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These eight companies account for more than half of ICANN’s revenue

Kevin Murphy, October 19, 2020, 07:32:02 (UTC), Domain Policy

While 3,207 companies contributed to ICANN’s $141 million of revenue in its last fiscal year, just eight of them were responsible for more than half of it, according to figures just released by ICANN.

The first two entries on the list will come as no surprise to anyone — they’re .com money-mill Verisign and runaway registrar market-leader GoDaddy, together accounting for more than $56 million of revenue.

Registries and registrars pay ICANN a mixture of fixed fees and transaction fees, so the greater the number of adds, renews and transfers, the more money gets funneled into ICANN’s coffers.

It’s perhaps interesting that this top-contributors list sees a few companies that are paying far more in fixed, per-gTLD fees than they are in transaction fees.

Binky Moon, the vehicle that holds 197 of Donuts’ 242 gTLD contracts, is the third-largest contributor at $5.2 million. But $4.9 million of that comes from the annual $25,000 fixed registry fee.

Only 14 of Binky’s gTLDs pass the 50,000-name threshold where transaction fees kick in.

It’s pretty much the same story at Google Registry, formally known as Charleston Road Registry.

Google has 46 gTLDs, so is paying about $1.1 million a year in fixed fees, but only three of them have enough regs (combined, about one million names) to pass the transaction fees threshold. Google’s total funding was almost $1.4 million.

Not quite on the list is Amazon, which has 55 mostly unlaunched gTLDs and almost zero registrations. It paid ICANN $1.3 million last year, just to sit on its portfolio of dormant strings.

The second and third-largest registrars, Namecheap and Tucows respectively, each paid about $1.7 million last year.

The only essentially single-TLD company on the list is Public Interest Registry, which runs .org. Despite having 10 million domains under management, it paid ICANN less than half of Binky’s total last year.

The anomaly, which may be temporary, is ShortDot, the company that runs .icu, .cyou and .bond. It paid ICANN $1.6 million, which would have been almost all transaction fees for .icu, which peaked at about 6.5 million names earlier this year.

Here’s the list:

VeriSign, Inc.$45,565,544
GoDaddy.com, LLC$10,678,376
Binky Moon, LLC$5,231,898
Public Interest Registry$2,515,416
NameCheap, Inc.$1,755,932
Tucows Domains Inc.$1,747,648
ShortDot SA$1,643,103
Charleston Road Registry Inc.$1,385,356

Combined, the total is over $70.5 million.

The full spreadsheet of all 3,000+ contributors can be found over here.

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Comments (6)

  1. Andrew says:

    Godaddy control far more registrars on that list:

    123-Reg Limited $146,362
    Mesh Digital Limited $187,483
    Wild West Domains, LLC $478,584
    GoDaddy Online Services Cayman Islands Ltd. $172,721
    Blue Razor Domains, LLC $16,753
    Brandsight, LLC $7,907
    Domainbox Limited $4,529

    https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/fy20-funding-source-05oct20-en.pdf

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      Same with Donuts. Dog Beach LLC controls about 40-odd other gTLDs (which I think may be the old Rightside batch) and pays almost $1.3 million a year. I didn’t roll up those either.

  2. Sameh says:

    The numbers are not accurate. Some companies such as DropCatch/NameBright, Alibaba, DynaDot. All have several entries in the PDF report.

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      That would rather depend on whether you’re talking about distinct legal entities or distinct parents. ICANN, and this post, are doing the former.

  3. Phil Buckingham says:

    Hi Kevin,
    Don’t start me on this ! Following my appointment, so there is absolutely no confusion – I’m speaking in my own personal capacity on this .
    ICANN ‘s revenue forecasting is shambolic on this. The whole equation to calculate fees due is so out of date . The 50000 threshold is a joke and doesnt reflect different business models .

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