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Taking Stock of New gTLDs in the Public Markets

John Matson
 (June 5, 2012)

A woman on the radio talks about revolution, though it’s already passed.

The window is now closed. A snapshot can be taken. A baseline can be set. How have the public markets valued the new gTLD program? And more importantly, how will public markets value it going forward? Until a few months ago, the new gTLD program was arcane policy discussion among a very narrow technical population of the Internet community. Within the general population it is widely unknown, within the corporate brand community it is widely misunderstood and within the Internet domain name community it is widely anticipated. Continue reading

How a New gTLD Should Choose a Back-end Registry System - Part 3

Michael Young
 (October 25, 2011)

This part 3 of the selecting a back-end registry service provider series focuses on Whois and sharing data in new gTLDs (see part 1 and 2)

If you’ve ever looked up information about a domain name you’ve used a Whois service. It’s the public information system about contact information for a domain name or IP addresses, though in this article, we will just talk about domain name Whois. Continue reading

The Association of National Advertisers Blinders on New TLDs

Alexa Raad
 (September 19, 2011)

I read with interest the piece by the Chairman of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), Garry Elliot, in Advertising Age, which was partly prompted by my commentary in the same publication describing why new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) could be an opportunity for some brands.

He says: “From all I’ve seen, no matter how one tries to justify ICANN’s process or the benefits it speculates will occur, it is simply impossible to defend the economics of the ICANN proposal. That is the Achilles’ heel of this entire exercise. To paraphrase an old saying, ‘It’s the economics, stupid.'” Continue reading

How a New gTLD Should Choose a Back-end Registry System - Part 2

Michael Young
 (September 2, 2011)

Deciding how and when to launch a new generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) or brand Top-Level Domain (TLD) is not unlike deciding to conduct a worldwide tour to key destinations to help boost your marketing efforts. You want to decide what results you expect, who you’ll target and what messages you want to send them, as well as study your options and understand them clearly. Only after you’ve done that do you book your travel plans. Continue reading

Six Key Issues About Operating a TLD Registry

Michael Young
 (July 26, 2011)

Brand owners unfamiliar with the domain name system (DNS) are hearing that their first step in registering a top level domain (TLD) is to select a back-end TLD registry provider. The fear instilled in them is that if they don’t act quickly, all available service providers will have reached their capacity. Given ICANN’s tight and inflexible application submission schedule, brands don’t want to be left at the starting gate. Continue reading

New TLDs: Finance Dept. Role, Part 2

Norbert Grey
 (July 14, 2011)

Last week I wrote about accounting, reporting and promotions. This week, I want to focus on the financial department’s role in launching services, renewals and foreign exchange risk management.

Launch of Services

In most businesses, the finance team usually takes a back seat during launch of services as business activity slowly increases in the months that follow. However, in the domain industry, with up to 30 percent of lifetime sales earned in the first three months of launch, Continue reading

The ICANN New gTLD Program is Approved: Now What? How to Submit a Quality Application in 6 Months

John Matson
 (July 11, 2011)

On January 12, 2012, the application window opens. Any corporation or organization can submit a request to own a piece of the Internet — their own top-level domain (TLD). Many reporters are confusing a TLD with a domain name. But the difference is like renting a single apartment (a domain name) versus owning the entire real estate complex (with a potentially unlimited number of domain names). And most important, when you own it, you set the rules. Continue reading

Role of Finance Leaders is Specialized in TLD Launches

Norbert Grey
 (June 29, 2011)

When I first entered the domain industry as head of finance and operations at .MOBI, the company had just acquired its licence from ICANN. I did a quick overview of the business environment through a financial lens.

My first impressions were predominantly positive. Sales were generated up front on a cash basis, which put registry operators in an enviable operational cash flow position. Also, there were no accounts receivable concerns due to the top-up nature of funding by registrars. Outsourcing the back-end registry operations meant that we could tie cost of goods sold (COGS) to activity. Continue reading