Why Did Michael Berkens Keep Adult Domains & New gTLDs?

godaddyMichael Berkens announced today the sale of most of the Worldwide Media, Inc. domain name portfolio to GoDaddy.

In a blog post he revealed that he sold the domains because of personal reasons and not because he stopped believing in their potential and value.

He also revealed that he kept the adult domain names and New gTLDs and plans to launch 2 websites selling these: Adult.Domains and The.Domains.

Yes, these are 2 New gTLD domain names.

I don’t for a minute think that Mike chose to keep the adult domains and the New gTLDs. He just wanted to cash out but these domains could not be part of this deal.

I understand that Go Daddy, as a public traded company, doesn’t want to own any adult domain names. But I not sure why the deal did not include New gTLDs.

My guess is that the high AND variable renewal cost makes these domains difficult to be included in large deals. Either that or GoDaddy sees them as a risky investment at this time. Maybe this is something that the industry needs to address.

Michael Berkens plans to be involved in domaining selling the above domain names, writing on TheDomains.com and being part of RightOfTheDot.


About Konstantinos Zournas

I studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London, UK and I am now living in Athens, Greece. I went online in 1995, started coding in 1996 and began buying domain names and creating websites in 2000. I started the OnlineDomain.com blog in 2012.


  1. Berken’s has some category killer New G’s…Many bought in EAP and on the Collision List….I don’t see how this can be good for the New G’s without some refreshing news…

  2. More interesting is that GoDaddy is apparently approaching more domainers to buy their portfolios

    • this is more interesting indeed, we have no idea why GoDaddy didnt want it, we do know that they wanted to buy portfolio shortly after MarchX. And if we know anything about Berkins, we know that his domain dont come cheap. Regardless how smart GoDaddy was, i am willing to bet they paid up, and paid up well.

      • Judging just from the number domains he owns, it would have been at least double that for entire portfolio. Add the craziness with Chinese domain buying sprees and prices, low cost of carrying domains for Berkins, who is mostly solo owner. Unlike Marches who had huge overhead and staff. The sales he had this year…. He had momentum. I dont think Berkins was that motivated, unless offer was high enough to motivate him.

      • It was $28M for 200k domains for marchex. $25M for 70k seems right cause the quality is better. First I thought $35M but that would be hard to explain…

      • I have no idea how his portfolio is, but we do know he did few millions in sales just this year, so he couldnt be desperate seller. I think he got more then Marchex, in part because if GoDaddy didnt do well with Marchex portfolio, it wouldn’t pursue other acquisitions. It goes back to did he wanted to get out fast or right place/ right price. I think its more of the later.

      • I think anything above 35M would be a great sale for Mike.

  3. Because Go Daddy doesn’t want adult domains? Go Daddy seems to be trying to change its image as a sexpot organization by moving away from the scantily-dressed girls. The company’s current (and incessant) TV commercials seem to appeal to mom and pop small businesses.

    As to the new G’s: Go Daddy may inadvertently be sending a subtle message that .com is king.

  4. Regardless of gTLD quality – and having seen some of Mike’s, they are top notch – the selection of this versus that gTLD domain is a very personal choice.

    I’m almost certain that it was also due to a decision by Mike to keep the gTLD portfolio, as he is a conscious and active supporter of the new Internet name space (see: Right of the Dot).

    Regarding the adult domain portion, GoDaddy is clearly not interested, as they have worked hard to clean their public image.

  5. There is no way godaddy could pay Berkens EAP + renewals on his GTLD’s, if you look across a 70,000 domain portfolio for a number of say $25M that is only $350 per domain, he has 10 times into some of those names just in EAP fees

  6. The fact that Godaddy was interested in a largely. Com portfolio but not interested in a new TLD portfolio speaks volhmes.

  7. There is nothing being said anywhere by godaddy or by mike that godaddy wasn’t or isn’t interested in his or any others portfolio of gTLDS. There is nothing saying that he kept these because he believes they have more upside. Speculation on either side is a waste of time.

    • To me it is clear that if GoDaddy was really interested in Mike’s New gTLDs it would own them now.
      I can only speculate for the reasons why.

    • He is leaving domaining, he stated he is not dropcatching anymore names, if godaddy wanted them, they would be sold, just like his adult, they have a limited sales channel.

      Godaddy has more market data on what sells, and what doesn’t that any of us combined.

      Godaddy can make more selling high premium renewal domains, than actually trying to hold, and pay renewals, and flip for profit.
      Sorry Phil, you are best to keep your head above water given your renewals are more than your sales. It is what you call drowning, and godaddy wants no part of it.

  8. You may want to reach out to mike , I don’t wish to speak for him ever , but I will say again there has been no conversion that they were not / are not interested. There was conversation stating why they did not buy the adult names. But I think it’s a dangerous asumption that they did not want to buy any of his Gtld portfolio .

    • Mike actually has made a public posting on his blog regarding this topic . He stated its not factually true that godaddy was not interested in his new G’s they just didn’t get together on the number … So like any great business man did , he closed on the first part of the deal and can revist the other part when the time is right, maybe tomorrow maybe next week maybe next year , but the the fact remains that godaddy was indeed interested in acquiring the new g’s as well.

      • Ok. I don’t consider someone “interested” unless they make a fair offer. As I said above variable renewals makes these difficult to buy in a bulk deal. Amd that why these were separated from the bulk of the domains.

    • fully agree with abchevy .. to many variables for speculate ..

    • Dangerous? Why dangerous?
      The article has a question mark. We just are making conversation.

      • if I have to speculate, so I would say that it is to early for donuts to buy ngtld . its not serious to buy ngtld and sell it on the other side by golive by auction. its a goal conflict.

      • You mean Godaddy… (not donuts)

        I don’t think there is a conflict. These are secondary market domain names. It is not a purchase directly from the registry.

      • lets say a smart domainer is requesting “music.works” for eap5 with godaddy. after checking all the request, godaddy decides that this name is really nice for the own portfolio. thank you smart domainer.
        u got the point?

      • Sure, but we are talking about GoDaddy buying Michael Berkens New gTLD portfolio.

      • yes .. but where is the sense when u buy in aftermarket but have to miss golives in the future.
        I just think it would not be good for godaddy’s reputation when they step in with a ngtld portfolio during ICANNs round 1.

      • dangerous was for effect , kind of like the old saying that when you assume you just make an ass of u and me.
        —- = ==

        not truly dangerous, secondly people make 6 figure offers on names often that are not accepted , that does not mean they are not interested and eventually get together.

      • By “really” interested I meant that they didn’t absolutely wanted New gTLDs included in the deal. It was not a deal breaker.
        New gTLDs probably made the deal unnecessary complicated.

        And offering maybe half of what Mike paid in EAP fees, registration and renewal costs just a few months back is not “really” interested in my book.
        They would have to offer at least the cost of New gTLDs to make them interested.
        It is not like they don’t know the cost of acquiring New gTLDs…

        On the other hand maybe they did make a cost offer and Mike rejected it.
        I am just trying to figure out what I would do in the same situation.

      • Regardless of the scenario, it remains very interesting that the New G’s were NOT included. I was ‘speculating’ that by this time the New G’s would be equally included within the entire domainsphere, not separated and grouped (with Adult names). Some said 5+ years, I ‘speculated’ sooner… Time will tell…I remain cautiously optimistic with the New G’s and optimistic with .com…..

      • I think that the variable pricing has do more harm than the registries expected.
        It was a big mistake and I will explain my reasoning in a future article.

  9. Agree with Variable pricing, created an unnecessary complexity step. Which adds to spooking a buyer.

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