Tag Archives: .VIP

.ICU and .VIP Join the Million Domain Names Club

In recent weeks .icu and .vip achieved the one million domain names under management milestone making it 7 new gTLDs to currently have achieved the milestone.

For .icu, it’s been a meteoric rise having only launched general availability in May 2018 and reaching one million registrations only 13 months later. It’s one of the cheaper top-level domains around, but still managed to avoid any drop in total registrations as first year renewals came around.

For .vip, it took just over 3 years to achieve the one million registrations mark and unlike .vip, has had a few dips along the way.

The new gTLDs that currently have more than one million registrations according to nTLDstats are .top (3.474 million), .xyz (2.399m), .club (1.611m), .site (1.568m), .online (1.290m) followed by .icu and .vip. Another to have achieved the one million registrations was .loan, which now has 910,500, but peaked at 2.5 million in May 2018.

For .icu, while registrations have continually increased, it’s also one of the most abused top-level domains according to Spamhaus. In the latest Spamhaus Botnet Threat Update: Q2-2019, .icu is the 16th most abused TLD and is third among new gTLDs with 72 domain names detected. The TLD with the most domain names considered abusive by Spamhaus was .com, with 1,778 followed by .ru with 731.

MMX Happy With Over 3 in 4 .VIP Chinese Renewals

Renewals of .vip domain names for Chinese registrants are exceeding 75%, the registry Minds + Machines (MMX) announced Monday. MMX launched their .购物 (.shopping) TLD General Availability last week and .law is expected to be general available in China by the end of June.

In their announcement, MMX said manual renewals for the period 1 March to 30 June, covering over 525,000 registered .vip domain names that reached their annual renewal date in China during the period, have already surpassed 75%. This figure is, the directors believe, likely to increase as the rolling 45 day “at grace” period that follows a registration’s anniversary renewal date ends. This exceeds the renewal rates for .com and .net. The most recent renewal rates for both top level domains for the fourth quarter of 2017 globally was 72.2 percent compared with 67.6 percent for the same quarter in 2016.

The renewal results place .vip in-line with the best-in-class renewal rates of leading top-level domains globally and, the directors believe, based on the data available, makes .vip the top performing mass generic TLD in China, total registrations in .vip now standing at 888,400.

“The key metrics for our lead property in China continue to be exceptional. Standard registrations in .vip, excluding bulk registrations, are up 28% year-on-year, and the usage count – based on the number of live .vip pages showing on China’s main online search engine – is up 19% year-on-year,” said Toby Hall, CEO of MMX.

“Further, we are very encouraged that the major technology groups in China are now wanting to increasingly promote the extension, most notably Alibaba and Tencent Cloud which has recently expanded its registrar operations in the region. The BAT’s, China’s major technology companies, increasingly see the provisioning of domain names as a key way to bring SME’s into their cloud based universes for the delivery of services. As was the case last year, we anticipate revenues from the region to be H2 weighted given the 2018 allocation of .vip premium inventory is only now being released, post completion of its main renewal season. The H2 weighting of Chinese revenues will be further accentuated by the timing of this year’s new property launches in China highlighted below.”

MMX has 27 new generic top level domains in their stable with 1.5 million domains under management. The largest of their new gTLDs is .vip which has 893,000 DUM globally, followed by .work (323,000), .london (86,000) and .bayern (33,000). They are the sixth largest new gTLD registry by number of new gTLDs under management and third largest by registrations, according to nTLDstats.

In their announcement, MMX said .购物 (.shopping) formally entered General Availability on 21 June and that .law is due to go on general sale in China before month-end. Both will be marketed by in-country specialists as high-value domain names. As a result, the directors do not anticipate significant registration numbers but do expect meaningful revenue contributions from each over the course of the following 12 months. MMX also expects to announce in the next 8 weeks their first innovation based project which will potentially be released in the Asia region, at the same time as in the west, in the second half of 2018.

“Continuing to build our renewal revenues is central to our business and it is extremely encouraging that .vip renewal rates continue to be market leading,” said Hall. “It provides strong cash flow and recurring revenues from which we can further scale the business with innovation and selective acquisition as exemplified with our recent acquisition of ICM Registry LLC.”

