SeekingAlpha.com published what can only be described as a brutal assessment on shares of Demand Media, Inc last yesterday after Demand said it would spin off its Rightside division into a separate public company on August 1st as well as on Rightside.
The post entitled; Demand Media: Titanic Will Hit The Iceberg
Here is are the conclusions from the article:
“eHow.com and Livestrong.com continue to decline in page views and will have lower EBITDA in Q2 2014.
Rightside reported negative EBITDA in Q1 2014.
Google entered the registrar space in June 2014.
Expect even more margin pressure in the near future.
Both businesses are a melting ice cube.
The Company needs to be taken private to implement a turnaround. Otherwise, expect 15-20% declines in the stock.”
The post goes on to say that:
“Demand’s current stock price of $4.53 will become $3.78 post spin-off.
Demand’s current market cap of $416mm will be split $69mm Rightside and $347mm Demand.”
“Google announced they will become a registrar. ”
“It is impossible for Rightside to compete in this space now and in the near future.”
“Rightside will have to increase sales and marketing to compete against Go Daddy and now Google. The secular dynamics of this industry are not in the Rightside’s favor.”
Interestingly the article does not even mention Rightside as a new gTLD operator or as the backend provider for its new gTLD and the 200+ new gTLD’s that Donuts will be operating. SeekingAlpha only looks at Rightside as a domain name registrar.
I was going though some generic .Democrat new gTLD domain names yesterday to see what premium generic domains are available for Preregistrations as the extension goes live tomorrow.
Its expected that many candidates will grab their .Democrat domain name when running for office.
However when it comes to generic domain names .Democrat domains are either not available as being on the collision list or being reserved by the registry or pretty damn expensive for domain investors as they carry premium registration and renewal prices. (All prices are quoted from Enom.com which is owned by the same parent company as the Registry.)
I was surprised to see hacks thrown into the premium category for example the domain ElectA.democrat is priced at $585 registration and annual renewal fee.
iam.democrat is priced at a staggering $875 a year, while VoteForA.democrat is priced at “only” $109.
On the Generic front I found these domains carrying premium registration and renewal prices of $875:
For around $600 you can register
$300 will get you one of these:
These generic terms are reserved or on the ICANN collision list or otherwise not available:
Demand Media, Inc. (DMD reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2014 today after the market closed
Its our personal opinion that the sooner Demand can spin off Rightside from the rest of the mess the better.
Rightside operates the back end of all Donuts new gTLD extensions, owns 107 new gTLD’s with Donuts, Owns Enom the 2nd largest domain registrar on the planet as well as Name.com another top 10 domain name registrar.
The eHow business I never like.
Anytime you rely on Google for your success, I think your in trouble and I think the eHow side is pulling the whole company down.
Here are the highlights as pointed out by Demand:
Q1 2014 Financial Summary:
Total revenue ex-TAC declined 8% year-over-year, with 11% year-over-year growth in Registrar revenue offset by a 19% decline in Content & Media revenue ex-TAC. Excluding the acquisition of Society6, total revenue ex-TAC decreased 15%.
Registrar revenue grew 11% year-over-year, primarily due to growth in Name.com domains under management.
Domain Name Services:
Rightside has signed 29 registry operator agreements with ICANN to date, and we have an interest in over 80 applications or registry operator agreements. Seven of our extensions, including .ninja, .reviews and .social are currently in “landrush” phase and six of our extensions, including .consulting, .actor and .pub, are currently in their “sunrise” launch phases.
Our owned and operated registrar channels offer the broadest selection of new gTLDs as we now distribute 156 of the 165 new gTLD extensions
To date, businesses and consumers have registered over 80,000 new gTLD domains at eNom and Name.com, making us one of the largest distributors of new gTLDs.
Our back-end registry platform now powers over 100 of the 165 new gTLDs and has processed almost 500,000 new gTLD domain registrations to date.
Owned & Operated revenue declined 18%, driven primarily by lower traffic to key properties and the strategic shift away from higher CPM direct sold display advertising sales, partially offset by revenue of $6.7 million from Society6. Excluding the acquisition of Society6, which was acquired at the end of Q2 2013,
Owned & Operated revenue decreased 32%.
