ICM Announces Close Of Founders Program For .XXX: Several Domains Sold “Well Into The Six Figures”

According to a Press Release tonight the  ICM Registry, the company behind the .XXX TLD said they successfully concluded its Founders program with several domain names selling for well into the six figures.

The Press Release also acknowledged that Frank Schilling was one of those who acquired domain names during the founders program as ElliotsBlog.com reported over the weekend.

Here is the full Press Release:

ICM Registry, the company behind the .XXX top level domain (TLD) successfully concluded its Founders program, which had been running for the last 9 months.  This unique program was designed for early adopters from within the adult industry to secure and develop key .XXX domain names as showcase sites ahead of the official launch of .XXX on September 7, 2011.

“35 companies from the adult industry from around the world were accepted into the Founders program, claiming approximately 1,500 .XXX domain names after their business plans and development ideas were diligently reviewed.”

“Some domain names were issued for the basic registration fee and several others sold for well into six figures, immediately demonstrating the high value of .XXX domain names. All premium domain names issued under the Founders program come with strict development guidelines and timetables.

The first .XXX sites to go live after the July 31 close were www.casting.xxx and www.orgasms.xxx and were immediately greeted with good converting traffic with over 70 sign ups in the first 24 hours. Many more sites are expected to go live in the coming weeks.

“We were extremely excited to be part of the Founders program because it allowed us to acquire several keyword domains in the .XXX space that were simply not available to us in .COM and other extensions”, says Lewis Thomas from Really Useful Ltd.  “We worked hard to be the world’s first company to launch .XXX sites and the traffic to casting.xxx and orgasms.xxx immediately exceeded our expectations.”

Beate-Uhse AG (FWBUSE), one of the largest distributors of adult related entertainment and products in the world, has secured a portfolio of domain names including kostenlos.xxx, which is the translation of “free” in German.  Similar EU and UK based companies have also registered domain names and are busy rebranding and developing new sites to be launched soon.

In the US, numerous high-profile adult companies have joined the Founders program and are busy getting new sites ready for release in the coming weeks. Jeremy Leonard, the CEO of DirtyDiablos commented “.XXX Founders Program gave us the opportunity to register great domain names like inked.xxx and diablos.xxx which can be a tremendous platform to develop new sites.  We expect to receive substantial type-in traffic with this new, content-specific TLD.”

ICM Registry had realized that an extremely high proportion of the top 200 adult keywords in the .COM space were in the hands of professional “domainers” and were being used for paid parking and/or pay-per-click advertising programs rather than for fully developed websites. ICM Registry felt that this was not ideal for consumer satisfaction and is determined to make .XXX a vibrant and content rich domain

Frank Schilling, owner of possibly the world’s largest portfolio of domain names, had never previously participated in any other new TLD launch.  However, Schilling excitedly negotiated a deal with ICM Registry for some premium generic domain names such as live.xxx, hot.xxx and free.xxx in a seven figure deal out of the nearly $4 million that ICM Registry has received during this Founders program period.  Schilling is now partnering with other notable adult companies to develop impressive new sites, ultimately contributing to the increased value of the adult eco-system.

With the close of the Founders program, ICM Registry is now focused on building a successful launch that starts on September 7 with the opening of the Sunrise A period.  For more information, please visit www.icmregistry.com or your preferred registrar.

 

 


Comments

  1. says

    There Will Be Hype…

    Seriously though, that’s great that sites launched with press releases etc. behind them got traffic. Will they continually succeed on that level? Probably not. I’m not sure I’d take them at their word that several domains sold for 6 figures either, but many will and again there will be a speculation-filled launch like with recent extensions.

    The adult industry doesn’t want this extension though, so I really don’t see it grabbing hold long-term.

  2. MHB says

    Steve

    Well we know Frank made an investment in the seven figures for the .XXX domains he got.

    “not sure I’d take them at their word”

    Based on what?

  3. says

    Shoot…I just invested a couple of millions for some dot co domains from Robert K and now you are telling me there is another domain extension…

    WoW…USA is the land of opportunities for suckers.

