Spotlight on .XYZ
HEXONET recently had the opportunity to conduct an interview with XYZ.COM LLC, the company behind the new gTLDs applications that include .XYZ, .College and .Now. The company’s first gTLD will be .XYZ with an anticipated launch date of Q2, 2014.
.XYZ’s founder, Daniel Negari, is a Internet entrepreneur and visionary with years of experience in the domain name space. At just 27 years old, Daniel is the youngest owner of a company vying for new gTLDs! And he brings some bold ambitions and ideas to the changing Domain market. HEXONET would like to thank Daniel for taking the time to share his thoughts and insights on .XYZ
1) What is the mission of .XYZ
As an unrestricted global domain extension, .xyz is for every website, everywhere. We offer affordable and flexible domain names to users all over the world, with the mission of bringing choice, accessibility, and innovation to the internet.
2) What will be the key benefits to registrants, Internet users and others?
XYZ is used daily, worldwide, as a short and easy to remember phrase. It is the only domain extension that can be identified by any language, since the letters X, Y, and Z are universally recognized as the last three letters of the Latin alphabet, and also represent the three dimensional axes. In other words, an individual does not need to speak English to understand what .xyz is. And because .xyz doesn’t have a literal meaning or connotation, it offers end users the flexibility to create any kind of presence they desire, rather than being labeled by an industry, location, or other niche.
Because the current namespace is so crowded, it’s tough to find a short and recognizable domain name that is also affordable. This is where .xyz comes in. Individuals all over the world can purchase an affordable and memorable domain name without sacrificing flexibility or recognition. We also want to promote these users’ websites by featuring them on ours, and building in other benefits so they are able to better connect with their audience.
3) Will there be specific restrictions in order to register a .XYZ?
No. .xyz domain names are completely unrestricted and are flexible enough to serve any and all types of uses. It is intended for a multitude of demographics, including (but not limited to):
• Individuals and businesses all over the world
• Users requiring a flexible domain name with a global reach
• People who want a shorter version of their current domain name
• Creative users who are seeking a bold and fresh domain name
• Countries with high internet growth
• The next generation of internet users
We have coined the term “Generation XYZ” to express the idea of creating a global community of individuals regardless of age, location, or interests. As an unrestricted global extension, Generation XYZ is designed to embrace diversity on the internet.
4) You had mentioned that you are receiving strong interest from countries like Germany, India and China. Why do you think there is such interest coming out of China for .XYZ?
In China specifically, XYZ is an acronym for the phrase “Xiǎoyǔzhòu,” which translates into “little universe” — a great encapsulation of what the open, global Internet is.
But .xyz is an attractive domain extension for users across Asia for several reasons. First, it is generic enough to be used for any type of website while still offering instant international recognition. Because of its widespread use, there is a demand for latin-based domain extensions. But the challenge becomes reaching an audience who may not speak English. With .xyz, users all over the world are able to register a domain name that ends with Latin characters without facing the typical language barriers, since XYZ is a universally recognizable phrase without a literal translation.
Another benefit of .xyz is that it allows users to register domain names with international characters. That means individuals in China can use Chinese characters, Germans can use umlauts, and people in India can use the Devanagari alphabet. And although their domain names may be in their native language, their websites will still end in .xyz and have a global reach as part of the Generation XYZ community.
Lastly, .xyz embraces the exponential growth of the internet and its emerging global markets. The users in Asia and other parts of the world who are coming online for the first time ever did not have the opportunity to register an affordable and memorable domain name before. With .xyz, they will have the chance to create an online presence that is not only short and memorable, but also affordable enough to purchase and maintain. It’s a fresh start for internet users around the world.
5) We understand that you will embark on a multi-million dollar ad campaign to promote .XYZ. Can you please elaborate on this.
.xyz is taking a proactive approach to generating brand awareness and domain registrations, demonstrating dedicated support and supplemental marketing to registrar efforts. Our mission is to bring choice, accessibility, and innovation to the internet, and the best way to do this is by making sure people everywhere know that .xyz is the most flexible, recognizable, and affordable domain extension out there.
We have specific marketing strategies in place for each major industry on and off line, as well as a number of fun viral and guerilla campaigns to engage with the individuals who desire a web presence. As we approach our Q2 global launch date, we will start rolling out different global, national, regional, and interest-specific promotions to create a buzz around .xyz.
We are just getting started on our awareness campaigns and will be turning up the heat leading up to our global launch in 2014, so be sure to follow us on Twitter at @XYZ to learn about our upcoming promotions.
6) Daniel, you are known as an innovator in the domain name space. We understand that you recently partnered with NameJet in a groundbreaking advanced auction format prior to the release of the TLDs .XYZ and .College to the open market in 2014. How does this work?
We worked very closely with NameJet and our legal teams to develop an innovative new way to offer premium domain names to early adopters at insider prices. As innovators in the namespace, we want everyone to have an equal opportunity to own a short and memorable domain name. We were able to accomplish this by auctioning “purchase options,” which can be exercised once the .xyz and .College extensions have been delegated to us and we have gone through the Sunrise period.
Because people are bidding on option contracts, domain names are not being allocated at the time of auction. This means the winners do not have to pay anything for the domain names until after the Sunrise period has concluded and they have received notice from us. At that time, winners can choose to exercise their options to purchase the domain names they won. If the winners change their minds, they have zero obligation to pay the purchase price or a termination fee, and will not be tied to any kind of contract.
7) Can you please share with our readers more details on your Early Access Program.
The XYZ Early Access program gives top clients the chance to secure a premium .xyz domain name before it is available to the public. This allows them to build their brand and presence on an innovative new platform. Members will have the opportunity to co-brand with us as part of our multi-million dollar ad campaign and be featured on our website, among other membership benefits.
For more information about the XYZ Early Access program, please contact Shayan Rostam at firstname.lastname@example.org.
8) Hundreds of new gTLDS will be launched in the months to come. The registries will be vying for digital ‘shelf space’ with various domain registrars. How do you plan on embracing the registrar community?
Although we are in the very early stages of our awareness campaigns for .xyz, we have been able to generate much more buzz than any other domain extension out there. We’ve accomplished this primarily by being extremely proactive in reaching out to registrars, communicating with the media, developing a strong social media presence, and doing a lot of targeted advertising both on and offline.
As a registry, we believe our top priority is to generate awareness and demand for our low-cost, high-volume global domain extension and put the registrars who will be carrying our domain names in the best possible position to succeed. With our comprehensive business and marketing plans being backed by our multi-million dollar ad budget, we are educating registrars and their customers on the value of .xyz so that when they think of domain names, they think of us.
9) Once your TLD is launched, what are the key challenges / obstacles you foresee in the short term?
Our biggest short term challenge is generating general new gTLD awareness in the general public. Although people type domain names hundreds of times per day, the casual user does not spend much time thinking about what comes “after the dot.” They are used to websites ending in .com; but that is the old way of thinking. That is why we are allocating a substantial portion of our marketing efforts towards general education and awareness. We are confident that once internet users know that the namespace is evolving, they will appreciate the value of .xyz domain names and the identity we have created with Generation XYZ.
We are always happy to hear from fans, so tweet us at @XYZ with any questions or comments, and follow the XYZ Blog for the latest news!