MMX Shows There’s Money In New gTLDs As It Swings Into First Yearly Profit

With domains under management growing 67% to over 1.32 million as of 31 December 2017, compared to 800,000 12 months earlier, Minds + Machines announced they have shown their first annual profit.

As MMX anticipated when they released their interim results in September, MMX enjoyed a strong second half of the year building on the foundations laid in the first half. Billings for the second half of the year amounted to approximately $10 million (compared with $5.6 million in H1) resulting in total billings of approximately $15.6 million for the full year thereby enabling MMX to achieve its first year of profitability as an operating business.

“To have transformed the Company from a loss-making business to a profitable one on an ongoing basis within 24 months is an achievement the whole team should be proud of,” said Toby Hall, CEO of MMX. “2018 has started positively and I look forward to updating shareholders in April with our strategy for building on this profitable platform and delivering value to shareholders.”

As of today, there are 1.367 million domains under management across the 27 new generic top level domains managed by MMX. The largest of these is .vip with 907,000 DUM followed by .work (187,000) and .london (85,000), according to nTLDstats.

The mix of the billings has also continued to improve with renewal revenue now accounting for approximately $5.6 million (2016: $3.8 million). Importantly, recurring income for the first-time has exceeded fixed operating costs which have been reduced to below $5.5 million for 2017 (2016: $6.5 million).

As a result, with billings in line with market expectations, MMX expects EBITDA to be slightly ahead of market expectations, with profit being further boosted by $2.1 million through monies received by the Company from two contested TLD auctions that took place during 2017.

MMX has also continued to strengthen its balance sheet in the year. Net cash at 31 December 2017 had improved to $15.9 million (31 December 2016: $15.3 million) despite settling $3.1 million of balance sheet liabilities in the year associated with contracts restructured in 2016.

The strategic review continues to progress and the benefits of consolidation in the industry remain. Whilst the longevity of the discussions has been at times frustrating, it is hoped that the process can be brought to a successful conclusion by the time of the full year results which are expected to be released in April 2018.

MMX and Radix Get Chinese Approval for 4 More TLDs Each as .BOSTON Launches

mmxco-logoMinds + Machines has just had 4 more of its 27 new gTLDs approved for use in China, adding to the prior approval for .vip. This now makes 5 of its extensions approved by the Chinese government regulator, MIIT – .vip, .law, .work, .beer and .购物(shopping) – with a further four currently still going through the MIIT approval process.

The Company will announce the release schedule on the newly approved top level domains for the Chinese market in due course.

Commenting on the approval, MMX’s Chief Executive, Toby Hall, speaking on the domain industry at Alibaba event ‘The Computing Conference’ in Hangzhou, regularly attended by over 40,000 delegates, said:
“We are greatly honoured to be the first western registry to receive a second round of approvals from MIIT.  China accounts for over half of global registrations in new gTLDs and from a revenue perspective it is important for the Company to have a dominant position in this market.”

MMX’s 27 new gTLDs have almost 1.095 million domains under management, the largest being .vip with 762,000 followed by .work with 116,000 and .london with 75,000 according to nTLDstats.

Another new gTLD registry, Radix, also had 4 of their new gTLDs approved for use in China according to a Domain Incite report. Their new gTLDs to get the nod were .fun, .online, .store and .tech.

Additionally, this week saw the General Availability launch of .boston. The new generic top level domain launched on 10 October and saw over 2,000 registrations being made in the first six hours and approximately $100,000 of billings already booked. According to nTLDstats, registrations are now over 2,150.

MMX Sells Over $3.4m in Premium .VIP Domains Since late June in China

mmxco-logoSince late June, Minds + Machines (MMX) have sold over $3.4 million in premium .vip domain names, of which approximately $2.8million has closed in the 10 days to 12 September, and mostly to Chinese domain investors.

MMX is expecting a solid second half of 2017 in addition to the .vip sales. The .boston new generic top level domain (gTLD) which they provide registry services for launches in October and they’re entering the main renewal seasons for their leading new gTLDs.

MMX has 27 new gTLDs in their portfolio with 1.085 million domain names under management. The largest is .vip with 762,300 registrations followed by .work (107,500), .london (74,500), and .bayern (31,700). For all but their .country, backend registry services are provided by Nominet.

