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2011 will be the year of .INFO

It's been awhile since I've posted a full blog entry, but 2011 has me really giddy for a lot of reasons and so I've decided to start posting again. The thing that has gotten me the most excited though has got to be the strong sales of .INFO in the last 6 months. The current trend is very strong. So much so I think we'll see our first (of many) 6 figure .INFO sales made public in 2011.

If you didn't check out the Afilias 2010 .INFO report that came out earlier this month, be sure to read the whole thing here, but the most important thing to gather from the report is that .INFO grew by nearly 30% and now makes up 44% of the entire "new TLD" market. For the same reason .COM is propelled higher as new extensions are released, I believe the .INFO extension will continue to grow into it's role as the "gold standard" among new TLDs. That doesn't mean I think .INFO will overtake .COM. I do expect that .INFO will start to compete more evenly with .NET over the next couple of years and that's a trend you can already see happening today. The great news though is that there are still lots of opportunities to be had in the .INFO space.

If you look through the reported sales history of .INFO over just the last 6 months, you see over a dozen 5 figure sales with the highest reported sale being Geld.info ("money" in german) going for right around $30,000. That's a long way from 6 figures but I think the solid base of 5 figure sales means that it's not unreasonable to have certain prime keywords start to push the 6 figure mark.

While I don't have any official info on the subject, there is also the issue of the .INFO Sunrise Reallocation which went through it's RFP process in early 2010 and may mean some very interesting auctions for names that were not picked over in that phase. There is also the outstanding 1 and 2 character .INFO release which, as far as I can tell, is making good progress as well. If we can get mid 5 figure .BIZ auctions for 1 character names, I could certainly see the possibility of one or more 6 figure .INFO's.

So here's the strategy: start picking up the highest quality .INFO's you can find, but keep the sales prices on the down-low so as not to suppress the trend in market prices. There is a huge disparity between end-user and reseller pricing with .INFO right now so there are tons of deals to be had. You look at a name like Shoes.info that sold just recently for low 4 figures and know that is a mid 5 figure name to the right buyer today. Imagine what that price could look like in 3 or 4 years.

And one more note: Don't think that because I am excited about .INFO that it's the only extension in my portfolio. I always promote diversification. There are domain investors who are 99% invested in .COM, and I'm not going to knock that strategy. It's just more exposure to a single extension than I care to take. Alternative extensions and ccTLDs may be speculative, but I see more upside to a prime keyword in a relevant TLD than I do equivalently priced low to mid tier .COM names. For example our FunnyVideos.TV site is now on page 2 of Yahoo and Bing for it's keywords with very little content and practically no marketing or link building. While that may not sound all that great, we are just below Cracked.com and competing against established players that have been around for years. Price paid for FunnyVideos.TV? Low 3 figures.

But wait, wasn't this post about .INFO? Why am I talking about .TV? Well, we are currently busy behind the scenes working on our largest development project yet and it's a category killer .INFO. Stay tuned in 2011!


  1. I'm very surprised to hear that the dot info has any value. In France, nobody knows this extension and launching a serious website with a .info would be a major error. Many premium keywords are still available in French in .info and sales are very scarce.
    I don't see why .info would be more successful internationally, while there are so many extensions around and there will be much more.
    Another thing, writing that investing is ccTLDs is speculative is really too much. CCtlds are the generally the norm, a little above the .com.

  2. @David Thanks for the insight. .INFO is not just popular in the US (it's very popular in Germany for example) as .INFO translates well into many languages but it's popularity certainly varies between countries. It's not the only one - I didn't realize .NU was used in Sweden until recently but it turns but it translates to .Now and many companies brand on it there.

    As far as the comment regarding ccTLDs being speculative - they are significantly less speculative for someone living in that country. But as an investment strategy, someone in the US trying to diversify by investing in .FR domains, for example, would certainly be speculation.

    I think your comment saying ccTLDs are the norm is actually not quite a reality when .COM represents 45% of the total number of registered domains and the vast majority of 6+ figure sales while ccTLDs are under 40% of the total number of registered domains. But I don't think .COM will retain it's majority share for much longer. It will almost certainly still be the highest in terms of valuation in the US though for at least another decade.

  3. .com will always be king.

  4. And home prices never go down.

  5. @woo: For many cctlds, investing in quality domains in local languages is the less speculative choice. I see much more speculation in .co domains, and in the English market in general where transactions have never been smooth (exaggerated prices or denial to sell, especially during the golden age of parking, absence efficient marketplace, fake auctions, etc.), which led to a market with a very low level of confidence for both buyers and sellers.

    Cctld are already solidly established in countries such as Germany or the Netherlands, where .com is not the king at all. And the market is much more transparent, with a regular increase and often good relationships between buyers, brokers and sellers.
    In France, the .fr was not appreciated at all until the middle of the years 2000's, but it has regularly increased its presence since then, and now most companies communicate with a .fr. I don't think that it will reach a point where .com is almost not used at all by companies, like in Germany or in the Netherlands. Not much speculation in my opinion in French, because of the low level of prices compared to the size and financial means of endusers.

  6. .TV will be. .info is a joke