EuroDNS talks new gTLDs with Statton Hammock from Rightside
Rightside Registry is one of the leading top level domain registries. Its portfolio has over 30 new domain extensions, and includes some of the most desirable new domains launched, including .NINJA, .ENGINEER, .ROCKS, .CONSULTING. I’m chatting with Statton Hammock, Rightside’s VP of Business & Legal Affairs, about why Rightside rocks the new gTLDs
Hi Statton, thank you for finding some time in your busy schedule. Your registry has an impressive list of new gTLDs. Your website states that you “crunched the numbers” to create your portfolio. Would you explain in more detail, how you decided what was going to be successful; considering the substantial financial outlay per application?
As you might imagine, each of the gTLDs Rightside applied for went through an extensive vetting process; one that was highly data driven with some “gut calls” sprinkled in for good measure. If you look at Rightside’s portfolio, you’ll see that we don’t have many TLDs that are big, broad generic terms like other applicants. Instead you see TLDs with which people can personally identify, like being an .ATTORNEY, .VET, .DENTIST, .ENGINEER, .BAND, or .ACTOR. Enabling people to brand themselves and promote their interests or identity online, that’s what we encourage with our TLDs.
How can you not love .NINJA, right? I mentioned that deciding on which TLDs to apply for came down to a few “gut calls.” Well, for some of these more “fun” TLDs like .NINJA and .ROCKS, we felt people would find these to be great vehicles for their creativity, and that has certainly turned out to be the case. We love what people are doing with .NINJA and .ROCKS. Brilliant stuff, really.
You’ve several non-English new gTLDs including .KAUFEN, .MODA, and .HAUS, but no geographic ones. Some of the new geographic ones are proving very popular. Was it a conscious choice not to apply for any, and do you have any regrets about your decision?
It was indeed a conscious choice and we have no regrets whatsoever about the TLDs for which we applied. Rightside believes in the proven growth of domains in the European market. .KAUFEN, .MODA, .HAUS, .FUTBOL, and .IMMOBILIEN were specifically chosen to appeal to European consumers in specific markets such as fashion, housing and real estate, etc.
You've also got a few surprising domain extensions in your portfolio: .ARMY, .NAVY, .AIRFORCE; and the, some might say, macabre .RIP. Obviously you reduced the chances of getting into contention situations with your unusual choices, but are you worried about a lower ROI?
Not at all. How many active and retired military service men and women do you think there are currently living today? And how many more do you think are joining the armed forces every month to protect and defend their respective countries? Hundreds of thousands. The ROI is there. Rightside just has yet to direct its outreach and consumer awareness efforts towards this market.
You’re currently an impressive number four in the list of new domain registries in nTLDStats, with the .XYZ registry holding the top spot. What do you think about registries giving away domain names for free? Is it something you would consider?
At Rightside, we consider every business and sales approach, but we do so very carefully. However, I don’t foresee Rightside pursuing this strategy in the near future. We believe our TLDs have considerable value and that consumers do and will see that value and are willing to pay a reasonable price for the opportunity to get a more relevant and specific domain name that allows their personalities and identities to shine.
Over the next few months, some of the new gTLD registered domain names will be coming up for renewal. Sceptics are muttering that this’ll be the true test of the longevity of the new extensions (freebie domains may flounder!). Are you concerned about your renewals?
While renewals are one test of success for new gTLDs, it is certainly not the only test. We are more concerned with consumer awareness and education, quite frankly. Most people on the street still don’t know that you can buy a domain name that doesn’t end in .COM, .NET, or .ORG. The domain name industry as a whole needs to change that, and it will.
Final question, I promise. You’re offering 36 new gTLDs so far. That’s huge! ICANN intend opening a second application period in 2018, for another batch of new domain extensions. Do you see yourself applying for more?
Perhaps - 2018 is a long way off. What I can promise you is that Rightside’s vertically integrated registry and registrar businesses will be a major part of the domain name industry in the year 2018. Personally, I see a great market opportunity in a .STATTON top level domain name next round. Would you care to invest?
"Gut call", probably not ;)
But, to answer your earlier question – I really don’t know how anyone couldn’t love a .NINJA. It’s one of the best out there and certainly resonated with our customers. I’m fully behind your mission to enable people to brand themselves by promoting their interests and personalities, and I look forward to seeing .STATTON.
Thank you Statton, it’s been really interesting chatting with you, and thank you for being so candid.
Take a look at the EuroDNS website if you're interested in seeing the big list of new domain extensions currently available, along with those that are nearing their go live dates. Please give us a shout if you'd like to discuss domain names and all the freebies that come with your registration, such as a personalised email address, an SSL certificate, Anycast DNS, and more.
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