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Quartz: “The Biggest Land Rush in the History of the Internet Starts on February 4″

Posted on the 22 January 2014 by Worldwide @thedomains

Leo Mirani and David Yanofsky wrote a very thorough piece for Quartz on the new gtlds.

Their article titled, “The biggest land rush in the history of the internet starts on February 4″

The article did a nice job in the set up and background of the program, then they took a look at the existing tlds and their reach on the Internet.

They looked at new tld applicants and talked about “Free Money Forever”

From the article:

Free money, forever

For its owner, setting up a generic top-level domain is the online equivalent of opening up a vast—in fact, essentially infinite—tract of previously virgin land for development, except that the real estate in question has been conjured out of thin air. In addition to the $185,000 application fee to ICANN, the cost of lawyers, research, traveling to ICANN conferences, and other administrative expenses brings the total cost of an application up to about $1 million, according to one applicant.

But once the initial investment has been recouped, the profits, in theory at least, can be enormous. Whoever wins a top-level domain (say, .news) can sell second-level domains (say, on it. Daniel Negari, a 28-year-old American who made his first fortune selling real estate, is planning to make .xyz a generic domain name that anyone can put at the end of any website. Negari thinks he can sell a million second-level domains in his first year of operation, at a price of less than $10 each. (By contrast, .com domains go for $12.99 on GoDaddy, the leading retailer of domain names.) That would be $10 million in revenue in the first year alone.

They also took a look at the current ICANN balance sheet and the $225.8 million they have left over after expenses related to implementing the new gtld program.

From the article:

It won’t be pure profit. ICANN takes a cut of 25 cents per second-level domain sold, plus extra fees every quarter and every year. Then there are technical and administrative costs. Still, the applicant for .ninja forecasts margins of around 90% (pdf p.13).

And Negari’s .xyz will be one of the cheaper deals on offer. The .guru TLD is open for pre-registrations (before it officially opens to the general public) on GoDaddy for $39.99 per year. A domain on .ventures is $69.99. One on .luxury starts at $799.99 per year. The enterprising folks at .sucks are asking for $25,000 during the “sunrise period,” a 30-day span during which trademark holders can register their domains to avoid domain-squatting.

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