Frank Schilling on gTLDs | DomainInvesting.com

Frank Schilling on gTLDs

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Without a doubt, Frank Schilling owns one of the most lucrative private domain name portfolios (maybe the most lucrative). His company, Name Administration, annually sells millions of dollars worth of domain names, and it most likely generates into the 8 figures in PPC income per year.

Last year, Frank founded an acclaimed domain name parking company, Internet Traffic, and his Domain Name Sales platform that was opened to the public has received considerable praise from its users (myself included).

Recently, Frank announced the creation of Uniregistry, a company that has applied for a number of gTLD extensions. Clearly, Frank is bullish on the market for gTLDs.

Earlier today, I posted an interview with Mike Mann, who has a differing opinion on gTLDs. I reached out to Frank with the same questions I asked Mike, and I want to share some of his thoughts on gTLDs. My questions are bolded below.

Will companies adopt descriptive keyword gTLDs and re-brand websites?

Yes, slowly at first. Companies will use them as novel marketing tools in advertising, but then gradually the ship will turn and you’ll see then used more frequently as the anchor-domains for corporate sites – and as primary sites.

How long will it take consumers to understand what gTLDs are?

That’s a good question. Nobody knows for sure, but technology has people learning quicker now and there will be a ton of marketing from all corners once these are out. 5 years or so? Definitely less than 10 years.

What is the path to success for a gTLD operator?

The Uniregistry model: Low fixed price registrations, delightful ease of use and utility, hands-off (open, free, greenfield) governance, coupled with strong rule of law and abuse mitigation safeguards.

How do registrars and registries sell their names?

Registries will pay registrars to carry their products (as they do now) but Uniregistry plans to have a relationship with registrants for renewals, transfers and management via the Uniregistry website. We plan to encourage people to deal with their registrar but want our registrants to have a delightful ease of use and the ability to engage in name administration at the registry level if they wish. We plan significant marketing incentives for registrars to promote our strings. The TLD process will be very good for those capable of selling names.

Will brand gTLDs help make consumers aware of the right of the dot?

Absolutely. When consumers drive down the freeway and see billboards with justdoit.nike and drink.johnnywalker and drive.bmw it will change the way they feel about website addresses.

Will you be investing in registries and/or acquire various domain names in different TLD?

Uniregistry is the only registry aside from Verisign, Affilias and Neustar who have built their own registry software and infrastructure. We’ll be offering those services to other comers in round 2 and beyond. I do not plan to invest in any new tld based SLDs. There will be great opportunities to acquire strategic names in strings (used.cars, AnythingYouCanThinkOf.free) but I won’t be pursuing them. I would be participating there if I had time, but I’ve made the commitment to run registries so plan to focus all my energy there.

How can domain investors make money when it comes to gTLDs?

Focus on the Registries that are run as I described in the success model above and purchase strategic names at registration price, and then do as you would do with existing sld’s: monetize them and engage in development and resales.

Do you think marketing dollars spent on gTLDs will be good for the domain industry as a whole?

Absolutely. Anything that promotes domain names on such a grand scale, will help to educate the general public about their value.

Will land rush opportunities bring more people and capital into the domain investment space?

This is also an unbridled YES. There are going to be many more domainers in the future, from all walks of life, and from many more corners of the World.

What will happen to the money domain investors spend on gTLDs?

gTLDs? or SLDs? I think if you buy the right SLDs which rhyme with the types of names you see in modern marketing you will make money. If you buy the wrong names you will loose money.. The game is the same as it ever was only the position of the dot and the price of entry is changing.


About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and his company earns revenue from domain names. Elliot is President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Elliot is the publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Read this blog's disclaimer for information about the publisher, comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts.

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Comments (22)

    JP

    Really cool how you did the 2 polar opposites interviews today Elliot. And from 2 people who “should know” the answers.

    It really reinforces the fact that nobody really knows how it will play out.

    November 30th, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Bernard

    I second JP’s comments, although I tend to think that FS has a slightly longer-term view than MM does in this case.

    November 30th, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    Vito

    Great Interviews.
    Very Interesting.
    Two domaining pioneers and totally different strategies!

