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.co.com launch compares well to new gTLDs

The subdomain service .co.com, which is being managed more or less like a proper gTLD, reckons it outperformed every new gTLD earlier this week.

CEO Ken Hansen and president Paul Goldstone made the claim in a couple of Facebook posts yesterday.

Hansen clarified today that while the company is not releasing precise numbers, .co.com had “single digit thousands of registrations” following its landrush, which ended July 8.

To outperform every new gTLD, .co.com would have had to have beaten .xyz, which had a relatively quiet day (for .xyz) on July 8, adding just 1,267 names.

We can assume .co.com had somewhere between 1,268 and 9,999 registrations, therefore. I’d err to the lower end of that range, personally.

Those names would have been added cumulatively over the course of the three-month landrush and the preceding sunrise.

Still, it’s not bad for a subdomain, given that many proper new gTLDs are struggling to achieve similar numbers on their launch days.

CentralNic to manage .co.com’s back-end

Kevin Murphy, January 9, 2014, Domain Registries

CentralNic is going to run .co.com after all, kinda.

The two companies have signed a deal whereby CentralNic will manage the back-end registry for the forthcoming subdomain service, which domain owner Paul Goldstone launched a few months ago.

CentralNic, before it became the named back-end for 60 new gTLD applications, was known only for offering subdomains under us.com, uk.com and many other second-level names.

Announcing the deal today, .co.com also said that it plans to hold a sunrise period in February, to be followed by a first-come first-served landrush.

It’s already offering “premium” keyword domains privately to interested parties.

Why Hansen quit .nyc for .co.com

Kevin Murphy, November 16, 2013, Domain Registries

Ken Hansen has surprised many by resigning from Neustar, where he was general manager of the slam-dunk .nyc new gTLD initiative, to become CEO of .co.com, a new pseudo-TLD registry.

The announcement raises a couple of big questions.

First, why is .co.com being launched as a registry?

The name belongs to domain investor Paul Goldstone. He put it up for sale in March 2012, with broker DomainAdvisors speculating aloud that it would fetch a price in the millions.

We wondered at the time whether CentralNic, whose bread and butter back then (before its interests in new gTLDs became clear) was two-letter country-codes in .com, would swoop to buy it.

We also wondered whether .CO Internet would make an offer, in order to eliminate competition and reduce existing and potential confusion with its own ccTLD, .co.

If either company made an offer, it does not seem to have been accepted.

Goldstone is instead going to try to build a registry around the name, with Hansen as CEO and himself as president. DomainAdvisors founder Gregg McNair is chairman of the new venture.

Second, why on earth would Hansen, who has been leading business development for Neustar’s own .nyc — the forthcoming new gTLD for the city of New York — join an unproven .com subdomain provider?

He tells us that his confidence in .nyc’s prospects has not waned, but that he is one of the owners of the new company.

He said in an email:

Sometimes following the crowd is not the best thing to do in business. New gTLDs have always been about choice from my perspective. I still believe in new gTLDs in general, but there is still a VERY significant market for short recognizable domains ending in .com. We will meet that demand. Not to mention, we can move quickly without waiting on ICANN.

Gaining visibility for a subdomain product can be tricky at the best of times, but with hundred of new generic TLDs coming to market… Hansen, Goldstone and McNair really do have a challenge on their hands.

The new company intends to run sunrise, landrush and “premium” names phases for its launch, which is expected to kick off in the first quarter next year. No word yet on whether it will follow the CentralNic model and also voluntarily incorporate ICANN policies on UDRP, Whois and so forth.

Paul Goldstone puts co.com up for sale

Kevin Murphy, March 8, 2012, Domain Sales

The domain name co.com has been put up for sale by domain investor Paul Goldstone.

The domain, which received 4.5 million unique visitors and 14 million page views in 2011, will be brokered jointly by DomainAdvisors and SellDomains.com, according to a press release.

I can immediately think of two companies that should be interested.

It might be a very smart move for .CO Internet, the .co registry, to buy the name and wildcard the third level in order to capture .co typo traffic.

It’s also exactly the kind of address CentralNic – which sells third-level names under domains such as us.org and uk.com – likes to use as a pseudo-gTLD.

If these two and others get into a bidding war, Goldstone could wind up making a packet.

DomainAdvisors CEO Tessa Holcomb said she expects the domain to fetch a “multi seven-figure” price.