Network revenue ex-TAC declined 27% due to lower revenue from our domain monetization and Pluck social tools businesses, offset partially by 33% growth in our Content Solutions business.
Adjusted EBITDA decreased 55% year-over-year, primarily reflecting the negative impact from traffic declines on high-margin revenues and a mix shift to lower margin commerce and Registrar revenue.
“Our results in the first quarter were in line with our expectations, and we remain optimistic about our long term opportunities. We are focused on making targeted investments to reaccelerate revenue growth and increase shareholder value,” said Demand Media’s CFO Mel Tang. “Additionally, we are preparing for and are on track to complete the separation of the business into two standalone companies this summer.”
Content & Media:
March 2014 US and Worldwide comScore Rankings:
On a consolidated basis, Demand Media ranked as the #21 US web property and Demand Media’s properties reached more than 80 million unique users worldwide.
eHow.com ranked as the #31 website in the US and reached more than 46 million unique users worldwide.
Livestrong/eHow Health ranked as the #3 Health property in the US, with more than 17 million unique users worldwide.
CollegeHumor/Cracked Network ranked as the #2 Humor property in the US, with more than 15 million unique users worldwide. Cracked.com itself had more than 6 million unique users worldwide.
During Q1 2014, Society6 membership grew to over 550,000, a 114% year-over-year increase from a year ago. Additionally, image uploads increased 35% year-over-year, and there are now more than 1 million unique designs available on the site.
Scott Hopkins wrote a piece on Seeking Alpha today stating that the new gtlds were the last chance for Demand Media. Demand Media has been languishing in the stock market for awhile now. The stock is down 25 % this year and is down 46 % over a one year time period.
Demand Media owns Name.com and Enom and that is where Hopkins believes the magic has to happen. He is not a believer in the Demand Media web properties such as eHow and LiveStrong.com. He refers to these sites as digital sharecropping, always at the whim of another Google algorithm update.
So if Demand Media is going to make a turnaround, Hopkins sees that happening with the new gtlds. It is worth noting some of the registrar figures Hopkins used in his hypothesis are not accurate. His reference to Name.com as having roughly 500,000 registrations is way off compared to latest numbers from registrarowl.com, they put Name.com at 1.2 million as of December 2013.
The article actually quotes Michael Berkens referring to a post he wrote in 2012 but its really just a post on a poll
Michael has already responded to Scott on seekingalpha.com as he believes he has been misquoted but nice to see that confirmation that people from outside the industry read thedomains.com
From the article:
- New domain name extensions are being released daily. Will people use them?
- DMD needs to move away from reliance on search engine traffic.
- Profitability will depend on eNom and Name.com versus GoDaddy.
Right now Demand Media owns Name.com and eNom wholly. They also own a stake in Namejet. As far as market share is concerned, as you might expect, GoDaddy.com is the leader, with about 30% market share and growing. Second, is eNom with about 8% market share. Name.com is hardly relevant with approximately 500,000 domains registered and less than 1% market share.
eNom is in a valuable position at second place and growing. At over 6 million domain names registered, the company has 20% of the business GoDaddy, the undisputed leader in domain names, accounts for.
The most important element of the success of Demand Media’s domain name companies will be to how well the new gtld’s are promoted and how well the registrars promote them. However, even with great promotion, new TLD’s fail.
He goes on to discuss .CO although he focuses too much on the O.co situation and not the fact they have 1.6 million regs and that they just got bought out by Neustar for $109 million. I think every new string would love that scenario in the long run.
Read the full article here
Web.com Group, Inc. (WWWW) officially announced today that it has acquired SnapNames from KeyDrive S.A.
Shares are down over 2% in early trading today.
The questions yet to be answered is how will the acquisition effect where expiring domain names from Web.com registrars, including NetworkSolutions.com and Register.com will be going.
All expired domains of Netsol where going to SnapNames.com until it was acquired by Oversee.net, the company that sold SnapNames.com to Keysystems. Once Oversee.net acquired SnapNames.com Netsol went into partnership with Demand Media, INc (DMD) to form Namejet.com which has over the last years been the exclusive auction house for expired Network Solutions domains.
We have asked both Web.com and Demand Media, Inc over the weekend how this acquisition will effect dropped domain names but neither has furnished a definitive answer.
