May 2009 - Issue #46
 

NameDrive Opens NDXMarket

NameDrive has opened their new NDX domain market first announced in January.  NameDrive's service will charge a 7% fee, compared to the standard 10% charged by Afternic and Sedo. All fees are waived for the first month, as a way of encouraging people to sign-up.

If you park your domains with NameDrive have can get the commission rate down to as low as 3%. Some domains, such as  ccTLDs and gTLDs, carry no minimum commission (but still charge a percentage). 

In announcing this service NameDrive claims that they are already a big player in the domain aftermarket.  They have been doing a lot of selling through their "Park and Sell" program, and in some ways the NDXMarket is an extension of this.

Should you sell through NDXMarket?  I'm planning to - but I already have some trouble keeping up with the current status of domains at Afternic and Sedo.  Is it worth the hassle of adding a third marketplace in order to save a little on commission?  Probably.
 
 

Two of the domain monetization giants just got married. Parked, one of our favorite domain parking companies, just bought WhyPark, one of our favorite pseudo-development companies. The synergies here are mind-boggling. The first word I got of this was when WhyPark dropped their $100 fee on April 27th. The following day the official announcement was made by Craig Rowe of WhyPark. Here's an excerpt:

We're excited to announce that Parked has acquired WhyPark! The purchase creates synergies between the two companies by combining WhyPark's strength in developing traffic with Parked.com's expertise in monetizing traffic.

Parked.com's acquisition of WhyPark offers several advantages for WhyPark customers including a new premium top-tier feed for offering the highest revenue effective immediately. WhyPark customers will also receive:

Keyword selection expertise to maximize revenue and click-through rate (CTR)

  • Experienced staff to optimize domain names for maximum revenue
  • Payment twice a month
  • Additional options for receiving payments
  • A new referral program

Over the next months, there will be a number of new upgrades as we continue to integrate Parked.com's technology and monetization experience into the WhyPark platform. You will continue to use WhyPark to manage your sites and your account information will remain the same.

We invite all customers to start using the new integrated feed to see how it compares to any third-party ads you may have used in the past. To start using the new ad feed:

Login to your WhyPark account

  1. Select some or all of your domains to change to the new ad feed
  2. Choose the Change Monetization option from the Bulk Actions menu in the right column and click submit
  3. Choose the "Display WhyPark ads" and submit

We're excited about the opportunities this acquisition will bring to our customers and look forward to continuing to be your preferred domain development platform.

I expect to see more consolidation in the domain monetization industry this year.  This particular deal actually strengthens the industry.  I'm not sure that will be the case with all of the consolidations we may see.

Dropping the $100 Fee

WhyPark's domain development services once cost $100 for 100 domains. Their basic services will aggregate content from article directories on your sites. You add your own AdSense ad code or use one of their monetization options and you have a site full of content. For a fee you can also add RSS feeds and even custom original content.

Prior to the Parked buyout WhyPark received some angel investor funding and they beefed up their staff and developed their own article submission service. At this point WhyPark and DevHub are the two best quasi-development platforms that will get your domains in to full-fledged sites without a lot of development work. WhyPark has a much better track record of income production.  Now that they are free, you have one less excuse for not checking them out.
 
Taking Advantage of the Synergies
 
WhyPark is already integrating the higher-paying Parked monetization into the site.  I expect that Parked may integrate elements of WhyPark  into their domain parking - but this will probably take longer.  The best way to take early advantage of the synergies from this merger is to open a free WhyPark account if you don't already have one. 
 
Sedo Absorbs RevenueDirect Accounts
 
The domain giant Sedo gave RevenueDirect customers six days to link their RevenueDirect accounts with a Sedo account.  It's not clear what happened to people who didn't comply.  If you have a Sedo account the process was simple.  You just clicked on the link in the email and entered your Sedo credentials when you got to the special page of their site.  This process may still work.  Eventually everyone should link their Revenue Direct account with their Sedo account.
 
From their announcement:

As previously announced, RevenueDirect was recently acquired by Sedo. We are excited to be offering you the opportunity to benefit from Sedo's world-renowned parking capabilities and international marketplace.  To ensure your access to Sedo's full range of services, all RevenueDirect clients will need to have a Sedo account. Please follow the link below to either specify a Sedo account you already have, or to create a new one. It is important that you use this link; going directly to Sedo.com will not link your accounts together.  The deadline to complete this is Monday April 27, 2009.

RevenueDirect also announced that they will begin making PayPal payments twice a month, starting in June.  This suggests that Sedo will likely continue to run RevenueDirect as a separate service.  The twice monthly payment policy appears to be a response to Parked's growing share of the domain parking market.  Parked is currently the only parking company that pays twice a month.
 
What Now?
 
The days of just parking your domains and raking in income are over.  To stay viable, many domainers are becoming website developers on some scale.   Parked has put itself in a dominant position among domain monetization companies, but SedoNameMedia, and NameDrive have domain aftermarket sales income that will help keep them afloat even through lean times in domain parking.  Thought Convergence has also made moves toward diversification.  At this point everyone else is taking a back seat, and more consolidation is likely.