    I was of course way late into domaining so I missed the .com boat but have made money in other gTLDs and I see the same visions Frank has.

    These gTLDs will definitely bring more eyes into domaining/developing as a whole and there is a great wide open world of possibilities and potential for everyone out there.

    Love this quote of Franks…

    “When consumers drive down the freeway and see billboards with justdoit.nike and drink.johnnywalker and drive.bmw it will change the way they feel about website addresses.”

    Nice job Elliot

    November 30th, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Ron

    Agree on the two different remarks, but one side has a larger slice of the pie if this thing does pan out.

    November 30th, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    Jason

    People like Frank certainly stand to bank off these things, just like those who banked off every other failed tld out there. Fail or succeed, the registries always made good money. The best advice to domain investors would be to either totally avoid buying domains with the new extention, or buy a gtld yourself. any registry selling domains to the public will of course hold the best domains back so its all pointless for domainers unless you were able to invest in a gtld yourself.

    November 30th, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    owen frager

    I rarely disagree with my brilliant friend Frank but from a branding expert perspective this is a terrible example:
    “When consumers drive down the freeway and see billboards with justdoit.nike and drink.johnnywalker and drive.bmw it will change the way they feel about website addresses.”

    All of those brands need no address. A swish, golden arches or a whiskey bottle are what speaks to them. They see a symbol and in their mind say a name and if they want to go to website add a .com.

    Today it’s not how it looks on a billboard but in the small square next to your tweet or the small app button on the phone. Since those are all linked, no one really has to know the domain name behind it.

    I think the TLDS will only make GREAT dotCOMs MORE valuable.

    Franks play is somewhat different. And is addressed for success.

    First he is the house and as we’ve often said in Domaining it’s the house who always wins. If you think there won’t be tons of investors who’ll bet a few dollars on a dream as many before them have if you look at Berkens 3D thread for example and others like it- most people lose money but GoDaddy makes a ton of money regardless of whether anything they sell becomes a success.

    Frank will be the GoDaddy and therefore will be getting income for domain bets rather than funding them. That’s genius.

    There is a world of creativity out there and any visionary can come up with a way none of us would ever think of and make a string huge. Frank’s streams to me are more like communities of interest. Like a NING. It provides like minded people an easier way to find each other. For antique dealers who need a chair to make a set or replacement china, this is like the diamond and antique and rag districts in NY where you go to find everyone all in one place.

    It’s more a boom for small folks- power they never had- rather than a way to fix branding that’s not broken.

    No one has ever marketed domains- I mean with million dollar campaigns and TV ads and appearances at conferences and on business TV. Anyone who steps up to that will create the opportunity that Mike Mann and others don’t see.

    November 30th, 2012 at 3:25 pm

      Steve M

      I wish Frank well, but Owen’s 100% correct.

      What will really happen is that those very, very few folks who even try to to go to such sites as justdoit.nike, drink.johnnywalker, and drive.bmw are far, far more likely to type in:

      justdoitnike.com

      drinkjohnnywalker.com

      drivebmw.com

      .com will always be the #1 most desired extension in the world … by far.

      Billions/year in .com ads were, are, and will always be spent.

      That ship sailed many years ago … and .com won.

      November 30th, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    Amanda

    What is the strategy to get major brands to adopt the new gtlds?

    November 30th, 2012 at 3:26 pm

      Elliot Silver

      I think that’s a big unknown right now. We don’t even know what publicly traded companies like Amazon are going to do with their descriptive keyword gTLDs let alone their branded ones.

      BTW, nice looking website.

      November 30th, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Vegas Lover

    Dotcoms will rule to roost forever. All these schemes to dethrone the “Dotcom King” will fail.

    The volume of unsolicited offers on my dotcom domains have increased noticeably within the last 500 days. I sense the economy is turning around for quite a few people.

    As well, the number of people who are “dying of cancer but I would really like to have your domain, can you give me a discount because I am sick” has increased as well.

    Shame on these people. Using “cancer” (which I doubt they have) as an excuse is a poor judgement call.

