DN Journal: The 2010 State of the Domain Industry



It’s that time of year again: when Ron Jackson, editor of DNJournal.com pulls together the collective wisdom of industry leaders to reflect on 2010’s most important happenings, and to look forward at the prospects, trends and challenges that influencers see coming in 2011.

Jackson’s “all-star line up of top industry executives, investors, developers and attorneys…swelled to 19, the most…ever featured.”

Here are some highlights from the article, which you can read in its entirety here.

NameMedia’s own Kelly Conlin noted: “Domain investors have long believed that domains represent a new asset class and analogize domains to the real estate industry, or to financial securities. For that to be true, however, the industry had to evolve to have the infrastructure, transparency and liquidity that those other, more mature asset classes enjoy…Many of the industry’s leaders like Network Solutions, Register.com, eNom, Moniker and Name.com made the decision to join a single marketplace for secondary market domain transactions. This changes the game for the secondary market.” Conlin went on to address: “Key themes for 2011 include globalization, diversification and development,” this commentary centered on the need to ” …improve inventory delivery tools employed to minimize friction, and facilitate smooth transactions in the context of an increasingly complex marketplace.”

Other notable commentators included Monte Cahn, co-founder of Moniker; in reflecting on 2010 he said: “The complete meltdown in domain parking revenue compared to years past and the resurgence and pioneering of domain development alternatives is a significant indicator of how fast our industry can react to change.” While Cahn has moved on and is focused on a new venture he did note that he expects a number of new start-ups on the scene in 2011, and a move to approve several new ccTLDs.

Gregg McNair, chairman of PPX, and domain investors such as Merlin Kauffman and Larry Fischer cited the general strong sales climate for domain names in 2010 and the bright prospects for continued success in 2011. Like many others, they cited the importance of alternative monetization strategies for domain owners.

“Domain King” Rick Schwartz also noted the importance of “Main Street” embracing the online experience: “They finally BEGAN to understand how to use the Internet to HELP their physical store and for the first time we watched the physical store drive traffic to their website and their website driving traffic to the physical store.”

Schwartz, among others, also alluded the rise of social media. The coming year should provide an indication of just how significant the impact of this new communication channel will be on the domain industry, and whether it is a positive or negative influence.

Domain developers David and Michael Castello posited an interesting concept: the “3d” domain experience (not in the literal sense of a 3d television, but rather in the richness of virtual experience that many developed domains will offer visitors. Chad Folkering noted that young entrepreneurs are poised to have an increasingly important role in the domain industry.

This is an amazing overview, and the collective commentary in the article really captures the strong themes resonating across the industry. Cudos to Ron Jackson for a job well done!

Encouraging Everyone to Vote in Domain Name Wire Survey!



The sixth annual Domain Name Wire Survey is now open! We encourage broad participation to gather perspectives on the services, trends and challenges facing the domain industry.

Survey topics include; note that NameMedia, Afternic, BuyDomains and SmartName are represented in a number of different categories:

  • Profiling questions (how many domains owned, objectives, respondent’s country)
  • Domain registration
  • Domain parking — SmartName is an option
  • Domain name sales  — Afternic/BuyDomains  are options
  • Innovation in domain selling — NameMedia (Afternic/BuyDomains)  is an option
  • Domain escrow services — Afternic Escrow is an option
  • Industry trends

We invite you to add your voice. Last year’s survey saw:

  • 537 total responses
  • 25% of respondents own 1,000 or more domains, and 7% own 10,000 or more domain names
  • Respondents were from 49 countries. 57% of respondents are from the United States. Other countries with large representations include United Kingdom, India, Poland, Australia, and Canada.