Will New TLDs Affect Domainers?

The Domainer Meeting in Paris last week discussed the likely impact of new TLDs, likely to be approved by ICANN in today’s board meeting. The consensus seemed to be domainers will face little impact from any addition to the number of TLDs now.

Most people were of the view any new TLDs will take some time to get to a critical mass of registrations and public awareness for people to actually type in any domain names with any new TLD. The time take for this could take anything from a few years to never depending on how popular the TLD becomes. Jay Westerdal was of the view it could take 10 years for new TLDs to get a return on domain names in new TLDs.

However, some of the newer TLDs already available, such as .mobi, .eu and .asia may find some type in traffic. As awareness of .mobi grows, users may type in some of the more obvious domain name possibilities on their mobile device.

For domainers though, Dan Warner of Fabulous was strongly of the view that it is what is rare and valuable that domainers should focus on. Warner described this as actual domain names, original content, usership (transient/residual) and community as all things the industry should focus on.

Considerations should also include what should happen if a major financial stream was lost in one year said Warner, while reducing costs such as registration costs and dead stock were all issues any domainer needs to be acutely aware of.

Within Europe, domainers are finding more valuable returns on domain names with return per click slowly increasing, while rates seemed to have stabilised in the United States.

And for those domainers who want to establish themselves in Europe, Paul Keating from the law firm Renova described how Luxembourg was a very good option with a favourable tax regime that domainers can take advantage of while the country is welcoming of business. However to take advantage of the benefits of the Luxembourg take system, a specific tax structure needs to be developed to take advantage of this. Luxembourg has flexibility in drawing up a company structure, a high degree of professional secrecy.