ICANN just approved its 2014 budget which is coming in at over $200,000,000 in revenue.
The budget anticipates ICANN staff growing to over 300 people but the real kicker, in our opinion is that ICANN still has virtually no revenue allocated coming in from the “Last Resort” New gTLD auctions.
We have noted in past years that ICANN has not allocated any revenue coming in for auction of new gTLD strings where there is more than one applicant although the Guidebook that ICANN have produced, call for new gTLD extensions that were applied for by more than one applicant to be decided by a auction where the high bid wins.
Recently the concept of a private auction has gotten some play and players but as originally contemplated by ICANN new gTLD strings with multiple applicants will be decided by the high bidder takes all model.
We have noted for a few years that ICANN has not included any significant amount of revenue coming in from these new gTLD auctions although may expect some of the most sort after strings to go for amounts into the eight figures each.
Private auctions that have to date averaged around $1.3 million dollars a string, although it should be noted that the number of parties in any one private auction have been no more than 3.
There are many strings where the applicants number more than 5 and some of 10 or more, and with some applicants being on record of not participating in private auctions a number of the most applied for strings should be headed for an ICANN auction at some point, where in our opinion ICANN will generate over $100 million in revenue, on a very conservative basis.
Even without any revenue coming in from Last Resort Auctions ICANN is projecting a $46 Million dollar profit in 2014, pretty good for a non-profit.
ICANN is projecting to grow to over 300 staffers in 2014.
Here is another interesting note:
“Transactions volume in historical gTLD registries is forecasted to decrease during the 2nd half of FY14 by 1%, as a result of the new gTLD registries starting operations, resulting in a flat transaction volume vs FY13.”
One might ask if ICANN is expecting a flat volume in 2014 as the new gTLD launch they are basically saying that gains in the new gTLD’s domain registrations are going to be offset by the losses in the existing TLD’s registrations.
So where is ICANN recognizing the growth in overall domain registrations?
If ICANN doesn’t foresee overall domain name growth what was the point of the new gTLD program to being with?
Tom Gilles says
Competition and Choice.
Andrew Allemann says
To be fair to ICANN, they have said that they are purposely leaving it out of the budget because they have no idea how much they will bring in. It’s not really an oversight on their part. It will also be kept in a separate bucket.
Michael Berkens says
Don’t buy it they can put a number to it, its certainly not going to be zero and ICANN still hasn’t committed to what it will do with the money.
Kevin Murphy says
Andrew’s right. ICANN doesn’t plan to use auction money in its regular budget. It’s going to be earmarked for some unspecified project(s). The community will likely be asked first. One thing seems pretty certain, though: it won’t be used for general corporate purposes.