Domain Industry Experts Share 2013 Predictions (Part 2)

On Friday, I posted predictions for 2013 from many domain industry experts. Since I received so many great replies, I broke it up into a two part series. The second set of domain industry predictions is below.

Thank you again to the experts who offered their insight! These predictions are in random order. As always, I welcome your 2013 predictions.

Rob Grant, CEO, – “Domains and Darwin

If you love Darwin, you’re in for a real treat!

As 2013 dawns, we are about to enter the next, (and very prolific) stage in the evolution of domain names…

The birth of thousands of new, fledgling TLD’s,  encompassing  the entire internet food chain, and spanning a vast spectrum of businesses and industries.

What follows will be a remarkable event to watch… A very chaotic and turbulent period akin to Darwin’s ‘Survival Of The Fittest’ for domain names.

Of the projected one thousand eight hundred new TLD’s scheduled to go live, only a small fraction will ultimately survive (with a good many dead on arrival).

The vast majority of these new TLD’s will go the way of the unfortunate Dodo, a rare bird best known for its brief existince on earth.

For anyone planning to speculate on these new TLD’s, I would urge great caution. Nature can be a wonderful teacher…”

Elliot Noss, President and CEO, Tucows – “in 2013 there will be one new gTLD that will be a huge success, and it will be a geo. there will also be a number of small fizzles.”

Paul Nicks/Product Development – Aftermarket Director –  and  Rich Merdinger/Vice President of Product Development – Domains –  – “Existing TLDs see a bump in aftermarket pricing as the original gTLDs are seen as a safe harbor in the impending sea of new gTLD confusion. However, initial confusion by the general public will dissipate quickly as people become accustomed to identifying Web addresses by string[dot]string, as opposed to the common string[dot]com.” Paul and Rich  offered several additional predictions, which you can  read here.

Andrew Rosener, CEO, Media Options – “Just as we saw record setting domain sales in 2012, I believe the market will continue its rebound and we’ll see domain sales setting record prices and in record volume in 2013. Unfortunately, many of these sales continue to, and will continue to, go unnoticed as they are under NDA’s and privacy. However, I can say first hand that the last 6 months of 2012 were the strongest we have seen in terms of End User sales in the last 5 years, despite the weakness and lack of liquidity in the reseller market.

I expect that companies and investors alike will continue in 2013 to increase their understanding of domain values, in large part due to the media attention that will be given to the release of the new gTLD’s which will bring greater attention from the general public on the domain industry as a whole. However, I also believe that the complexities and conflicts brought forth in the release and management of so many new gTLD’s will only prove to reinforce the the value of powerful generic & brandable .com domain names.

Over the last 36 months companies have been stockpiling cash, as have investors in all asset classes. As we see signs of a recovering economy, despite continued hurdles, I believe we will see a new wave of investment entering the domain market like never before. While this may not provide the daily liquidity that so many domain investors are desperate for due to falling or stagnating ppc income, the owners of premium .com domains, particularly short (2 – 5 characters) & highly brandable .com domains, will be rewarded dearly as the availability of such rare assets and brands will become ever more scarce and ever more sought after. That being said, those domain investors or owners who need to sell proactively, in a short time frame, will likely still face an illiquid market in 2013 and be forced to sell into a depressed wholesale market with few ready buyers. End user education, negotiation and deal making takes time and patience; it’s always a different story when a buyer comes to you versus a proactive sales campaign.

I believe we are still in the early stages of internet growth and that domain values are still at only a fraction of their potential. One day, there will be a “spot price” for premium domain names and readily available credit from primary lenders who accept your domain name equity as collateral at reasonable interest rates. There will be protection mechanisms in place that will create a “floor price” for premium domain assets such as insurance products, options trading & new traffic monetization models. When all of this is introduced to the domain industry, I believe that domain values will be 3-5 times that of today’s market. While this may not and likely will not happen in 2013, I do believe that the coming year will be a critical next step towards achieving such objectives.”

Theo Develegas, General Manager, Acroplex, LLC – “The new year will be an extension of 2012, more or less: a weak economy will lead many to fold their cards; but it’s those that “bluff” who will get ahead. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. It will be an opportunity for smart investors to snatch great deals and acquire domains at 200+% below face value. There will be a lot of white noise from satellite TLDs currently in the works by ICANN, but nothing will be touching the original three TLDs, com, net and org. The new year will bring several mergers in the domain industry, as players acquire strategic posts for bigger games in the future. It’s going to be exciting times, particularly now that the Mayans are planning to finally issue the 2013 calendar and beyond!”

Brian Gilbert, Innovation HQ – “Parking revenue’s will increase. Something we haven’t seen in quite some time.

I predict Google will lose 2% to 5% of the search market. This is in large part to Panda and Penguin updates that have been effective at getting rid of spammy sites, but did not replace lost results with sites that truly give people what they’re after.”

Nat Cohen, CEO, Telepathy –  “In 2013 I expect to see growing awareness by businesses that premium domains are extremely valuable as online brands.   2013 will also likely see the increasing globalization of the domain industry as e-commerce grows rapidly throughout the world.”

