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I was reading my Twitter stream and Andy from namestat.org made a tweet about Dot Luxury.
— namestats (@NameStats) May 20, 2014
This is a sign of the disconnect between domain investors and those running registries. Most of the commentary on the new gtlds on forums and blog comments is to the negative side. Opinions range from the program has failed, the results are pathetic, its just a cash grab and many more. The discontent is understandable, so far the program seems to go against a few of the core concepts it was supposed to stand for.
Premium pricing and premium renewals is the number one reason many people had a problem with Verisign and their handling of .tv. Verisign has to be looking at how some registry operators are handling things and saying WTF ? Verisign has started holding back all two character .tv domains in what can only be seen as a response to the new gtld pricing scheme. Verisign says these names are being held for marketing purposes, (Yeah Right).
More choice has also been a farce, with collision lists and premium reserved names this has not proven to be true, unless someone meant more choice of names that make no sense in extensions many people never wanted. Donuts and their EAP system has rubbed many smaller domain investors the wrong way. Smaller investors who pre-ordered a domain were surprised to find out that someone else stepped up and paid $1,000 for a domain they hoped to nab for $50 on the first day of general availability. Many understand deeper pocketed domain investors can pay up, their problem is with the system in most cases, not the bigger bankroll.
So now back to the tweet that Andy made, Dot Luxury at $800 a year, every year is a great success for Monica Kirchner and her team at Dot Luxury, they have already made their money, all the while just about every domain investor under the sun will rip the extension from a pricing or viability standpoint. The criticism will more times than not be spot on, but that doesn’t change the fact they are making good money.
It would be foolish to think they won’t pick up more registrations along the way, maybe they top out at 3,000 registrations, they will be the subject of ridicule in domainer circles, yet they will be making more money than most individual domain investors could ever hope to make.
Like one big domain investor said to me, “it doesn’t matter what it looks or feels like, these registries are here for one thing, to make money, and some are going to make a lot of it.” Domain investors may never see a return on their investment but the registries are going to be all right. While they may market to domain investors registry operators for the most part really could care less what domain investors think in the long run. That paradigm could shift come renewal time when many domain investors question why they are paying a premium renewal for an extension with little to no aftermarket.