    November 30th, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Arnie

    Let’s get real with this. The registries will keep all the valuable names for themselves to auction off to the highest bidder. Do you think they will sell history.book, or interior.design for $8.18.
    You have to be an idiot to fall for this b.s..

    November 30th, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    BullS

    “When consumers drive down the freeway and see billboards with justdoit.nike and drink.johnnywalker and drive.bmw it will change the way they feel about website addresses.”

    All websitesitesarebull.shit

    November 30th, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    JNet

    @Jason
    “any registry selling domains to the public will of course hold the best domains back so its all pointless for domainers unless you were able to invest in a gtld yourself.”
    ——–
    Tru Dat ! … Unfortunately….Arghhh !!!

    @Arnie
    The registries will keep all the valuable names for themselves to auction off to the highest bidder.
    ===================================

    ….. The industry needs a better, more thorough & more effective “regulator” than ICANN .. there’s valid reasons why so many refer to that org at ICANN’T !!

    As a somewhat relevant paralell —-> On Wall Street,, investment banks & securities brokerage fims and their Employees can NOT buy Shares of Hot IPOs.. which are over-subscribed and rise/pop up to a high premium above the IPO offering price on the first trading day…cuz such is
    considered a to be unfair (to the public) use of insider advantage and also sorta a form of insider trading by the SEC and NASD

    … and then there’s the “Domain Industry” issue of “certain” Registrars cherry picking & pocketing for their own accounts,, choice, desireable expired pre-drop domain names … and thus not letting customers or the general public to have equal & fair access to such attractive/valuable domains…thus another form of self dealing and blatant use of unfair insider advantage…and similar or “on par” dealings would be considered an equvalent form of insider trading by securities regultors
    ——-

    November 30th, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Phil

    Would love to here peoples thoughts on the the domains like .me and .tv with the new awareness of right of the dot that is expected from franks perspective.

    Thanks

    November 30th, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    Domainer52

    Are you kidding us, Elliot?

    Seems obvous at this point that gtld’s are gonna crash and burn.

    Suggesting thatyour readers even consider them is foolhardy. .COM is the only way to go and will be the only contender in the post gTLD-crash market.

    December 1st, 2012 at 12:41 am

    bodo

    Evolution also means change.
    The Domain World belongs to those who think-n.eu (New)

    December 1st, 2012 at 3:27 am

    WQ

    Buy Furby’s

    December 1st, 2012 at 4:35 am

    Louise

    When consumers drive down the freeway and see billboards with justdoit.nike and drink.johnnywalker and drive.bmw it will change the way they feel about website addresses.

    Maybe – it’s interesting to watch, but that will be a steep learning curve in the beginning, and this is why:

    Designers have been applying a “dot” in brands and names, regardless of url, as an effect, such as:

    used in a bravo tv show – will consumers be able to discern that is a url? Nothing says, url, like dot com and dot net, for the time being. We’ll have to watch.

    There will be great opportunities to acquire strategic names in strings (used.cars, AnythingYouCanThinkOf.free) but I won’t be pursuing them. I would be participating there if I had time, but I’ve made the commitment to run registries so plan to focus all my energy there.

    This is another change we’ll keep an eye on: the dissolution of separation of Registry/Registrar. Verisign/Neustar and the others were governed by strict rules blocking vertical integration, because of the threat of monopoly. If the new rules allow it, the public will have to keep an eye!

    December 1st, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    bodo

    .com….. .net domain mammuts.
    The next step in the domain evolution :
    Creativ domains
    Why?
    1700 ltds……
    http://Www.cars-y.es or http://www.pc-n.eu
    Forever unique

    December 2nd, 2012 at 2:36 am

    Joseph Peterson

    Nice post, Elliot. Two very contrasting opinions from two domainers with comparably immense levels of success in this industry.

    December 8th, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    bodo

    Success and failure is relative and a matter of time. who thinks new, will have to wait forever …
    if the domain market recognizes what truly unique domains for benefits, the cards are redistributed.
    In this sense, warm greetings from berlin

    December 10th, 2012 at 2:22 am

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