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Trending: Live Extensions [Interview with Marc Gawith]

By Tawanna B.

Live Extensions

Trending: Live Extensions

If you look closely, you’ll notice that there’s an uptick in the number of live extensions in the domain marketplace. A relatively new offering, (dot) live extensions are trending amongst active early-adopter live streamers.

Why not just use a (dot)com?

You know exactly what you’re getting with a (dot) live extension vs. a (dot) com. You’re up for either a live video or a live event.

For broadcasters, a branded (dot)live extension is a perfect solution for promoting themselves vs. promoting a live streaming platform.

Listen to the interview below with Business Development Manager, Marc Gawith of Rightside Media, the company that owns Name(dot)com.

After I heard Marc speak on a Periscope broadcast, I got in touch with him. I wanted to hear more about personal branding with live extensions.

I also wanted to get a domain of my own.

During our conversation, we talked about the importance of branding, various platforms in the market, and China as a live streaming powerhouse.

Listen to our interview below:

 

If you’re interested in getting a (dot)live extension for your brand, get it here for a 10% discount using the CODE: tawannab.

[Transcript]:

OK So Mark how do you pronounce your last name.

Ga-with.

Tell me, what’s your background?

Yes. So my background is primarily in the domain industry. I’ve been involved in the domain industry since 2005. I’ve been working in that space for eleven years now almost twelve.

I got my start at Go Daddy dot com. I worked there for nine years in Phoenix and I’ve recently relocated to the Seattle area. I’ve been working for Rightside in a different capacity but still in the domain space for just over two years.

Ok. Do you own Rightside?

I do not, specifically. Rightside is a publicly traded company. I am the business development manager and the official spokesperson for (dot) live.

Oh, ok. Perfect. Tell me, as the (dot) live person, do you think that you were trying to fill a void in the market?

Yes. It’s interesting from the (dot) live domain perspective. Our company acquired the domain name and it’s been close to ten months or so that the (dot) live domain name has been available.

When when we originally acquired it, it was sort of pre Periscope and all of these other platforms that existed.  We were thinking (dot) live from a live events perspective.

Much to our surprise and benefit, all of these live streaming platforms have launched. There’s become so much talk in the live video space. And with (dot) lives, actually, we feel it works better for that space than for live events now.

The advancement of Periscope, Facebook Live, Crowdcast, Firetalk and all of these platforms that allow you to go live, a (dot)live works perfectly for anyone that has any sort of live stream, whether it be for business or for personal use.

We’re really excited about the outlook of this specific space.

Yeah, I think that’s so interesting. That just tells you about markets, how you have an idea but then the market will tell you what it’s going to do. You just have to rock and roll with it.

I know when I was doing some digging on the background of live streaming, from a technical perspective, I thought, wow, live streaming was really meant for events, sporting events, and concerts.

But now, because of technology advances, primarily due to Meerkat and Periscope bringing mobile live streaming to the masses, it’s really changed the idea of what live streaming is.

What live streaming is now is not what live streaming was a couple years ago, at all.

Exactly. And it’s much more accessible to everyone now. But I think what you said earlier, that it was originally created for live events and sporting events, people being able to watch a game via their mobile device if they weren’t in front of their t.v., that’s sort of how live streaming came about.

Traditionally, to stream something live there was a lot of costs associated with it. There was a lot of technology involved, cameras, etc. Now you just pick up your mobile phone, you open your app and click to go live, and you’re there. It is pretty amazing to see that progression and how quickly it’s happened.

It’s exciting, it’s really exciting. Yeah, you used to have an encoder, a camera, all this other stuff, and at least five thousand dollars to do it.

You had to justify it so that you could offset those costs. It is very interesting to look at that.

Are the (dot) live extensions the top selling domains for you all?

You know, it’s very very close. I think as far as growth, and where we’ve projected it is as far as the fastest growing, yes. In sheer numbers, it’s not the fastest or the most registered domain name that we own. If you look at it, where it is now compared to where every other domain name we have was ten months into their lifespan, I would say it’s very very close to being the top contender.

And we only see it continuing to grow.

As more and more players come into this space the ability is growing for everyone now to go live, whether it be with Periscope or Facebook or Livestream…all of these platforms.

I’m doing a sort of a market landscape of all of the live video platforms that exist. It is just amazing to me. Not only here in the U.S. but China as well. You think live streaming is huge here, China’s like ten X.

Really?

I mean it’s huge. Influencers have figured out how to monetize it in China so much better then they have here in the States. Everything is so open.

If you want to pay someone to endorse your product, you know exactly how much it is. There’s not this ambiguous “Well I’ve got eight thousand followers” or this person has sixteen thousand followers. You want to pay someone, this is how much they charge and it’s almost like they have a rate sheet.

