Domain Industry News

.NV.com Addresses – Subdomaining Success

‘nv.com’ addresses draw strong response
I believe we are going to see subdomain sales more and more in the future. Owners of prime domain names similarly broad like nv.com may look to increase their potential revenue streams in the coming months and years. If a great generic domain name isn’t yielding the ppc revenue desired, why not sell subdomains? I am not a technical expert, so I don’t know how much work is involved in creating and managing subdomains, but I am sure it is “doable.”Not only is the domain registry generating $50/year in registration revenue (with a 2 year minimum commitment), there are plenty of upsell opportunities – hosting services, web development/design services, email accounts…etc. They can essentially print their own money since there are countless subdomain opportunities with each extension.

I have a couple of suggestions to help the .nv registry grow even bigger:

1) Incentivize owners to develop their subdomains. The more successful, developed websites there are in the .nv.com extension, the more other companies will want their own. Offering discounted web design services, long-term registration discounts or registration rebates may do the trick.

2) Open an office in Nevada and make it even easier for people to buy their subdomain names. Believe it or not, a majority of the people out there don’t know how to register a domain name – let alone manage it. If they make buying a subdomain a simple process with an easy to reach account manager, more people might sign up. Also, it would make more sense for the “Nevada Registry” to be located in Nevada.

3) Hire a staff of sales people to sell the subdomains door-to-door. Equip each of them with a laptop and wireless access to allow registrations on the fly. Set-up a sales booth at malls, fairs, or anywhere else that people may congregate in order to get the word out. The primary target audience is businesses in Nevada, but the sub-target should be citizens of Nevada.

The one downside to subdomains that I see is that doing this is a long-term commitment to this type of business plan. Once people begin buying their subdomains, it may be very difficult for the owner to change direction without litigious implications. However, if the ownership nv.com wanted to do this, it could conceivably develop NV.com into something else while maintaining the subdomains for their customers.

Working With CADNA

I think there are reasons why people might want to consider supporting CADNA in their public goal of defeating cybersquatters and domain tasting/kiting. I believe most of the big organizations that support CADNA are simply trying to protect their brands/trademarks rather than go after generic domain names. Although Dell probably would kill for Computers.com or CustomComputers.com, they are more interested in making sure a typo name like DelComputer.com isn’t owned by someone other than them.

Dell (and similar companies) believe when a web surfer types that in to their browser, they are actually trying to get to Dell, so why should they have to pay to correct the error, and why should a cybersquatter be able to direct traffic to other computer companies when the person is looking for Dell and not someone else?

On their press release, CADNA stated, Cybersquatting is defined “as the bad-faith registration of a domain name that includes or is confusingly similar to someone else’s trademark.” This leads me to believe they want to protect trademark holders from obvious infringing domain names. As it stands at the present time, the domain tasting loophole basically allows people to register domain names for 5 days or less, and then they can drop these names. They are able to test the traffic, and they can make business decisions on which names to keep based on traffic, revenue, and of course the risk in owning it.

As of yet, trademark holders have been unable to act fast enough to respond to domain tasters, and that is where the problem is. I think there are significant hurdles that need to be overcome, as there is much grey area. For example, would Dell believe that a name like Del.com infringed on their trademark simply because the spelling was similar? I know that Dell owns Del.com, but what if they didn’t and the name were parked? There are many examples like this, and those would have to be overcome.

However, in the short run, I think it would be in our best interest to work alongside with CADNA, to ensure domain owner rights are kept in mind, while trying to stop people who blatantly trample on the rights of trademark holders using the domain tasting loophole.

Fave.com – An Example of Cybersquatting??

According to an article in Business Week, Fave.com is apparently “held by a cybersquatter.” On the second page of staff writer Kerry Miller’s article, “Does Success Hinge on a Domain Name“, the author states:

“And while the naming process is typically most fraught for Web-based businesses that consider their Web addresses central to their branding, domain-name availability is becoming a key consideration for other new businesses, too. Jon and Jeff Seymour found that Persona, their first-choice name for their localized Web browser, was already trademarked. Their second choice, Fave, wasn’t

Snapnames Seller Program Announcement

I received the following email on Sunday regarding changes in the Snapnames commission plan. While the commission plan is good news for higher value sales, names that only sell for the minimum of $60 will have the commission rate more than doubled. Instead of paying a $12 commission on a $60 sale (20%), we will now pay the new $25 minimum. With this in mind, I am going to have to reevaluate the domain names I submit for Snapnames auctions, as most of my sales were for the minimum.

“Hi Elliot,
I

Domain Names – One of The Crown Jewels Of The Business

The Crown Jewels of The Business

Matt Kramer of The Bulletin, a local Philadelphia newspaper, discusses the 15 most valuable assets a business owns that many owners don’t understand. Among assets such as Customer List (#1), Building (#5) and Trademark (#8) is a company’s Domain Names (#9). According to Matt:

“A client of mine bought hundreds of domain names that would attract individuals looking for a mortgage. As the mortgage market declined, so did his business. One day, one of the biggest mortgage banks in the country came in and made him an offer of millions of dollars for all of his domain names. My client knows that the mortgage business is cyclical, but the amount that was offered allowed him to retire.” –Source: The Bulletin

This writer is on point. With targeted generic domain names becoming more valuable over time, sometimes a company’s domain name may be worth much more than a company realizes. There are many examples of companies using their domain names simply for email addresses and not having a website. This may be due to the owner’s reticence to spend the time and money developing an online business plan. Whatever the case may be, the company is almost certainly leaving money on the table. While a domain name may simply be an afterthought to some companies, others are willing and able to use the domain name as the centerpiece of their business. This is the root cause of a domain name being an overlooked source of value for a company, but in reality, it could be a large part of its net worth.

Universal Music Buys Stake in Loud.com

Universal Music buys stake in Loud.com

According to Alex Viega of the Associated Press, Universal Music Group purchased a stake in the social networking and music download site Loud.com. The price paid and size of the stake were undisclosed.

“Record companies have historically relied on developing new artists and making money from the sale of music or from music publishing.

However, investments in other types of businesses are becoming more common as the industry struggles through a protracted CD sales slump.

Record labels are also looking to strike deals with recording artists that give the labels a slice of touring, merchandising and other revenue.” –Source: Forbes.com

This is an important purchase for Universal as it will allow them to tap into a large base of loyal hip-hop music fans. With Universal’s music labels offering downloads of various artists for $.99, this purchase seems to make sense for all parties. The difficulty and expense in developing and growing successful websites reliant on social networking and user generated content leads me to believe we will see more traditional companies buying stakes in successful online communities over the next several months.

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