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January 27, 2020

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Here's the The Lowdown from DN Journal,
updated daily
to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry. 

The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

A Few Final Notes Before the NamesCon Global Curtain Goes Up Including Our Conference Coverage Plans 

After a year of waiting once again it's showtime! The 7th annual NamesCon Global conference opens Wednesday (January 29, 2020) in a new city, Austin, Texas, where it will run through Saturday. Earlier this month we published an extensive show preview interview with NamesCon CEO Soeren von Varchmin and Head of NamesCon Operations Helga Neumer. Before heading out to Austin I wanted to point out a couple of major events at the show that were finalized after that preview was published. 

One is a keynote speech from GoDaddy's new CEO, Aman Bhutani, that is scheduled for 1pm Thursday (January 30). Bhutani just took the reins in September after spending the past 20 years building his wealth of technical, entrepreneurial, managerial, and leadership experience. He has expressed a commitment to helping domain investors, developers and entrepreneurs realize their visions on the web. GoDaddy plays such a large role is so many aspects of this business, I expect Bhutani's address will provide one of the most important and insightful hours of the week.

Another big event that has been a fixture at NamesCon Global, is the 

GoDaddy CEO Aman Bhutani

annual Women in Domaining networking gala. That will he held Friday evening (January 31) from 6 to 8pm in the Afilias Lounge at the show hotel (the downtown Austin Omni). There is no charge but ladies do need to RSVP for free passes to the event. 

A couple of scenes from one of the Women in Domaining networking events held at NamesCon Global during the show's six-year run in Las Vegas (it is being held in Austin for the first time this year).

Finally a little "inside baseball" regarding show coverage. There is such a busy agenda this year I will have events to cover not only every day but every night (with multiple events on every weekday night except one - and that may change)! I realized that meant I will have to change my coverage strategy this year. In the past I have written and edited complete daily wrap ups at night and in morning hours of the following day while sessions were going on at the same time. This year the night hours will not be available and there is not enough time the morning after to write up wall to wall coverage. So, this year, each morning I will post a handful of my favorites photos from the day/night before (starting Wednesday morning with some shots from pre-show social events Tuesday night). I will do that each day, then when I am back home after the conference, I will do a complete show wrap-up in one big report

There will be a big historical advantage in doing that too. With coverage of previous shows broken into multiple daily wrap ups, there are no single links back to those shows (and providing a long list of daily links is cumbersome to say the least). So, With NamesCon Global 2020, one link will lead to complete coverage of the conference. No matter how the sausage gets made, the conferences are always enjoyable, rewarding events for me and I am expecting Austin to rank right up there with the best!

(Posted January 27, 2020) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

VPS Web Hosting

Second Half Surge Gave Radix a Record Breaking Year for Premium Domain Sales Revenue in 2019 

Radix has released their latest semi-annual report (.pdf file) detailing the new gTLD registry operator's premium domain sales results for the second half of 2019 (2H-2019). Radix administers nine gTLDs - .store, .tech, .space, .site, .store, .website, .fun, .press and .host. The company reported $1.67 million in total premium sales over the six-month period, a 22% jump from the $1.36 million logged in the first half of the year. That second half surge gave Radix their first $3 million premium revenue year. 

The report said .online, .tech and .store were Radix's highest grossing TLDs with respect to premium sales revenue. Clean.tech at $30,000 via Sedo was their highest single sale in 2H-2019. Radix rang up more than 220 sales of at least $1,000 in the second half of 2019. 

The company also reported an impressive renewal rate of 82% for premium domains originally registered in 2018 or before.

(Posted January 24, 2020) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Dates Set for NamesCon Europe, DAN.com Launches Domain Lease to Own Option, Dunn & Daniel Discuss Big Deals!

The 2020 NamesCon Global conference is coming up next week in Austin, Texas, but the NamesCon team has already started laying the groundwork for the next NamesCon Europe conference coming up this summer. NamesCon had previously announced that the show would be held in Budapest, Hungary but the official dates were just announced today. NamesCon Europe 2020 will run August 6th-8th, 2020 at the Budapest Marriot Hotel that sits on the bank of the Danube River.

NamesCon is also already offering heavily discounted pre-sale event passes for 249 (50% off the regular admission rate). That offer ends on February 12.

