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.XXX Domains Selling Like Hotcakes to Companies That Don't Even Want to Use Them

In case you haven't been keeping up with it, the ".XXX" domain is getting closer and closer. ICM Registry, the company that administers the .XXX domains, created a "Sunrise" period (Sept. 7, 2011-Oct. 31, 2011) that allowed trademark holders -- both those looking to use a .XXX address and those seeking to prevent others from using their trademark on a .XXX website -- to register in advance of the rest of the world. ICM recently announced that it received more than 80,000 applications in the Sunrise period, and that "the applications have been well balanced between brand owners inside the adult industry and those non-adult brands that want to protect their trademarks."

Between Nov. 8 and Nov. 25, the "Landrush" phase is underway, during which only members of the "adult Sponsored Community" (but not trademark holders) can apply for .XXX domain names. Finally, beginning on Dec. 6, 2011, the "General Availability" phase will begin, and all remaining .XXX domain names will be allocated to applicants on a first-come, first-served basis. 

In a press release, ICM stated that "We couldn't be happier about the success of the Sunrise period. There is always a risk with a new TLD that you may build it and nobody will come. We are thrilled that over 80,000 applications came!" ICM's break-even point was reportedly 10,000 applications, so I'm sure it is thrilled to have received 80,000 applications, but let's think about this. I don't know how many of the 80,000 applicants in the Sunrise phase were non-"adult" companies that just want to protect their good name from ending up on a .XXX website, but ICM said it was "well balanced" between adult and non-adult applicants so let's assume 40,000 "non-adult brands." That means ICM had roughly 40,000 paying customers that had zero interest in actually using this product but bought it for $162 anyway as a form of reputation insurance. Brilliant! And that does not even take into account the recurring revenues ICM will take in down the road when these customers must renew the registrations on these domain names.

I am feeling motivated by ICM's success in getting tens of thousands of companies to buy something they don't want, and I think I may be able to replicate it by becoming the domain registry for a different new domain: ".SUX"  Who won't sign up to get their company or personal ".SUX" domain name before their competitor or enemy gets it? Nobody!! Everyone will be in!! Bwahhhh haaa haaaa!!!

Posted by Bruce Carton on November 17, 2011 at 01:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

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