SnapNames is a drop service and online auction house including expiring, deleting and privately-owned domain names.
“We are very pleased to bring SnapNames under the Web.com umbrella,” said David L. Brown, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Web.com. “This acquisition enables us to enhance our existing domain related assets and provide additional services for customers who are looking for specific domain name addresses. In today’s expanding domain resale marketplace, SnapNames is a global industry leader with experience and expertise in domain lifecycle management and auction services.”
“”Web.com owns two of the world’s largest retail registrars in Network Solutions and Register.com. With the addition of SnapNames, Web.com will further expand its global partnership channel by leveraging SnapNames’ extensive international network, thus helping customers find the right domain names the first time they look. In addition, the acquisition complements NameJet, the domain name auction platform managed through a joint venture partnership with Web.com and Rightside.”"
In a press release issued by the seller of SnapNames, Key-Systems said:
“Moniker now plans to work even more closely together with KeyDrive and its sister company Key-Systems to strengthen its position on the US registrar market and to become an even more powerful international registrar.
“KeyDrive will be reinvigorating the Moniker brand with new technology, products and commitment to their customer service”, said Alexander Siffrin, Chairman of KeyDrive.”
“”The disposition of SnapNames will have no negative effect on the customer experience of the Moniker clients. The same staff will be taking care of all customer needs and customers will access their accounts as before. Moniker will continue to work with SnapNames as in the past and the usual business will not be interrupted for clients.”"
“”In February Bonnie Wittenburg assumed the position as Moniker CEO.…
Demand Media, Inc. (DMD) released its earnings for the 4th Quarter of 2013 as well 2013 numbers and the market apparently didn’t like them.
Demand Media, Inc. is hovering around $5 a share down about 10% from the closing price last night hitting an intraday low of $4.95
Demand has a 52 week high of $9.75
At its current price, Demand’s market cap is $459 Million dollars.
Demand Media, Inc, is intending to spin off its registrar, registry and new gTLD business into a new public company Rightside.
In the earnings call yesterday Demand Media, Inc. (DMD) had some interesting details about the financials they released for the 4th quarter of 2013 and for the full year 2013 and some interesting statements which demonstrate they are somewhat confused by the new gTLD numbers.
First for the results:
“In aftermarket services revenue, which represents premium domain sales and advertising revenue from our Owned & Operated third-party park domains of approximately $8 million and decreased 33% year-over-year due to lower advertising yield on domain parking and lower year-over-year domain sales.”
So in 2013 Demand is saying their revenue from parking and domain sales combined, was down 33% in 2013 Vs. 2012.
As for the new gTLD numbers, well the statements made in the earnings call are inconsistent.
“More than 90 new gTLDs have been launched into the sunrise and/or general availability phases and more than 60 of those are leveraging Rightside backend registry platform, to-date, more than 150,000 domains have been registered on our platform.”
OK we agree with the 150K number which are all Donuts extensions.
Now here is where the trouble starts:
“”The sale number that we mentioned was 150,000 domains. Those were sold in sunrise essentially and so there’s a little bit in [GA], but I think it’s early enough to where there isn’t enough general availability, information to be able to draw, I think, even early trend lines with.”"
Based on a search of the zone files and reported by many blogs trademark holders didn’t widely apply for domains and there are still only 25K registrations in the Trademark Clearing House which at best would represent less than 20% of all registrations.
“”I would say, we’re pretty pleased with the early results just given that, we — one of the questions was, what do we think the consumer demand is going to be in, within really a couple of weeks of being offered. We’re seeing hundreds of thousands of domains being registered. So we think that’s a pretty positive sign for the industry in general.”"
Well the number is 150,000 not hundreds of thousands and if they came mostly in Sunrise then they are not consumers registrations and if they are consumer registrations they are not Sunrise (brand) registrations.
Beyond that we know that the domainer community has a lot of skin in the game.
The words domainer or domain investor were not uttered during the call.…
Demand Media, Inc. (DMD) reported its financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 31, 2013.
Q4 2013 Financial Summary:
- Total revenue ex-TAC declined 3% year-over-year, with 12% year-over-year growth in Registrar revenue offset by an 11% decline in Content & Media revenue ex-TAC. Excluding the acquisitions of Society6 and Name.com, total revenue ex-TAC decreased 15%.
