gTLDs

     Top 15 ccTLDs

     Most Popular New TLDs

     Best and Worst TLD Renewal Rates

     Top 15 Most Expensive Auction Sales on Namecheap Market

     Top 3 TLDs by Industry/Category

...and that is not all. Namecheap produces the free report in an effort to help empower entrepreneurs, marketers, and domain investors with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions and capitalize on emerging opportunities. 

The report is part of the Namecheap Guru Guides series that offers a huge collection of articles and guides covering business management, marketing, and just about everything else they feel you might need to be successful in the digital business world. 

Namescheap Domains Copywriter Connor Harrison is credited with producing the latest report and, having found great value in it myself, I want to thank Connor, as well as Namescheap, for a job very well done

 

 

Chart images are from Namecheap's 
Domain Insights & Trends Report
(1H-2023).

(Posted July 28, 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/0728.htm

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London Domain Name Summit Set to Go with Digital Candy CEO Ryan Ewen Among the Main Attractions

The London Domain Name Summit is just four weeks away. After a successful debut last year, show founder Helmuts Meskonis and his team is ready to stage a bigger and better two-day event August 22 and 23, 2023 at a roomy new venue, Hilton's London Metropole Hotel. Meskonis has also added more firepower to the agenda with an international line up of speakers that will make sure attendees go home armed with valuable information that will help them grow their own enterprises.

A good example is Digital Candy CEO Ryan Ewen, who will help close Day 1 when he joins Sedo CMO Christian Voss and InterNetX Head of Sales Claus Barche for a deep dive into Domain Monetization. Ryan will come back to help kickoff Day 2 when he sits down with MrPremium.com Founder Mark Ghoriafi to provide advice on Buying and Selling Premium Domains

I met Ryan in person for the first time last summer at the 2022 NamesCon Global conference in Austin, Texas. We re-connected this week which gave me a chance to catch up on what he and the Digital Candy crew have been up to since we last met. DC had already been growing like wildfire since the Covid pandemic made a a strong online presence a life and death matter for many businesses. Since NamesCon they have ramped their expansion up even more. 

"We have spent around $3 million in the last 18 months and from a standing start have amassed 20,000 .coms and around 15,000 .uk domains," Ewen said. "We acquired OR.com three months ago, a plethora of premium dot coms and also unlocked prime assets like Mayfair.com and Newz.com (acquired in 2020). In addition, we facilitated the acquisition of DNForum.com, Flip.uk (due to launch in 160 countries), and Brandable.co.uk (a .uk marketplace that will be launching on August 20th)."

"When there is a downturn in the market it is often a time when money is made. With domainers from the 90s and 00s having exited,  followed by big players getting distracted with NFTs & crypto, there are people in the 

 

Digital Candy CEO Ryan Ewen

background who will emerge as the big players of the future," Ewen said.  "The market is in consolidation mode without much innovation but in the background we have completed two domain loans, are in stage 2 of our affiliate based domain parking and got regulatory approval for our fractional ownership platform."

Having not previously heard about DC's foray into the domain loan business I asked Ryan for more details about that. "Our loans are for professional domainers or businesses that have upside in a deal where they need access to quick cash," Ewen noted. "We started with a $50,000 loan with a 105-day term secured by four domain names. The buyer was getting a discount on a domain purchase by completing quickly so we provided the finances that gave them time to arrange their own finances while securing a discounted price."

"The second loan I mentioned was for 100,000, interest only, over 12 months with a domain name and website accepted as security. The client wanted cash flow for the business. A refinance is in place so they only pay for the time they draw down funds. We take a flexible approach and will lend on premium domain names, domain portfolios, parked domains, websites, social media assets, apps and IP addresses. We also offer interest only loans in addition to repayment with terms up to 10 years."

Ewen added, "We also lend for M&A this is a tricky area for companies but we can lend secured against both company domain names and websites. Typically M&A loans are for 60 days and cant be fully funded by mainstream lenders which means either a company has to have cash flow for the acquisition or shareholders have to put money in."