So it’s very very interesting to sort of look at it from a global perspective like we’ve been doing lately. We’re really trying to identify the global opportunity for (dot) live as it exists.

So many interesting things that you said there. One, it surprises me but then it doesn’t surprise me because as I was digging to see what the different platforms were, I saw a couple of platforms that were in Chinese or Japanese symbols. And I said, hmm, okay.

I don’t think that I have the full count but I have a list of twelve so far, twelve or sixteen. I have to look. But the list is kind of deep.

Maybe I need to go to China and talk to some people about some things.

Will there be an opportunity for you all? Considering that with domain extensions, don’t they depend on physical location?

Well, historically domain extensions have depended on geographic regions.

A lot of the newer domain extensions, prior to 2014 were all country code extensions that came out. You’re probably familiar with (dot)me, which is actually Montenegro’s or (dot)co which is Columbia’s.

So, there were a lot of new domain extensions that came into the market that were actually geo or country code domain extensions. Now the ones that we have, and all of these new ones that are released into the market, are just considered general domains. Anyone is able to register them regardless of their geographic location.

Obviously there’s going to be some language barriers and things like that. (dot)live might not translate exactly into other languages but there is still an element of live, regardless of where you’re at on this earth. There are live things happening everywhere.

We really feel like even in the China market, Japanese market, Indian market,  even though (dot)live might not be exactly how it’s referred to there widely, we still feel like it’s the best domain extension that exists right now for every market, regardless of if it’s English-speaking or not.

So how would you specifically say that you all are positioning yourselves to leverage that growth?

Well, we’re basically positioning ourselves as the domain name that’s created for the live video community. Regardless where you’re at.

If there is an element of live in what you’re doing, if you’re on a platform that allows you to go live, it makes sense to have your own (dot)live domain name to brand that channel.

So you know, if you’re on Periscope, sharing periscope.tv/marcagawith (which is my full url), that’s not as memorable as me sharing marc(dot)live. “Go to marc(dot)live to check out my periscope on whatever.”

Yesterday, we had a golf tournament for our office, and I did a scope from there. So, if anyone wants to see the periscope that I did, I just tell them to go to marc(dot)live and they can watch the replay.

It’s so much easier to share that.

Yeah.

Plus you’re sharing your own brand with live extensions.

Right.

You’re not promoting Periscope. You’re not promoting YouTube. You’re not promoting Facebook. You’re promoting Mark’s brand or Tawanna’s brand or whoever’s brand. It’s all about using a (dot)live domain to brand that live video platform.

Absolutely. So since you said Periscope a lot,  I’m assuming that’s where you go live the most?

Yeah, I mean that’s where marc(dot)live is redirected to. I feel like it’s the easiest. It’s the one that’s sort of most widely used.

I’m starting to play around a little bit with Facebook Live.

Historically, I was not on Facebook. I have a Facebook account now that I’m primarily using for work. I’m starting to get involved with all the different platforms.

I want to know what makes one platform more unique and the other one standout. What are the benefits? What are the pros and the cons?

I really want to try to understand this entire space because I think that’s going to make me and our company that much more of a go-to tool in the industry when we say pair a (dot)live domain with X platform because of these reasons.

This platform would be great for you because you’re a personal live streamer or you’re promoting this brand so you should be on this platform. You want to monetize it so this platform would be better.

I’m really trying to understand those nuances of each platform and how a (dot)live domain can go with each one.

You must have been on my wall in my office this week while I was doing all of this self-imposed homework.

Periscope was my favorite because it was really my first although, I had Livestream and Ustream on my cell phone for a while. I didn’t even realize it.

I just had it there but never tapped into and never used it.

One of my questions for you is how do broadcasters on multiple platforms manage their redirects to live extensions? I think you might still be exploring it. I don’t know if you have the answer right now.

Yeah, I’d be happy to share what some people are doing. This is a very interesting way that I feel is a good way to do it if you’re on multiple live video platforms.

Let’s just use Marc(dot)live for example. That’s my main domain and it goes to Periscope. I could also use fb(dot)marc(dot)live for Facebook.

So I could use a subdomain strategy where everything is marc(dot)live still. I just hang some abbreviation or initials of the other platforms at the beginning because I can control that as the owner of the domain.

I can control the subdomains. That’s all free for you to be able to do with the purchase of a domain name. You can create hundreds of different subdomains and just redirect them to those other platforms so that way you’re not purchasing thirty different domain names with live extensions for all the different platforms that you’re on.

You still have your one domain name for the platform that you’re most active on, and you just use the other ones as subdomains.

Smart. Definitely, definitely smart. I was trying to figure that out as I was playing around with YouTube LIVE last night.