Paul Goldstone,  – “It’s an exciting year ahead with a plethora of new domain extensions hitting the market.  Will end users take the bait or will they stick with what they’re familiar?  There are supporters on both sides of the fence.  Either way I think generally people will continue to be more focused than before, working from a quality not quantity standpoint, evidenced by the increasing domain sales.”

Thies Lindenthal, IDNX – Thies wrote up an extensive prediction for the domain industry in 2013, which can be found here.

Michele Neylon, Founder and CEO, Blacknight  – “2013 could prove to be a very interesting year for the internet industry. I expect to see a lot more pressure coming from governments across the globe to regulate all aspects of the internet industry. In 2011 / 2012 we had SOPA / PIPA in the US and the WCIT / ITU conference. 2013 will see more and more of this as governments try to exert more pressure and control over what has become such an integral part of people’s lives. The domain name industry is going to be impacted and is in fact already being impacted (the new RAA for ICANN registrars will be quite a different beast). Expect to see registries and registrars being forced to take a more proactive stance to deal with online criminal activity. The big problem will be getting the balance right ie. stemming online abuse without negatively impacting the bulk of internet users and domain name registrants. We live in interesting times.”

Anthony Peppler, Retired (Father of 3 Year old twins)  – Tony wrote several predictions that I have included in a separate post.

Charlotte Gilbert Owner, Golden Knight Media – “1. Development will be even more important but will become a costly one. Those who should have developed their leading names 3-5 years ago will find developing a domain name now, will be a much costlier one.For their site to to even be seen as engaging to users and noteworthy, will require an extraordinary amount of attention with a development team who has the fingers in all the pies of online growth. Attention must be given to engaging content, app development and online social interaction. Mini site development and single lead gen pages are not the way to go about increasing you revenue in the long run.

2. New overreaching Government regulations on Equity Crowd funding will persistently start to haunt online (domain development, online businesses) and tech entrepreneurs who crowd gather funds for projects. The SEC apparently dislikes these projects as they cant trace the money from where they originated and a person who does fund (no matter the amount) In can buy the company’s product but not a piece of the company.

3. Online advertising will continue to grow especially into the Mediums of on demand entertainment systems such as Hulu +, Netflix, ROKU and the private channels held within those areas.

4. This is just a hunch but I believe parking revenue will rise but not to pre 2009 levels.”

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. I’ve been a domainer for 16 years. I see almost nothing but self-serving comments from the expert domaining community.

    Domain names are no longer the critical way to access information. They have become one of several. With touchscreen devices and the mobile web now in full swing, apps and voice commands (siri), Twitter, Facebook, social communities in general the reliance of the domain name is losing ground.

    To not mention this is to not point to the white elephant in the room.

    Domain names will continue to be an important part of the tapestry, but it’s no longer THE tapestry. 🙂

    Domainers should be realistic.

    • That’s for sure. 🙂

      A new world is coming. New search mechanisms. The use of traditional email amongst the new generation pales in comparison. Talk to a teenager about their online habits and search.

      Domaining is no longer in the MATURE phase. We are entering decline. The more we embrace and understand and innovate in the decline phase, the longer it will last.

      The relevance of domain names will be measured in decades if not a full centry – there is a long tail on this form of search. I do believe this. The relevancy, however, is in decline.

    • Acro, this isn’t a doom and gloom statement. It’s reality. Domaining had an incredible growth phase. Amazing growth. The maturation phase has also been impressive. We should be AWARE and talk about the decline that comes with choices and new ways to access information.

    • You are, of course, absolutely right. Even sweeter yet you aren’t a typical blog comment moron who doesn’t have a pot to piss in. One area where I slightly disagree is in viewing names as navigation devices.

      To any given VC in the valleys and alleys, they represent identity which is a lot bigger than what drives keyword navigation (I’m sure a certain blogger will read this and proceed to make a “DOMAINS ARE IDENTITY! WHAT I’VE BEEN SAYING FOR 15 YEARS!” post here shortly, since he hasn’t uttered an original idea of his own, ever).

      They don’t care about your typical domainer blog-blowhard babble. They’re after something else and it has nothing to do with the nonsense domainers live and die by.

  2. Elliot, I think it would be interesting if in another post you did a review of the 2012 predictions from last December to see how close predictions where, what proved true and what didn’t.

  3. BullS , CreativeCEO/CEO/Founder of “BullS” INC—Website of the YEAR

    2013 will be a dynamic year!!!

    Same sex marriage and Marijuana will be the big thing.

    Passin the pipe to you all–Happy New Year

    from the

  4. “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”


    “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

    John F. Kennedy

    “Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: now.”

    Denis Waitley

    “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

    Abraham Lincoln

    “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

    George Orwell

    “I never think of the future – it comes soon enough.”

    Albert Einstein

    “Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed.”

    Wayne Dyer

    “I don’t think the human mind can comprehend the past and the future. They are both just illusions that can manipulate you into thinking theres some kind of change.”

    Bob Dylan

    “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

    Peter Drucker


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