DAN.com (the popular aftermarket domain sales platform previously known as Undeveloped.com) has just announced a new domain lease to own option that could be a hit with domain owners looking to make their domains affordable  to a broader range of potential buyers and increase recurring revenue. 

The company's announcement said, "The beauty of this highly optimized and copyrighted model is that your buyer can use a simple slider to determine which deal terms he or she can afford and accept. Our new Lease to Own option also introduces a new markup model which acts as a negative incentive for buyers to not at all times opt for the longest payment plan term available, and make you money in the process." This is the DAN markup schedule:
212 months = no markup added
1324 months = 10% markup
2536 months = 20% markup
3760 months = 30% markup

DAN noted, "The markup is added on the total sale price, and 50% of the markup will be used by DAN to cover for the recurring payment processing fees, domain renewals & providing DNS support to the buyer for example. The remaining 50% of the markup is paid out to our sellers. We highly advise all our sellers to enable our max lease period of 5 years, so you can sell more domains but also generate more income when a buyer chooses a long term domain payment plan."

Earlier this month I told you about an excellent new podcast at DomainStories.com that has been launched by industry veteran Alan Dunn. Alan has just released a new episode in which he talks with one of the best brokers in the business, Mark Daniel, who is the Director of Business Development at DomanHoldings

In this episode Alan, Mark and special guest Wendy Leung take you inside 3 big domain name deals. You'll hear how a seller was found by a random text message on a TV show, how a deal was agreed upon but the seller decided to sell the whole company instead of the domain (to someone else!) and more. I think you'll really enjoy hearing these domain name industry pros dive deep into these complex transactions.

(Posted January 23, 2020) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Mike Sullivan Adds The Ultimate Domain Resource Guide to His 13-Year-Old Industry Blog 

Domain industry veteran Mike Sullivan has been insightfully writing about this business since 2007 at the outstanding SullysBlog.com. It is one of the many excellent resources that help newcomers learn about the industry and  veterans stay abreast of the latest developments in it. Mike recently added an impressive new section to Sully's Blog called The Ultimate Domain Name Resource Guide. With a name like that, you are biting off a lot to chew! If you claim to be the ultimate anything you are setting expectations so high you had better deliver on them! Mike knows that and it shows in the work you will see in his new guide. It is so comprehensive I think all of our readers need to be aware of it, not only for your own use, but as a place you can direct newcomers who ask you where they can learn more about this seemingly inscrutable industry that you're involved in!

Mike's Ultimate Domain Name Resource Guide covers 16 different categories, ranging from fundamentals like Learn Domaining, Domain Name Tools and Buy/Sell Domains to areas that become more important the more you grow, like Development, Legal, and Governance. There are also categories devoted to other resources - Blogs, Podcasts, Books, Newsletters, 

Mike Sullivan

Forums - you name it, it's there (and I still haven't listed them all). As you browse through the Guide it will quickly become obvious that a ton of work went into pulling this information together in one place and remarkable that it is all free of charge to users. Kudos to Mike for producing a guide whose pages would quickly become dog-eared from constant use if they were on paper rather than the web!

(Posted January 21, 2020) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Guta.com's 2019 Premium Domain Sales Observation Report Shows Big Jump in Demand for One-Word .Coms

International domain brokerage Guta.com has released their annual Premium Domain Sales Observation Report covering 2019. With offices in both the U.S. and China, Guta, founded by CEO George Hong, has handled millions of dollars worth of domain sales for clients in both the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. Their reports focus primarily on .com domain sales in these categories: 1-4 Numbers, 1-3 Letters, 2 Characters and one-word English dictionary domains. For 3-letter .com domains, the Guta report includes only those made to or from the Chinese market where most of the activity in that popular category has been centered in recent years. 

The report begins with the rare two-letter .com category.  The number of transactions on that very pricy playing field increased every quarter in 2019, starting with just two sold in 1Q, doubling to four in 2Q, jumping to 

7 in 3Q, then closing the year with a bang in 4Q when 11 two-letter .coms changed hands. 15 of the 24 two-letter .coms sold last year went to Chinese buyers. The report includes the exact price paid for the sales that were publicly reported , but most at that seven-figure level were subject to non-disclosure agreements.

Guta.com Founder  & CEO George Hong

The Guta report continues with similar data breakouts for the other categories the brokerage specializes in and also includes quarterly comparisons of how each category fared against the same quarter in the previous year. That makes it easy to spot current trends in all of the popular premium domain categories. 