“We are building a strong, long-term, annuity based business with each of our regions now contributing well to the renewal revenue mix,” said Toby Hall, CEO of MMX.

“The exceptional renewal rates achieved in China in H1 are, in no small part, a direct result of the premium pricing policies introduced at the launch of the .vip TLD. The significant interest we are now experiencing in our 2017 premium inventory allocation follows our recent Beijing approval and, we believe, lays down further foundations for strong recurring revenues in subsequent years from the region.

“These latest sales also mean we are making excellent progress towards achieving management’s top-line billing targets for China for the current year, with more than 60% of our 2017 China premium allocation now sold in recent weeks. These sales, along with the launch of .boston in October, will however further accentuate the H2 weighted nature of our business as we now enter the main renewal seasons for our leading properties in Europe and the US.”

Beijing Gets On Board With the Rest of China Allowing .VIP, .SHOP and .LTD In Boost To All 3

The Chinese market is one that requires lots of perseverance for the operators of TLDs wanting to offer their domain names to local customers. To get approval the registry operator must get approval from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) first, and then the local regional communications department of the region where the domain owner is based must also recognise the TLD.

To date Beijing, a market of 22 million people, has been the only holdout. But on 16 August MMX’s .vip was the first of three foreign new gTLDs, along with .shop and .ltd, to be recognised by the Beijing Communications Administration. .vip is the first new gTLD in the top 10 by registration numbers to gain this permission. The approval gives the 3 new gTLDs a significant competitive advantage in a region with an economy with a GDP of circa 2 trillion CNY and a rapidly developed start-up/SME business sector.

MMX management also believe this latest permission will further accelerate the transition of those domains originally bought by investors in 2016, before MIIT approval, into the hands of SMEs. Already China's leading search engine, Baidu.com, recognises over 705,000 individual .vip pages from 188,764 different .vip sites and the Company is aware of further initiatives that will directly contribute to this continued usage growth of the domain in the coming months.

From mid November 2017, MMX will also begin selling Chinese character (IDN) .vip names into the Chinese market.

Separately, the MIIT approval process continues to progress on track on up to a further eight TLDs in mmx's portfolio.

New gTLDs Lose Over 1.8 Million Registrations in 2 Weeks Led By .XYZ As Promotion Anniversary Passes

New gTLD registrations have fallen over a cliff in that last 2 weeks, losing over 1.8 million registrations led by a massive decline of almost 1.7 million from .xyz over the same period, according to nTLDstats.com. The .xyz decline was expected given a massive promotion they held in May 2016 when 3.2 million .xyz domains were registered in 3 days.

Today registrations for the 1,226 new generic top level domains to have been delegated by ICANN stands at 24.948 million, down from the heady days of 4 April 2017 when registrations stook at 29.420 million, a decline approaching 4.5 million. Of these new gTLDs, around 540 are for brands, which account for around 7,200 domains according to research published by the Dot Brand Observatory.

And there is more pain to come for .xyz with almost 1.5 million domain names listed in upcoming deletes and 2.8 million for new gTLDs in general. But with total registrations standing at 3.921 million, assuming the majority are paid for, there is still plenty of potential, and profit, for .xyz.

But it’s not just .xyz that has suffered. The second largest of the new gTLDs, .top, is also on a decline. It peaked at 4.787 million on 12 January this year and has been on a decline ever since to today’s 3.298 million.

Others to have noticeable declines in the top 10 by registration numbers are .win which peaked at 1.297 million registrations on 1 December 2016 and today has 1.036 million, .vip, with a peak of 851,600 on 4 August to today’s 783,200, .wang which peaked at 1.120 million on 3 March and today stands at 663,700, .site which peaked at 729,200 on 1 May and today stands at 540,100, .bid which peaked at 619,600 on 17 January and today stands at 492,100.

Those who have defied the massive declines are .club which has maintained registrations just above the one million mark since 30 June. The gTLD has had a few troughs but has not been affected by such massive declines, which largely must have to do with the lack of free or discounted domains. Another with a fairly stable number of registrations is .loan which passed the 2 million registrations mark in April and today has 2.170 million registrations.

There are currently 5 new gTLDs with more than one million registrations, 9 with more than 500,000 and 33 with more than 100,000.

