No $17 million rebate for struggling new gTLDs - Colin Campbell Comments


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ICANN has turned down a request for about $17 million to be refunded to under-performing new gTLD registries.

The organization cannot spare the cash from its $96 million new gTLD program war chest because it does not yet know how much it will need to spend in future, Global Domains Division president Akram Atallah told registries this week.
Source -

Colin Campbell, the CEO and co-founder of .CLUB domains, commented below the article.

New domain registires should get no reduction in ICANN fees. Also why is it ICANN's job to market new domain extensions? They are supposed to an independent governing organisation.

Fact 1: Many entrepreneurs and visionaries went into this market to support greater options for consumers (Yes with the intent of making money). We are beginning to see competition and innovation in the industry but lack of awareness has slowed progress.

Fact 2: ICANN has $350 million from auctions and application fees remaining that was generated by the new gTLD industry. To tax a fledgling industry trying to get off the ground, hoarding funds by ICANN and not returning it is in an injustice.

Fact 3: The RYSG proposal that .CLUB supported was, and I admit, self serving for the industry as the benefit would go to the registries and not the greater community.

I believe that it makes sense for the RYSG and ICANN to take another approach on this issue; one where the benefit would support ICANN, domain investors, consumers, the registrars and the registries.

There are two specific proposals at .CLUB that we have considered that would achieve a more equitable approach:

1. A broad awareness campaign for the new gTLDs to support global awareness and global acceptance in the amount of $4 million per year. This could be earmarked to support dozens of trade shows globally in every region of the world.

2. A temporary 3 year ICANN tax reduction to .18 cents from .25 cents (which equals what the registrars currently pay ICANN on every domain year). ($5 million total)

This drop in the bucket to ICANN, a $9 million proposal would have an impact by reducing prices for all users, increasing awareness, and ultimately increasing the demand for all domain names.

Colin Campbell, CEO .CLUB Domains
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So, some of the owners basically want an industry bailout from ICANN. How silly! You made a strategic investment decision that didn't work out the way you hoped. The answer is to either increase demand through marketing and promotions or to scrap the plan all together and take the loss. It's interesting how quickly the tide would turn if these gTLDs were raking in big bucks and someone suggested implementing a price cap. Imagine the howls about regulation then!

I do think ICANN hordes more money than it should, but that certainly doesn't mean the funds should be used for the benefit of gTLDs.
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Even without delving into the details, I'm amazed at the amount of money being discussed here; $350 million is quite a huge sum. I am in absolute agreement with Colin Campbell when in his comments, he places a huge emphasis on the fact that lack of awareness has halted progress.


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Even if you are "aware" of new Gs, would you build a million dollar business on one?
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