As much as 41% of domains registered in new gTLDs are parked with pay-per-click advertising, according to research carried out by Verisign.
That works out to over 540,000 domains, judging by the 1.3 million total I have on record from June 29, the day Verisign carried out the survey.
Domains classified as carrying “business” web sites — defined as “a website that shows commercial activity” — accounted for just 3% of the total, according to Verisign.
There are some big caveats, of course, not least of which is .xyz, which tends to skew any surveys based on “registered” names appearing in the zone file. Verisign noted:
XYZ.COM LLC (.xyz) has a high concentration of PPC websites as a result of a campaign that reportedly automatically registered XYZ domains to domain registrants in other TLDs unless they opted out of receiving the free domain name. After registration, these free names forward to a PPC site unless reconfigured by the end user registrant.
On June 29, .xyz had 225,159 domains in its zone file. I estimate somewhat over 200,000 of those names were most likely freebies and most likely parked.
The practice of registry parking, carried out most aggressively by Uniregistry and its affiliate North Sound, also threw off Verisign’s numbers.
Whereas most new gTLD registries reserve their premium names without adding them to the zone files, Uniregistry registers them via North Sound to park and promote them.
Tens of thousands of names have been registered in this way.
Coupled with the .xyz effect, this leads me to conclude that the number of domains registered by real registrants and parked with PPC is probably close to half of Verisign’s number.
That’s still one out of every five domains in new gTLDs, however.
Judging by a chart on Verisign’s blog, .photography appears to have the highest percentage of “business” use among the top 10 new gTLDs so far.
Verisign also found that 10% of the names it scanned redirect to a different domain. It classified these as redirects, rather than according to the content of their final destination.
Momentum Events has cancelled its planned new gTLD conference, which was due to take place in Amsterdam next month.
The Digital Strategy & DotOps Congress was designed primarily for potential dot-brand gTLD applicants — with free tickets on offer for eligible companies — but Momentum said there was not enough demand.
A Momentum rep tells me it was looking like fewer than 100 people were going to attend.
“[M]arket response to this event thus far has demonstrated that the use of TLDs by brands is still a developing area and at this time we are just a bit too ahead of the curve,” the company said in an email to participants. “As such and in consideration of your time, we decided to proceed with cancelling this event.”
The conference was to be held at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Amsterdam, Netherlands from September 18 to 19.
Momentum is tentatively thinking about rescheduling the show for the first quarter next year.
It’s not the first new gTLD conference to be cancelled due to the slow uptake of new gTLDs. The third .nxt conference was abandoned twice in 2012 due to lack of demand and delays in the ICANN process.
Unlike the .nxt situation, where some attendees said they did not get refunded for their event passes, Momentum tells me people who had already paid for tickets can be refunded.
They’ll also be offered access to other Momentum conferences — either the rescheduled spring conference or a more imminent brand-oriented show — as an alternative.
Demand Media has completed the spin-off of its domain name business, Rightside.
Shares in the new company, which will be listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange, went to existing Demand Media shareholders.
Trading under the ticker symbol NAME, Rightside stock started off at $16.77 yesterday morning and is currently trading at around $15.07.
Rightside comprises number two registrar eNom, retail registrar Name.com, new gTLD portfolio registry United TLD (which is branded Rightside), and its share of auction house NameJet.
It is headed by CEO Taryn Naidu and chairman David Panos.
The company also today named its initial board of directors.
ICANN had selected Dublin to play host to its 54th public meeting, which will be held in October next year.
According to a blog post from Michele Neylon, CEO of Irish registrar Blacknight, the venue will be the imaginatively named The Convention Centre, Dublin.
The primary sponsor will be INEX, the local internet exchange, he reports.
It will be interesting to see if the Irish government bothers to show up. It’s not a member of the GAC and Neylon has frequently criticized it for taking no interest in ICANN affairs.
The meeting will be held from 18 to 22 October, 2015.
Despite Ireland having only one accredited registrar, Dublin houses the nominal headquarters for a big chunk of the registry side of the industry, largely for tax purposes.
Afilias has been there for over a decade and recently Rightside, the Demand Media spin-off, also relocated its HQ there. A number of smaller new gTLD applicants founded in other countries are also “based” in Dublin.
ICANN still hasn’t named the city for ICANN 53, 2015’s mid-year meeting. I assume it will be in either Asia or Latin America. ICANN 51 is in Los Angeles this October, 52 is in Marrakech next February.
Personally, I’m looking forward to visiting Dublin. Despite what a startling number of you (even people who’ve known me for years!) seem to think, I’m not Irish and I’ve never been to Ireland.
ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade has had his contract renewed for an extra two years with a new pay package worth up to $100,000 more than he was previously getting.
The ICANN board of directors last week approved an extension of his contract, which had not been due to expire until July next year, to June 30, 2017.
Effectively immediately, he’ll receive a new salary of $630,000 a year, with a performance-related bonus of up to $270,000 per year. That’s up 12.5% from his original salary of $560,000 and $240,000 bonus.
ICANN described the compensation as “comparable to similar positions”.
Despite the hefty bump, Chehade is still on a smaller package than his immediate predecessor, Rod Beckstrom, who was on a base salary of $750,000 with $195,000 in bonuses.
By renewing his contract a year early, ICANN avoids the kind of leadership speculation that dogged Beckstrom’s final year in the corner office.
“As we noted in the Board resolution, taking this action will help ensure the stability in leadership that is important for ICANN. It also shows the support and confidence that the Board has in Fadi,” ICANN chair Steve Crocker said in a statement.