And of course, don’t forget, that while paid registrations are important, along with high renewal rates, it is use that’s the most important. Seeing new gTLDs being used out on the street, in advertising and packaging and elsewhere is important for their ongoing success.

MMX Predicts Higher Than Average .VIP Renewals in China

Minds + Machines (MMX) is expecting higher than average first year renewal rates for its .vip new gTLD in China. Based on early manual renewals, the registry is seeing renewals significantly ahead of those typically seen by new generic top-level domains in the region, according to a statement released 7 June.

MMX uses first year renewal rates as an important internal benchmark. To date, actual deletions for the first 31 days of registrations for .vip from China are currently less than 1%, with manually confirmed renewals for the same period already at over 60%, with the remainder being placed on auto-renew by registrars on behalf of their customers.

Whilst not all of those placed on auto-renew will be renewed, MMX expects the overall renewal rate for the first month of .vip registrations, which will be published in late July, to place .vip in-line with the best-in-class renewal rates of leading western facing top-level domains (i.e. c. 70% and above).

“The .vip renewal rates from China, which have not been reliant on aggressive discounting tactics, are testament to the inherent value of the .vip extension and hard work of our retail partners,” said Toby Hall, CEO of MMX.

“This bodes well for our Chinese premium revenues in H2 as we begin releasing our 2017 .vip premium inventory for the first time to the broader market in Q3, traditionally the main domain investment season in the region, on the back of .vip's exceptionally strong renewal profile.”

MMX is also expanding in China with approvals for 8 new gTLDs currently progressing through the MIIT (Chinese regulator) for potential future release in China.

By domains under management, or registrations, MMX is sixth largest registry operator with 1.104 million domain names according to nTLDstats.com. By new gTLDs under management it’s the third largest with 26 behind Donuts (2.203 million DUM and 197 gTLDs) and Rightside (640,000 and 40). The largest registries by DUM are XYZ.COM with 5.703 million DUM and 6 new gTLDs followed by Famous Four (5.171m and 16), Jiangsu Bangning Science & Technology (one (.top) and 3.943m), Radix (2.342m and 9), Donuts and then MMX.

MMX Sees One Million .VIP Registrations By End of 2017 On Back of Strong Chinese Demand

Demand from Chinese investors in new gTLDs remains strong and is largely responsible for the recent 200,000 new registrations in .vip, valued at $1.3 million, the registry MMX (Minds + Machines) has reported.

The announcement comes as registrations for the 1215 new gTLDs to have been delegated passed the 29 million mark on 31 March, according to nTLDstats.com. The largest remains .xyz with 6.617 million followed by .top (4.510m), .loan (1.954m), .win (1.193m) and the only other with more than one million registrations, .wang (1.091m). It is interesting to note there are currently almost 2.995 million domain names in the “upcoming deletes” status.

The orders for .vip comprise both standard names and premium names, including 61 premium domain names sold via the recently completed eName auction. The order contracts also ensure high renewal rates for the new registrations and a guaranteed minimum of $1.3 million of income payable to MMX over the life of the contracts.

It is expected that the registrations will show on industry sites tracking new gTLD registrations, such as nTLDStats.com, over the next ten days and will take total registrations in .vip to in excess of 800,000. Currently nTLDstats.com shows .vip with 796,000 registrations and is the seventh biggest new generic top level domain by domains under management.

“The latest registrations underline the ongoing vibrancy of the Chinese domain name market and the long-term potential of .vip both in China and potentially the wider Asia region,” said Toby Hall, CEO of MMX. “It also bodes well for the upcoming first-year renewals season following the industry breaking first month launch of .vip last May. Management is confident of its ability to exceed the 2017 one million registration target set for .vip.”

MMX has identified a number of factors which it believes is driving .vip's growth in China, namely:

  • domain investors recognising the long-term relevance of .vip web extensions for China's burgeoning SME market as well as the region's established corporates
  • the first mover advantage generated for .vip in China via it gaining MIIT regulatory approval (announced December 2016)
  • the supportive entrepreneurial environment within the China's fast growing internet industry
  • the strength of MMX's in-country management team and in-country distribution partners.