- Registrar revenue grew 12% year-over-year, primarily due to the addition of Name.com, which was acquired at the end of Q4 2012. Excluding the acquisition of Name.com, Registrar revenue increased 2%.
- Owned & Operated revenue decline of 5% was driven primarily by reductions in search engine referral traffic, offset by revenue of $8.4 million from Society6, which was acquired at the end of Q2 2013. Excluding the acquisition of Society6, Owned & Operated revenue decreased 23%.
- Network revenue ex-TAC declined 31% due primarily to $3.5 million less revenue from the Company’s YouTube Channels as well as declines in the Company’s Social Media and Network Monetization businesses, offset partially by growth in Content Solutions.
- Adjusted EBITDA decreased 39% year-over-year, primarily reflecting the negative impact from search engine referral traffic on high-margin revenues and a mix shift to lower margin commerce and Registrar revenue.
“We generated over $8 million of free cash flow in the fourth quarter and over $44 million for the year,” said Demand Media’s CFO Mel Tang. “We will continue to invest our free cash flow into our strategic content, commerce and new gTLD initiatives.”
Domain Name Services:
- Launched our back-end registry platform in Q4 2013, powering the launch for over 60 new gTLDs and over 150,000 domain registrations to date.
- Signed our first registry operator agreements with ICANN in Q4 2013, and have signed 14 agreements to date, including .dance, .democrat, .immobilien and .ninja, which are currently in their ‘sunrise’ launch phase.
- Our registry entered into its first agreements with registrars to distribute our owned gTLDs, with over 40 signed to date.
- Our eNom and Name.com registrar channels signed agreements with new registry operators to distribute new gTLDs and have launched over 80 new gTLDs to date.
Content & Media:
- January 2014 US and Worldwide comScore Rankings:
- On a consolidated basis, Demand Media ranked as the #19 US web property and Demand Media’s properties reached more than 88 million unique users worldwide.
- eHow.com ranked as the #27 website in the US and reached more than 50 million unique users worldwide.
Rightside™, the domain name services business of Demand Media (NYSE: DMD), today announced new partnerships with many of the world’s leading registrars to bring its portfolio of new Top Level Domains (TLDs) to market.
More than 40 registrars – including GoDaddy, Web.com, 1&1 and Host Europe, and Rightside affiliates eNom and Name.com have signed registrar agreements with Rightside Registry, creating an expansive and global distribution network. This agreement allows each registrar partner the opportunity to provide domain name services for Rightside’s portfolio of desirable and memorable new domains. In addition, Rightside Registry TLDs, .DANCE and .DEMOCRAT, are now available for early registration, allowing trademark holders to safeguard the domain name that matches their trademark, as well as allowing registrar customers to pre-order domain names.
“As we prepare to bring our new TLDs to market, we wanted to partner with the largest and most innovative registrars in the domain business to help capture the full potential of this new opportunity,” said David Ryan, general manager of Rightside Registry. “Entering into these agreements marks an important milestone for our business, and constitutes a significant step towards helping our customers define their unique digital identity.”
“The introduction of new TLDs brings unique options for small businesses to be successful online,” said GoDaddy Vice President Domains, Mike McLaughlin. “Domain names are essentially real estate of the 21st century – it’s your online address. Partnering with Rightside gives our customers the option of interesting TLDs for their business or personal needs.”
The entry into registrar agreements makes it possible for these leading registrars to make any number of the Rightside Registry new domains available during all phases of launch – from pre-registration to general availability. Current registrar partners include:
- Host Europe
- Mark Monitor
- Melbourne IT
Rightside Registry also announced that its first available TLDs, .DANCE and .DEMOCRAT, are now available for pre-order through partner registrars, and full registration for trademark holders. To qualify for purchase, trademarks must be validated with the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH), a centralized database that verifies trademark information. Once the trademark is validated, the new domain will be available for registration through any registrar partner of Rightside Registry that a customer chooses to use.
As a popular pastime for both professionals (over 38,000 choreographers have profiles on LinkedIn) and amateurs (ABC Network’s Dancing with the Stars garners approximately 13 million viewers each episode), .DANCE is an exciting new domain that appeals to a mass audience.…