Clearly, Ryan and Digital Candy have their fingers in a lot of pies, so whatever aspect of the domain business you may be interested in, odds are he will be able to speak to the topic from experience in his sessions at the London Domain Name Summit. Believe it or not single day attendee tickets to the conference 

Image from Bigstock

are free for a limited time (see information at the link for details). Business tickets, covering both days, are just 50. If you are interested in sponsorship, you will  find that information on the same page. 

(Posted July 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/0724.htm

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New Liquid Market Report Shows Solid Sales for Short .Coms in 2Q-23 But Far Behind Colossal Q1 

GGRG's latest quarterly Liquid Market Report, covering domain sales from this category reported in the second quarter of 2023, is now out. The report covers a subset of the overall aftermarket - short acronym and numeric domains - that, due to steady demand, tend to have more liquidity than most other domain categories. These are .com domains comprised of 2-4 letters, 2-5 numbers or a combination of 2-3 characters mixing letters and numbers

After a spectacular opening quarter of the year, many were wondering if sales would continue to boom as they did in 1Q-2023. 2Q also wound up being one of the best quarters for liquid domains in recent years but even so, in a perfect illustration of just how strong the previous 

quarter was, 2Q sales were down 50% from 1Q-2023. Still the almost $22 million in total sales (dwarfed by the eye popping $43 million posted in the opening quarter) was quite respectable. 

Q2-2023 was another excellent quarter for two-letter .com domains, which reached $11.5 million in sales at GGRG's data partner, Escrow.com, giving that group the highest sales volume. The 5th percentile values (a representation of a reasonable category price floor in any given time period)  for the most liquid categories (four letter,  five number and three character domains) stayed stable or showed encouraging increases that GGRG Founder Giuseppe Graziano said attested to the solidity of liquid domains over time.

You will find much more detail in the free full report that you can view here.

(Posted July 18, 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/0718.htm

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Agents.ai Changes Hands for $125,000 in Biggest .AI Sale on Record and Year's Top ccTLD Sale to Date

B21 Capital has acquired the Agents.ai domain name for $125,000 in the biggest publicly reported .AI domain sale to date. This is also the highest ccTLD sale reported so far in 2023 and will be added to our YTD ccTLD Top 100 Sales Chart (second chart on the age linked to) in our next bi-weekly updated Wednesday evening (July 19). B21, who already has their new website up at Agents.ai, reported acquiring the domain to bring autonomous agents to enterprise organizations, SMBs and business owners. 

In a press release sent to us they noted, "Agents.ai provides the ultimate fleet of AI agents designed to empower small and medium-sized businesses

Image from Bigstock

by automating repetitive tasks and enabling teams to focus on high-impact growth initiatives. With a vision to transform business productivity through the power of AI, Agents.ai leverages AI technology to eliminate repetitive tasks, streamline operations, enhance productivity, and drive overall business." The release added. "AI growth has hit an inflection point where intelligence and accuracy is growing exponentially with costs coming down significantly on the verge of permanently transforming every industry with more revenue and greater cost savings. Democratizing AI access is Agents.ais major priority for the upcoming year along with accelerating AI transformation for companies."

B21 said its executive team is made up of engineers, including some who were previously with Google and Microsoft, who specialize in AI/Machine Learning driven workflows for enterprise. Their marketing side includes veterans in the AI/ML healthtech and fintech space who they said have led growth and managed revenues as high as $100 million per year while acquiring over 2 million paid users. B21 reported the group also has deep connections to enterprise clients who currently leverage hundreds of thousands of offshore workers. Their release added, "The team is currently experimenting with test pilot clients to see the impact of AI agents in order to build more case studies to permanently transform each industry the company enters into." 

