It’s a fact that applying for a gTLD is going to be expensive. We know that the cost for a gTLD application is a non-refundable $185,000 payment to ICANN, and the cost will be considerably more if there are other companies that wish to operate the same gTLD.
In addition to the fixed costs of applying, there will likely be additional legal costs associated with the application as well as consulting costs for companies that want to work with experience professionals like Right of the Dot and Minds + Machines.
These front end costs aside, the actual cost of maintaining the gTLD registry has been an unknown to people without the experience of running a domain registry. Minds + Machines, a company operated by Antony Van Couvering, just put out a press release announcing a simplified pricing plan for back end gTLD services.
According to the release, “for a flat fee of $100,000 a year, the company will provide unlimited registrations for new TLDs using the Espresso platform, with no per-name fee for most new TLDs.”
The company is also willing to offer a discount to “disadvantaged or needy applicants providing services to underserved communities.”
Singapore, June 24 2011 – Minds + Machines, a wholly owned subsidiary of Top Level Domain Holdings (London AIM, TLDH.L) today announced new pricing for back end registry services for top-level domains. For a flat fee of $100,000 a year, the company will provide unlimited registrations for new TLDs using the Espresso platform, with no per-name fee for most new TLDs.
“We’ve simplified the model,” said Antony Van Couvering, CEO of Minds + Machines. “For a simple, low, flat fee, any prospective applicant can be in the TLD business. Until now, pricing for registry services has been shrouded in secrecy, and potential applicants have had to try to decipher convoluted pricing tiers. The new gTLD program, approved on Monday by ICANN, was meant to usher in a new era of choice and innovation. Minds + Machines is proud to kick that off with our offering.”
“ICANN has opened the Internet’s addressing system to the limitless possibilities of the human imagination,” said Rod Beckstrom, CEO of ICANN. “We have provided a platform for creativity and inspiration, and for the next big dot-thing,” said Peter Dengate Thrush, Chairman of the Board of ICANN.
“The Minds + Machines flat-rate formula is predictable, simple, and attractive,” said George T. Bundy, president of BRS Media, operators of .FM and applicant for .RADIO. “We have been using their Espresso platform for .FM, and it is reliable, flexible, and easy to use. Combined with this pricing it’s very attractive.”
The new Minds + Machines offering excludes certain high-volume super-generic terms such as .music, and geographic terms such as .nyc. The new pricing will be extended to existing clients.
In addition, for disadvantaged or needy applicants providing services to underserved communities, Minds + Machines will offer the service for a 50% discount.
“Our goal is to increase the number of new gTLDs, and the new pricing will be a great help. The fact is that many applicants don’t know how many registrations they will achieve,” said Van Couvering. “The better you can predict your costs, the less risk there is to applying for a new gTLD. An all-inclusive flat fee will give applicants predictable budgets and great savings if they hit their numbers.”