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Daily Wrap: $33m .ORG Registry Contract Up For Grabs, Rightside, .EU, .MUSIC Community Application Fails

Public Interest Registry logoPublic Interest Registry, the not-for-profit operator of the .org, .ngo and .ong domains, announced they are putting out to tender the back-end registry services for its top level domains.

According to research by Domain Incite, the contract has been worth over $30 million a year to the current registry operator Afilias. Afilias received $33.2 million in 2014 and $31 million in 2013.

Rightside, the registry operator for 40 new gTLDs, the largest being .rocks, .news and .ninja, with 448,000 domains under management, announced its financial results for the fourth quarter of and full year 2015.

“In Q4, and for the full year of 2015, Rightside achieved strong financial results as we continued to execute on our mission of advancing the way businesses and consumers define and present themselves online.  We achieved record revenue in the fourth quarter closing the full year 2015 with 11% total revenue growth and Adjusted EBITDA of $4.8 million,” said Chief Executive Officer Taryn Naidu.

“Looking ahead to 2016, we are excited about our portfolio of 39 new gTLDs and the future growth opportunities as we continue to invest in market development initiatives that drive heightened awareness and growing usage for new gTLDs by consumers and businesses. We are focused on improving profitability by driving margin expansion and growth in our Registry and retail business lines and implementing cost efficiencies throughout the business,” Naidu continued.

EURid has published its latest progress report for the .eu registry. During Q4 2015, the number of .eu registrations increased by 7,937 domain names, a net increase of 0.2%, to 3.87 million.

During the last quarter of 2015, the total number of .eu registrations increased in 25 of the 31 EU member states and eligible EEA countries. The last quarter was also characterised by the announcement of the completion of the IDN ccTLD Fast Track for the .eu in Cyrillic, the second successful edition of the .eu Web Awards and the launch of the IDN World Report in partnership with UNESCO.

The full report is available for download on EURid’s Quarterly progress reports page.

Following on the failure for the community applicant for .gay to attain community status, the community application for .music has also failed to attain community status [pdf]. According to the evaluation, the application received 10 out of 16 points in its evaluation but requires 14 to pass. The application failed on the “community establishment” criteria, receiving zero out of four points. This criteria requires “a clear, straightforward membership definition and there must be awareness and recognition of a community among its members.” And there must have been “pre-existence” of the community prior to September 2007.

It does appear that the application requirements have not taken into account how community groups operate and one would think this is a massive failure on behalf of ICANN when devising the new gTLD programme.