One category that fared especially well in 2019 were one-word English dictionary domains. The report noted, "The number of end-user sales of one-word English .com domains, increased by 71.7% from 2018 to2019. Among the end-user sales was a record-breaking $30 million domain sale of Voice.com."  There is much more detailed information in the free report  you can read here.

(Posted January 20, 2020) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

20-Year Industry Pro Alan Dunn Launches New Podcast at DomainStories.com

After more than 20 years in the domain business there are very few people in it who are as well-known and widely respected as Alan Dunn is. As the Managing Director of NameCorp he has been involved in well over $50 million worth of domain sales (three years ago we published a very popular Cover Story profile about Alan). Knowing the depth of his domain knowledge, I was very happy to learn today that Alan has launched a professional produced  podcast at DomainStories.com where he has already started sharing his incomprable industry insights and experience. 

Dunn kicked the project off by posting seven episodes at once. The 7th of those features another industry pioneer, attorney John Berryhill, PhD, who delves into domain due diligence. Some of the other topics covered in these first shows include How Much Is a Domain Name Worth?, Reported Domain Sales - Do They Matter? and Do You Really Need the Perfect .com, to give you just a few examples.

While podcasting is a new platform for Alan, he is not new to domain, internet and tech media.  He has contributed many major articles to sites like TechCrunch, Business Insider and Quartz (and has also been interviewed himself by BBC Radio 1). Now you can listen to him 

Alan Dunn

(and subscribe to DomainStories) through any of the major services, including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher.

It always nice to start a new week with some good news and the launch of DomainStories is an exciting development for everyone in the industry (and out) who wants to learn more about the business and get the inside stories on some of the many marquee transactions Alan has been personally involved with. I have no doubt DomainStories will quickly become one of the industry's most important resources.

(Posted January 13, 2020) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Industry (and Military) Veteran Toby Hardy Joins Forces with Don Nelson to Launch New Domain Sales & Consulting Firm 

You never know who you are going to meet at a domain conference or what kind of opportunity may come from casual conversations with fellow attendees. I was reminded of that in a note I just got from Toby Hardy, a former U.S. Army helicopter pilot, who I first met at a conference in Washington, D.C. over a decade ago. Toby wrote to tell me that he has started a new Veteran owned domain sales and consulting company at TargetRichDomains.com with Don Nelson, a partnership that blossomed when Toby and his wife, Susan, met Don at the inaugural Asheville Professional Domain Investor's Meetup that DomainKing Rick Schwartz staged in North Carolina last summer

Toby will serve as the new company's CEO with Don filling the CMO role. Nelson, who spent nearly four decades in the cyber security space after retiring from the Air Force, will represent TargetRichDomains at the upcoming NamesCion Global conference in Austin, Texas. It will be a short trip for Don since he now makes his home in San Antonio. 

Toby Hardy

Toby will regrettably miss this NamesCon as Susan is undergoing knee replacement surgery the same week. However, he urged show goers to look Don up (he can be contacted via email to don @ targetrichdomains.com). Toby noted "Don's deep data research, analytical skills and insight are invaluable to our mission of matching end users with our domain brands for sales, joint ventures, startup partnerships as well as our services as brand advisors." The TargetRichDomains portfolio includes FrenchRiviera.com, Suntan.com, DiscountDrugStore.com and over 1,000 more that can be reviewed on their site.

(Posted January 9, 2020) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

In case you missed the link on our Home Page, we have just published a major preview of the 2020 NamesCon Global conference coming up January 29 - February 1 in Austin, Texas. It includes a special interview with NamesCon CEO Soeren von Varchmin and NamesCon Head of Operations Helga Neumer in which they detail major changes that have been made for the 7th annual event that is making its first appearance in Austin after a six-year run in Las Vegas. If you are going the big show you will also be interested to see the newly updated agenda that now has the names of the speakers listed for almost all of the conference sessions. Hope to see you in Texas!

(Posted January 7, 2020)

If you've been out of the loop lately, catch up in the Lowdown Archive!

We need your help to keep giving domainers The Lowdown, so please email editor@dnjournal.com with any interesting information you might have. If possible, include the source of your information so we can check it out (for example a URL if you read it in a forum or on a site elsewhere). 

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