  4. says

    I guess I just find it hard to believe that several .xxx domains pre-launch would sell for “well into 6-figures”. If it’s true then they’ve done a remarkable job with it. I understand Schillings’ purchase cost a lot but was for a sizable bulk of names, many of them among the best the extension has to offer.

    Anyways, what are your thoughts on the extension long-term if you don’t mind my asking?

  5. MHB says

    Steve

    Its an extension that makes sense, its most likely going to be the only adult extension ever approved or at least for quite a long time and with 500+ new other extensions coming on board in the next few years, I think it has legs.

    There are issues, there is risk but I think there is a lot of upside.

  6. says

    For the record…

    The program opened in December 2010 on a first come first served basis.

    Frank agreed his deal with us, and agreed to develop ALL of the names out, in February 2011 at Domainfest a full month before we were finally signed off by ICANN. His deal alone, included several six figure names. I know for a fact that some of the names he acquired have received offers several fold higher than he paid, because we took the offers to him from other members of our community. He declined all offers and explained he was with this extension for the long term. Founders deals have a no flipping rule in them anyway(without our permission). The program was designed to promote significant, high quality sites on the premium names.

    Post ICANN approval clearly the values went up significantly and we have subsequently entered into further contracts (all requiring site development) for even more names with an individual price tag of $100,000 or over.

    I would estimate that less than 15 % of the top 200 names have been taken in founders.

    Still some excellent names to go for.

  7. says

    I can verify everything Stuart has said about the only “quality” porn thing. I am the sole member of the committee that makes sure only quality porn is put on the .xxx sites. I have spent countless hours scanning the video to make sure ONLY quality goes up. There is nothing more detrimental to the .xxx adult industry than less than quality porn. I don’t take my job for granted and feel I am playing a key role in the success of the tld. It’s a tough job (most men only get through the first two minutes or skip to the end) but it’s too important to put in the hands of anyone else. And yes, just like the domains sold to Frank, I was hired before anything became official.

  8. says

    Personally I think is bull with this founders program. The general public never has access to something early on. The Government contracted ICANN I believe to control the system. What system? We pay more and get the scraps. Such BS.

  9. says

    With the internet already supersaturated with established porn sites with dozens for every imaginable fetish known to man, I just don’t see how .xxx fills any need. If all the governments of the world mandate that all adult sites must migrate from .com and onto .xxx, then I can see the motivation. I doubt that happens.

    This time the emperor wears no clothes – FS may have struck out this time.

  10. says

    It seems my portion of this press release was edited for brevity-sake, so for posterity here is the unedited version conveying my view:

    “Having had a front row seat as an observer of the human behavior behind domain names and direct navigation for nearly a decade, I believe that .XXX, unlike many other new tlds, offers SLD registrants the opportunity for long term type-in traffic. Many people navigate in a way that suggests they believe .XXX existed all along. Few strings other than .XXX share this attribute. ICM Registry’s success in tapping this well of traffic should create long-term opportunity for registrants of all stripes and color. My chance meeting with Stuart Lawley at the 2005 ICANN meeting in Vancouver, and his tenacity and big-hearted altruistic outlook, gave me the confidence that this space would be run in a way that treats its registrants fairly. I believe .XXX will make a great accompaniment to the .COM version of adult sites and that one day .XXX could eclipse the .COM version of name-brands for adult sites.”

    Mypurchase was paid in cash. Without incentives or rebates.

  11. says

    In response to the type-in argument, sex.com is the ultimate type-in domain in the space and it will never compete with porntube or youporn in terms of traffic and dare I say revenue.

    With regard to the .xxx being an accompaniment to .com, Flowers.com still has no interest in Flowers.mobi or really any other extension to accompany it. Sure, big companies have bought domain shorteners as there is a need for that – those are true accompaniments. XXX will go the way of your appendix. It will still be around but there’s just no need for it.