(Posted July 13, 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/0713.htm

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ICA Files Immediate Response to .IN Registry's Bad Idea to Ban Domain Investing in India's ccTLD  

The administrator of India's .IN country code top level domain,  the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI), has built up a track record of ill conceived ideas over the years, as noted by Domain Incite, Domain Name Wire and others today when NIXI hatched their latest head-scratching initiative - a rule change that would ban domain investors from owning .IN domains. The overwhelmingly negative ramifications of such a plan will be obvious to pretty much any sentient observer - not the least of which would be NIXI blowing off both of their own feet by losing a huge percentage of their income when suddenly unsellable .IN domains get dropped en masse.

That's just one of many issues (including the idea likely being illegal) that the Internet Commerce Association (the non-profit organization that fights to protect domain 

registrant's rights) quickly brought to NIXI's attention in a letter ICA General Counsel Zak Muscovitch sent to NIXI CEO Mr. Shri Anil Kumar Jain today. I highly recommend reading it because it provides a comprehensive point by point breakdown of everything that is wrong with this monumentally misguided idea in one convenient, well written document. 

While no one has a monopoly on bad ideas, NIXI is starting to look like the perennial league leader in that department. Fortunately, most blunders of this kind are quickly backed away from when their potential for disaster is delineated (as Zak has so masterfully done in his letter). Still, until this idea is thrown on the scrap heap where it belongs, it is a threat that no one in the industry can afford to ignore.

(Posted July 11, 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/0711.htm

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New Domain Days November Event in Dubai Will Put the Booming MENA Region in the Industry Spotlight

The thriving Dubai metropolis in the UAE established itself as a global economic powerhouse years ago but the domain industry in the spectacular city and region around it hasn't gotten the degree of attention it has deserved. It looks like that is about to change with the announcement of a new world class conference, Domain Days, that will be staged at the Marriott Resort Palm Jumeirah in Dubai November 1 & 2, 2023. Domain Days will put major industry players in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region front and center including domain investors, registrars, registries, monetization & traffic experts, Web 3.0/Blockchain domains, Hosting/Cloud providers, SaaS and industry enthusiasts of all kinds.

Munir Badr
Domain Days
Founder & Curator
Founder & CEO at AEserver.com

Domain Days is the brainchild of Munir Badr, the Founder & CEO of the UAE's largest privately owned local domain name registrar & web/cloud hosting company AEserver.com. Munir, a graduate of the American University of Sharjah (AUS), has resided in the UAE for the past 27 years. He is a trilingual Internet entrepreneur who has been called on to speak at a wide variety of industry events including the Middle East DNS Forum (MEDNSF), the Asia Pacific Top Level Domain Association (APTLD), The Middle East Network Operators Group (MENOG), Affiliate World Summit and many others. 

In March, Entrepreneur.com Middle East magazine named AEserver a winner at the 2023 E-Business Awards as E-Solution Provider Of The Year (read Munir's interview in the May 2023 edition of Entrepreneur.com magazine about his vision of the domain, hosting & business in the MENA region).

After attending key domain & hosting industry events around the globe, Munir became convinced that MENA's local domain & hosting community, which has grown exponentially over the past few years, needed to have a major 

event of its own - one that would attract both regional and global experts who want to build relationships and take advantage of the many opportunities for growth in this part of the world.

A detailed agenda for the conference has already been laid out so you can get a clear idea of all of the ground that will be covered during Domain Days. Tickets are available now too - and at discounted prices with a 50% off early bird rate that cuts the cost to $149.50 for standard tickets and $249.50 for VIP passes - you will need to act quickly to get this deal though as Friday, August 4 is the last day before the offer expires. One of the perks of the VIP ticket will be a four-hour yacht cruise with five-star catering on the Persian Gulf with the fabulous Dubai skyline as your backdrop. It is still early enough to inquire about sponsorship and speaking opportunities but those are likely to fill up quickly now that the word is out.

(Posted July 7, 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/0707.htm

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(Posted July 4, 2023)  

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