Oscar Robles, CEO of Mexico’s domain name registry NIC Mexico, stops to share some thoughts on the future of .mx
July 31st 2010 will soon mark the official one-year anniversary of the closing of the .mx sunrise registration period. Since that time we’ve had almost a full year to see the .mx domain market begin to mature, including many new .mx developed websites coming online as well as some notable aftermarket domain sales.
Sales.mx is now pleased to present to you an exclusive interview on the current and future state of the .mx domain market with CEO of NIC Mexico, Oscar Robles.
Sales.mx: Mr. Robles, first of all thank you very much for giving us this opportunity. How has Mexico as a whole responded to the new .mx top-level domain?
OR: I think the numbers are ok, we are at the early stages of adoption, and that one is the most complicated part. We are confident to maintain a bigger growth in .MX compared with .com.mx in the next months.
Sales.mx: As of early March 2010, there were over 80,000 newly registered .mx domains. Are we nearing the 100,000 mark, or has that number already been surpassed?
OR: Yes, we are very close to the 100,000 mark (by 15th of July we’ll be reaching it).
Sales.mx: Some people have said they expect .com.mx to remain the preferred extension for the near future. According to my own research, I’ve noticed quite a number of websites already forwarding the .com.mx domain over to .mx. What are your thoughts on this?
OR: And that’s going to be more usual in the coming months. The .com.mx still benefits from 20 years of brand positioning. We just started a branding effort for .MX last month (June) and we expect to continue this effort through the rest of the year, which will provide a good positioning about the .MX, and together with the cases you mentioned (and the ones we are starting to see in Mexican media : Honda.MX, Terra.mx, Chevrolet.MX, EXP.MX, telediario.MX, CNN.MX, etc) will foster the .MX growth.
Sales.mx: Most would agree that the success of a domain extension is largely based on it’s level of adoption by end-users – those who build a website or business around it. From your own experience, what can you tell us about the level of adoption of .mx among businesses in Mexico so far?
OR: I share your idea. Having registered 1/3 of domains .MX for every .com.mx in only ten months make us believe it has had a good level of adoption, even more when we talk about prices among .MX versus the second level domain’s prices you realize the latter.
Sales.mx: Are you noticing any increase in the number of television, print or radio advertisements using .mx domains over the past year?
OR: Yes, although we don’t have a full monitoring system in place, we’ve seen that in Mexican media (as I was telling you in my previous answers). Of course, it is not easy for the big companies to make this switch when they have worked for several months on the marketing campaigns with the former URLs, so we don’t expect to have a full switch to .MX in this year but it will happen sooner or later. At the same time we are not pushing for the banishment of .com.mx, but rather a good coexistence of both choices.
Sales.mx: Your company recently launched a new website at SeamosMas.mx. Can you tell us a bit more about that?
OR: “Let’s Be More .MX” is a communication effort that promotes .MX domain name registrations inspiring users to Be More and Grow their projects, ideas, services, business, and so on, by having Internet presence.
With this campaign we want all those who have a passion, business, idea or project to take advantage of the Internet; and use it as a tool to introduce it to the whole world and label it with .MX. This way we’ll be more .MX to Place the Name of Mexico on the Internet
Through www.seamosmas.mx it is expected that .MX users share their experiences, so they can be part of this growing trend to Be More .MX. The philosophy of this campaign is to grow and think bigger about any idea or project, and take it further no matter how small it seems.
We want to create a movement to add more projects on the Internet and Being More .MX.
Sales.mx: There have already been a number of publicly reported aftermarket sales of .mx domains, including the highest of which occurred just last month (see 888.mx). Can you comment as to whether you believe we are likely to see an increasing aftermarket demand for .mx domains in the near future?
OR: No doubt, definitely, we are going to see more Aftermarket transactions about .MX. Many good and generic names are still free, others are already taken, but registrants are waiting for the best moment to put them on sale. We’ll see an increase in those transactions in the future.
Sales.mx: In your opinion, are there many businesses with a local presence in Mexico willing to spend the money to acquire high-quality generic .mx domains at a price that is above normal registration and renewal fees?
OR: Yes. Some of our customers may recall the Landrush process we used last year. It was quite unique (reverse auctions, or dutch auction) and provided us with good level of understanding precisely in what you are asking. Certainly, our intentions were to keep running the systems during the “goldrush” period maintaining a low level of transactions (a few thousands) using the price as a control mechanism, but at the same time we learned that business do take care of their Intellectual Property regardless of the price (but of course there are limits for every body).
Secondly, many companies were asking for those premium names before we could make that reopening. Current growth of .MX confirm what I’m saying: .MX (only direct .MX registrations) has grown almost 45% against .COM.MX growth of almost 9% since Nov 1st 2009. .MX grows 67% faster in absolute number than .COM.MX registrations in the same period (even though .COM.MX is three times bigger).
Sales.mx: Do you see the exchange rate between the Mexican Pesos and US Dollars playing any influence either way?
OR: I think it plays both ways and considering the exchange market fluctuations in the last two years I think this is a wise way to provide certainty to the organization, thus to the services we provide to our clients. By the way, NIC.CL started to do the same this month http://www.nic.cl/fees-usd.html
Sales.mx: Does NIC Mexico have any plans to enter the domain aftermarket space, as for example with expired domain auctions?
OR: First, we want to understand perfectly the aftermarket and its implications. Unfortunately, aftermarket has not been comprehended correctly in our region (not only Mexico but Latin-America as a whole), that situation does not help any plan we may have in the future. But to give you two examples of thing we are currently carrying out in this regard, 1) we started to discuss the aftermarket in our Advisory Council early this year, so this is a two way information, the pros the cons, what we could do, what we don’t want to do, what we must do, etc; 2) we’ve been attending aftermarket meetings and trying to have good level of understanding about this interesting activity.
Sales.mx: Mr Robles, on behalf of my readers we sincerely appreciate your taking the time to share with us and discuss the future of the .mx domain market. Thank you.