Melbourne IT reported a five percent year-on-year decrease in revenue while announcing its full year results for 2012, but this included significant investment to prepare for the arrival of new gTLDs in 2013 and beyond – something they believe will drive an increase in demand for the company’s services.
The domain name registrar and consulting company believes new gTLDs are expected to drive an increase in demand for domain strategy consulting and registration revenue, brand protection growth and will see the commencement of more than 110 ‘.brand’ registry services contracts from the second half of 2013 onwards.
“2013 will be a significant inflection point for Melbourne IT,” Melbourne IT CEO and Managing Director Theo Hnarakis said. “Although it is too early in the financial year to provide any detailed guidance for 2013 – particularly given the strategic review is in progress – we see good growth opportunities ahead for our business and by successfully executing our strategies, we expect the performance of each of our divisions to be maintained or improve in 2013 as we invest further in our people, marketing, systems transformation and enhancing the customer experience.”
Speaking about brand protecting in new gTLDs, Hnarakis told the Australian Financial Review:
“We have 3800 corporate customers, many of which are very defensively-oriented in particular brands. When these new extensions are launched, they naturally register that domain name to ensure nobody else can secure that name. Even if you were to run that multiple down significantly you would still see a significant lift in revenue from the middle of 2013 right through to 2014.”
Hnarakis also said sales from the 146 companies that had applied for a new domain name through Melbourne IT, as well as defensive registrations, would specifically boost division revenues this year. The company has spent in excess of $5 million on preparing systems and marketing for the domain push.
Of the 146 applicants, 36 had said they would ‘park’ the domains for the foreseeable future, instead of actively using them as web addresses.
“We’re very bullish in terms of the upsides for new [top-level domains] and brands.”
“It will really depend on the TLD. If it’s a popular one like .web you might see a significant number rivalling .xxx but if it’s a unique one like .food you might not get a lot of defensive registrations.”