Dotkeeper meets: Andrew Allemann from the web magazine Domain Name Wire
Andrew Allemann is a domain name analyst and has been in the domain industry since 1997. He has been quoted in New York Times, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, Washington Post, Bloomberg, Sydney Morning Herald, NPR, Fortune, The Guardian and other major publications.
For people not like me, not reading Domain Name Wire every day, tell them a little bit about yourself.
I’ve been buying and selling domain names since the late 90’s. 2005 I started to write about the industry on the Domain Name Wire, at the time there weren’t any daily news sources for the industry. I’ve personally written over 10 000 posts so It’s kind of a book at this point. It covers everything about the domain name industry that you can ever imagine.
The site has been really helpful and a great source for us in the industry. NamesCon has only been going on for two days, but what do you think about it so far this year?
It’s interesting because It seems like the number of attendees has been down a little bit, but the engagement has seemed to be much higher. Like the number of persons in the key note hall is so much bigger than it’s been in the past. The quality of the sessions is really high. According to data, 40 percent of the people here are new, so I hope it shows some kind of renewed interest and excitement around the domain industry.
What do you think about NamesCon moving to Austin, Texas, next year?
I’ve heard that the people has been complaining on the Tropicana hotels since the start and I think they are ready for a new venue. I live in Austin myself and it’s a really nice city, a festival place. As long as they don’t schedule it in September, when its’ the hottest time of year.
We heard a very interesting session by Paul Nicks, GoDaddy, giving us some interesting numbers and data about the trends in aftermarket. Was it anything that stood out in his presentation?
A lot of things. One thing is that .com dominating and constitutes 92 percent of their sales. But also, that the massive sales growth is largely due to GoDaddy themselves. He mentioned that they expanding to the European region. Having salespersons in Europe that can respond to the leads that comes in, speaks the local language in the local time zone will help a lot.
Paul Nicks is mentioning that the “sweet spot” is between 1500-5000 USD. We can see in Scandinavia that companies are more willing to pick up domain names for use in that certain sweet spot. It’s a huge interest of sales that ends up there.
Sometimes the top budget for companies is around 5000 USD. I appreciate that GoDaddy releases data like that, it helps the industry overall.
Any key takeaways from 2018 and the year we leave behind?
Consolidation continues. Interestingly the Donuts sale, not being consolidation. Donuts registry actually being private equity company again. And of course, CentralNic in Europe continues to gobble up companies, large and small.
Really, I would say 2018 in a lot of ways is kind of a lost year in the domain names industry. Overall In 2018, nothing really progressed forward, there weren’t any big changes to top level domain names.
What’s ahead of us?
I have this question “Whats next?” Usually you can see something on the horizon. One of my prediction for 2019 is that USA liberalizing sports betting laws… Just like we have seen with cannabis related domain names over the past 4- 5 years, we might see some interesting sport betting domains.
In the European market we see a lot of companies from Malta, affiliate companies and so on, building up big portfolios. We will see more of that in the future, I guess.
My prediction for 2019 is more of the same. But I’m hopeful, knock on wood here, that we are going see the domain market in general kind of rebound from what has been blacker days for a couple of years.
What’s your take on the new gTLDs, go or no go?
I have two interviews during this week with two different buyers, who spent a half million dollars on their names. The ones that bought home.loans and Mike Kugler at VacaRent who bought vacation.rentals. They are very happy about their purchases and think that they will get a lot of benefits out of it, from search optimization perspective for example.
Personally, I think it’s a big confusion factor. I know that different countries have different top-level domains, especially in Europe .com is not always king so maybe it’s a little bit more receptive to it over there. I still think that companies should have their regional domains and top-level domains, such as .com, as a start and then look at the additional names.