Monday, November 28, 2022

Creating a new gTLD? Why choosing a Retail Registrar as your provider makes sense!

This is the English summary of a French article I recently wrote on the reasons why it is important to select a new gTLD service provider who also owns one or more retail Registrars before creating a Registry dedicated to selling domain names through the network of accredited Registrars. If submitting the application to ICANN was the difficulty in the first round of new gTLDs, sales figures have clearly demonstrated - 10 years after the first round of new gTLDs -  that the main difficulty in the next round will be “to sell”.

To avoid being listed next to the 760 existing extensions at most Registrars, here are a few tips I would do when choosing my service provider prior to launching a new Registry in the next round of the ICANN new gTLD program:
  • Some providers offer the full range of services: writing of the application (knowledge with legal and financial aspect of the procedure), mandatory back end registry provider (including other services such as Escrow solution...) and existing retail registrar(s). Why then choose different providers if one can make it all? They are not many on the internatinal market but they exist and are probably the ones with the best knowledge and offer.
  • Some retail Registrars now own their own back end registry solution provider (this did not exist in the first round of the ICANN new gTLD program): since retail registrars have no obligation to promote a TLD instead of another, negotiating your new gTLD’s presence at your retail Registrar’s provider makes sense instead of choosing a provider who cannot offer such a powerful tool. Remember two things:
    • Your objective is to sell domain names.
    • Your provider wants you as a client: your negotiation capacity is strong.
  • Some retail Registrars sell lots of domain names worldwide and you want to be seen on their front page (and not listed on their list of hundreds of other suggested extensions). If your TLD is generic enough to interest them, negotiating visibility or marketing can make a strong difference in the success of your project.
  • Your chosen provider does not necessarily have to be a back end Registry provider owning a Retail Registrar. If he is a retail Registrar with an offer and the price offered to create your TLD is interesting enough, he can be a partner of choice for the success of your project. What matters is his capacity to give visibility to your extension when it launches.
  • Presence, promotion and visibility at the retail Registrar are important in the negotiation to become his client (or not) but direct and repeated promotion at his clients by email or through its newsletter can also be an advantage. Remember that combined marketing makes the both of you earn money. If your new gTLD provider doesn't care about your visibility as a partner, then...investigate the contract he wants you to sign: a partner who doesn't care about the success of yout project is not a good partner. A new gTLD must develop and you don't get into such an expensive project to find out that you have had less than 10.000 domains sold after 10 years of existence, or do you?
  • Be careful with announcements to your partner’s clients: retail Registrars have the capacity to seriously promote your extension at their clients, and this repeatedly. Corporate registrars don’t do such promotions, they often just “announce”.
  • Be careful with too much “blabla” when it comes to selecting a provider, the legal, technical and financial knowledge have now propagated enough and a provider must be able to answer all questions and the better when he has experience but what really matters is the project:
    • Developing a Registry and selling domain names or,
    • Using the full potential of a .BRAND extension (not dedicated to selling domain names).
There are not so many service providers to offer the full range of services to create a new generic Top-Level Domain dedicated to selling domain names (not "dotBrands"). The main services I'd definitely look for a project would be:
  1. A capacity to fill in my application until validation at the ICANN, with the necessary knowledge would something unexpected happen (objection, auction...);
  2. A backend registry solution provider;
  3. A famous retail Registrar.
Interested in having Jovenet Consulting to take care of all this for you? Contact us.

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