  12. says

    I was invited to join the program and accepted. ICM seemed genuinely interested in my product and, being new, it made perfect business sense to me to acquire a TLD which has been specifically earmarked for adult entertainment.

    Whilst I can understand some of the antagonism directed at .xxx from within ‘the industry’, I feel it partially has itself to blame for its woes after years of dodgy cross sells and malpractice from some of its members.

    An environment where surfers feel more secure can only be a good thing imo, and to this end I look forward to working with ICM to develop our respective brands.

  13. SEX.XXX FED TRDEMRK ONWER says

    Yeah ICM is an major joke I own the federal trademark to love.xxx and there illegally blackballing my rights plus another key name they wrongfully sold over me gay.xxx to someone that is not trademark owner of name for 500K. I own sex.xxx trademark and there not giving me rights on that either . They do not care thats why Im going straight to Icann next week with my paperwork . There are lot of companies ICM is doing this towards they have no concerns Stuart Lawley CEO major jerk went to there offices . Any companies going after ICM let me know please

  14. MHB says

    Sex.xxx

    Let me ask you, how do you have a valid trademark for love.xxx when the extension hasn’t even launched, you don’t own the domain, you don’t own the registry?

    You are just trying to game the system and now complaining when the game didn’t work

  15. Sex XXX trademark owner says

    yeah I cant game system when 1. Trademark Attys thru US Trademark office review application and make personal decision themselves with all classifications of what name to be in commerce for. 2 It then gets published out there. 3 Sex.XXX was approved as name back in 2003-05 this is not recient either . 4.Gay.XXX has been listed in system for few years all of these way before xxx was announced this is not new over past few months when xxx were made public back in March 2011

  16. MHB says

    But again you don’t own the domain and Trademarks in the US are granted on use not on proposed use, so you never had a right to register the marks, you gamed the system and really can’t complain that it didn’t work

  17. yikes says

    maybe when someone registers a trademark they should be aware that they may be required to file proceedings to protect that mark, that this could be expensive, and that, if a us trademark is concerned, the proceedings will involve presenting the complaint to an american federal judge who may not think very highly of pornography.

    maybe intellectual property rights as issued for fees by an appropriate office are really nothing more than rights to sue. maybe some registrants view them instead as “rights to do business”.

    maybe lawyers who file u.s. trademarks do not fully advise their clients of all these considerations. or maybe they do and some clients just ignore them.

  18. says

    “you don’t own the domain, you don’t own the registry?”
    ====

    Can anyone claim they “own” a domain they can not present in a court of law in a physical form, such as a Digital Wallet ?

    Do people **think** they are going to buy a “registry” from ICANN ?
    (note ICANN alleges in court documents that they “do not sell anything”)

  19. yah says

    indeed no one owns a domain nor a registry. they only own a number of dns servers connected to the internet. anyone can run a server in the same way, whether connected to the internet or not. numbers are numbers. where you get them is up to you.

    icann is a choice. it’s the choice of users to keep their dns settings pointing at icann’s root servers to get numbers when they need them. they could just as easily change their settings to point at some other server. or run their own server. corporations do this. their employees dns settings are not pointed at icann’s servers, they’re pointed at the company’s servers.

    icann/iana and their direct reports are not the world’s telephone companies. they are not the single authoritative sources for network numbers. they have no liability for incorrect information. they don’t own the network. they are just one choice among potentially limitless choices for a source of numbers. but most internet users are not aware there are choices.

    so who’s really in charge of these numbers and who gets to use them? someone has to be, right? who is the authoritative source?

    answer: the people running the points in between, routing the traffic between your computer/smartphone and the destination computer. that is, the people configuring the routers. they are like the switchboard operators of the 21st century. and when they make policy decisions it tends to be controversial. no surprise there.

    it’s understandable that people want to believe icann is some sort of authority and that the internet is not some sort of hacked together chaotic network that thanks to a threshhold amount of cooperation remarkably continues to work.
    but is that really true? do they really have authority? what proof do you have? or are they just a public facing entity for a group of engineers?

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