Barron’s: “The Dot-Com Era Finally Comes to an End”
Barron’s, the weekly publication that has changed the fate of public companies and the direction of markets for over 50 years just covered the new gTLD’s in a story entitled:
Like many accuse me of, the headline is more provocative than the story.
Baron’s is not predicting that .Com will be replaced by the new gTLD’s but rather discusses the new gTLD program the opportunity it will brings to come company’s it mentions like Donuts and Top Level Domains (Minds + Macines) and some applicants like Big Room’s .Eco bid.
Generally just an overall on the new gTLD program but once again domain names are being discussed in the biggest of business publications which can’t be a bad thing for the industry.
Some notable quotes out of the story:
“A new epoch begins this year on the Internet, ushered in by .MOVIE, .BEER, and perhaps, .FAIL. ”
“That tired old address suffix—.COM—will finally get some interesting company, as the directory overseers of the ‘net let loose with some 1,900 new word-strings to the right of the dot, a prestigious slice of cyber-real-estate known as the “Top Level Domain.”
“The possibility of creating a business like the .COM registry of VeriSign (VRSN), which boasts a $6 billion stock-market capitalization, animates guys like Jon Nevett, a co-founder of Bellevue, Wash.-based Donuts. Backed by over $100 million in venture capital, privately held Donuts has applied for 307 of the new TLDs, including .BABY, .CASINO and .PIZZA.”
“”You can think of .COM like a big downtown department store,” says Nevett. “We want to compete by building a shopping mall with a bunch of boutiques and a few anchor stores.” Donuts and a handful of others chasing portfolios will mostly emulate VeriSign, which runs the .COM directory but lets outfits like SuperBowl advertiser Go Daddy do the retailing of Internet addresses to end-users”.
“Top Level Domain Holdings is but a flyspeck, with a 6 pence share price and a market-cap equivalent to about $50 million. It’s got no revenues but has raised over $25 million from hedge funds and has no rivals for 16 of the TLDs it seeks, including .BEER, .VODKA, and .HORSE”.
“For names with more than one applicant, ICANN plans to put all who survive the initial background check into what it calls a “contention set.” The contested domain name will then be put to auction, although ICANN’s Willett hopes such an auction will be a last resort. Rivals will be encouraged to resolve their competition among themselves though negotiation, or even a private auction.
“There’s a trump card for some applicants, however, who apply as a “community” for TLDs like .ECO. Top Level Domain’s folks originally teamed up with Al Gore in pursuit of that name, but the former Veep parted ways before the application was filed”.
“Top Level Domain can still boast the endorsement of the Sierra Club for its .ECO application, but a Vancouver, BC,-based rival called Big Room, Inc. has applied as representative of the environmental “community” and has a crowd of endorsers like GreenPeace and the World Wildlife Federation. Under ICANN rules, if the agency agrees that Big Room represents a community, then it automatically wins”.