MMX also announced that a Heads of Terms agreement announced on 21 March 2017 regarding mmx's geographic TLDs has now proceeded to contract on the first of the geographic TLDs with the second to proceed in due course. The Directors believe the agreement will lead to a material increase of registrations in the two relevant geo TLDs over the next twelve months.

Chinese Government Approval For .CLUB, .VIP and .XYZ Means Further Big Growth Opportunities

The Chinese government’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has given official approval for the .club, .vip and .xyz new gTLDs meaning they can now apply for relevant local licenses to be hosted within the country. Previously only .com and .net operated by Verisign had this official approval.It’s a hugely significant opportunity for the three new generic Top Level Domains as previously registrants were required to host their domain names in these gTLDs outside the country. China already accounts for at least 40% and possibly around half of all registrations for all new gTLDs. However one probable trade-off is that the Chinese government can order domain names, and hosted websites, to be deleted it doesn’t approve of.The three gTLDs are among the top ten when it comes to registration numbers. According to nTLDstats.com, .xyz is the largest with 6.671 million registrations while .club is the fifth largest (881,300) and .vip ninth (531,500) accounting for almost 3 in 10 (29.89%) of all registrations.China’s significance can be shown by it accounting for a growing number of registrations, both for new gTLDs and legacy gTLDs, particularly short domains and even more so short numeric domains, and all three new gTLDs having offices there.While there are almost twice as many .cn domains registered within China than .com – around 20 million .cn compared to 11 million .com, .com domains attract higher premiums from investors according to the Coreile Letter blog with .com being considered a “door to the world [for] a Chinese enterprise, and every Chinese company aspires to have a ‘grand’ entrance.”Additionally, many numbers rhyme with Chinese characters. Coreile gives the example of “520” that “rhymes with (sounds like) the Chinese characters 我愛你 (I love you), which is perfect for a dating website.” And the third reason given by Coreile is that Chinese companies like to use acronyms for their domains, practice not as common for western companies. “For example, Jing Dong upgraded from JingDong.com (and 360buy.com) to JD.com and Zhu Ba Jie from Zhubajie.com to ZBJ.com. This is possible because these acronym names correspond to the fully spelled out Pinyin names. In other words, Chinese consumers have no difficulty remembering either an acronym name or its fully spelled out Pinyin name.”According to nTLDstats.com, there are almost 12 million (11.910 million) domain names registered to registrants within China out of 27.015 million across the 1,209 new gTLDs that have been delegated, however there are also 7.390 million domains that the registrant is unknown, usually through the use of Whois proxy services. There is only one additional country that accounts for over one million registrations – the USA (2.707m).For .club, the registry saw China as a huge opportunity even before their launch, regularly visiting the country since January 2014, months before its official launch. Since then they’ve seen significant growth in registrations from domain investors in China with more than 400,000 domains having been registered there and more than US$2 Million in .CLUB premium name sales made to Chinese investors. They are now one of only five formal government licenses for foreign domains so will be eligible for ICP (Internet Content Provider) numbers. An ICP number is required for every website hosted in mainland China.”The Chinese market is extremely important to us, and we’ve worked very hard at understanding how the regulatory system there works and how we can work with the government as it evolves,” said CEO, Colin Campbell. “We’re very proud to be among the first foreign domain name registries approved. While we’ve already enjoyed some success in China, we now look forward to expanding the reach and popularity of .CLUB to the many businesses and entrepreneurs developing their online presence in China. Being an approved registry opens the door to great expansion for us in the Chinese market.”The word “club” in English is widely used and recognised in China by existing clubs and small businesses, making .club a logical and meaningful domain extension. With over 140 million .com and .net names and nearly 20 million .cn names already registered, businesses looking for good, brandable names are looking further afield for new choices such as the .club new generic Top Level Domain.Likewise MMX, operator of the .vip new gTLD, was very pleased, with CeO Toby Hall saying the “MIIT approval is a major milestone for MMX and the continued successful development of our dot VIP domain. We share the China domain industry’s opinion that regulatory approval will provide for another wave of top-level domain growth in the region. Influential Chinese registrars will now be able to market this select group of approved new gTLDs more actively to the important local Chinese SME end-market for usage. We are deeply honoured to be one of only three registries to be approved in this first round of approvals.”