The first effort to provide a centralized “hub” between domain name registrars and new generic top-level domain registries has hit the market.
Norwegian new gTLD consultant/applicant CloudNames has launched The Registry Hub, and says it will offer more than 70% of its equity to the first companies that sign up for the service.
The problem it wants to address is that of complexity.
With hundreds of new mass-market gTLDs likely to appear over the next few years, it will be hard for registrars to keep track of them all.
The Registry Hub says it will provide a “technical, legal and commercial proxy” between registries and registrars.
It’s not entirely dissimilar to the business models of the reseller-oriented registrars that we see today.
One problem it hopes to tackle is paying registry fees.
It’s standard in the domain name industry today for registrars to pay their registry fees in advance – leaving a deposit with each of the registries they work with, which they chip away at over time.
That’s nice for the registry’s cash-flow, but it’s not going to be great for smaller registrars in a world with a few hundred new gTLDs they might want to sell.
These hub services – I’m expecting to see more announce themselves, soon — would consolidate deposits to make it commercially easier for smaller registrars to sell many more gTLDs.
Smart new gTLD registries will probably find market adoption easier if they can figure out ways to avoid this deposit problem entirely, perhaps by switching to a post-payment system.
The Registry Hub would take a small fee for each domain name registered through its service.