I don’t even know if I want to go down this rabbit hole. However, because people who may have established communities on Periscope, like myself, had communities elsewhere first, we’re saying, “hey, how am I bringing those people into the fold? I’m totally leaving them out who might be over there.”

Your wheels are turning about 1.) do I need to go live on all of these platforms? 2.) if I do decide to do that, should I do multiple streams or should I just do individual streams at a time? 3.) How can I give people one place to go?

I’m thinking that I’m not the only person who’s thinking this because if you’ve been around in social media for a while, there were places where you were first.

I like that use-case of how to use the (dot)live domain for all your platforms.

Which platform you think has a leg up right now?

Could I add one other thing on your previous thing first and then also I’ll address that. So, we’re working on something. We’re still kind of playing around with this idea.

I think one thing that would be very helpful for the space and something we hear quite often is, “what would be really awesome for me and my (dot)live is if I had a template-based site where I could go put some information about me and then have all of my live streams aggregated.”

Yes!

So every time I go live on one platform or multiple platforms, you’re able to see that at marc(dot)live. Instead of having that domain name be a redirect it’s actually a site that pulls your streams in. 

That’s something we’re working on.

We’re trying to figure out what streams and platforms we’ll be able to pull in from because platforms like Periscope don’t allow you to stream outside of Twitter. Platforms like Facebook and You Tube and others, you can actually pull that in via their API or their embed protocol.

We’re working through that right now because we really think that that’s the next step. That’s a piece that’s missing here. 

I just wanted to add in that last thought.

Because you were spying on my list of questions here where it says “Anyway to put it all on one domain?”

I’m sorry. I’m answering questions out of step here. But which platform has a leg up right now?

I honestly think it’s Facebook. I think they’re innovating at a rate and there are other platforms that are clamoring to integrate and allow you to go live to Facebook with multiple cameras and multiple presenters. I think they’re the ones that have the most buzz right now and have the most reach.

I really hope Periscope and Twitter are able to figure it out and really sort of perfect their niche.

I still feel that with live streaming, there’s room for many players in this space. I don’t think there is one end all be all solution yet for live video.

There are so many different ways to use it. There are so many different people that can create tools for that.

It’s like networks, right? Like television networks.

Exactly, exactly. I think that’s a great way to describe it. To be perfectly honest with you, I think that’s the way you have to think about live video.

Live video is basically the same as T.V. was originally. You had your three big networks but I think we’re going to see a different progression from live video.

Yeah, that’s how I see them.

I just see them as different networks like one is my ABC, one is my HBO, one is my CNN, one is my CBS.

I think that’s how anyone can view it because they do offer different things. They just have different feels. The communities have different feels to them.

The interface has a different feel and as I play with them more and more, I’m like, oh, but I like this about this one and I like this about that one. And I don’t want to have to choose.

That’s interesting about the hub idea.

That was my question – the question about putting it all on one domain. The whole idea was, how can I have a hub of all my live streaming channels that works in one place on tawanna(dot)live, and call it a day?

I am looking forward to seeing how you guys work that out.

Yeah, I mean we’re really putting a lot of thought into that. And ultimately, we don’t care who builds it.

It doesn’t have to be our intellectual property. Right now we’re sort of taking the onus on ourselves to figure it out.

If someone came along tomorrow and said “hey, I’ve built out this platform that allows you to integrate all of your live streams into one location on your own site and we also we want to work with you to offer live extensions”, we would be like, Absolutely!

“But where do we do it?” Let’s go.

We definitely see that as sort of one of the biggest needs for this space because there are so many people that are active on multiple platforms.

On a more personal note, what are some of your favorite live shows or formats?

I really like the authenticity and the accessibility of live video.

As far as live shows and stuff are concerned, there’s a couple that I pay attention to on the regular.

Some friends of mine, Mitch Jackson who I met at Summit Live in January, they have the show(dot)live, where they interview someone every week.

They recently interviewed Gary Vaynerchuk. They’ve had some pretty big names on there so you know I pay attention to that one regularly.

I really just like seeing what people are doing on live video. I like seeing the stories that people tell, how people are leveraging it.

Last night, I just got on and did a quick five minute scope at the golf course and three hundred ninety nine people were watching.

Just seeing these changes that take place, seeing people relate to you on a personal level.

My wife hates this whole thing of putting yourself out there. She’s very much an introverted person. So, from that perspective, we’re totally opposite because I put everything out there for people to see.

That’s what I love about live videos: the accessibility, the rawness, the authenticity. Everything about it.

And that’s what I think brands need more of.

The reason the brand should be on live video is because of that element of having the accessibility, being real and authentic.

You knew that was my next question, right? That was my next question.

What advice would you give to a business owner or brand interested in adding live streaming to their mix but unclear of how to start? You were spying!

OK, yes. So, to expand on that, first and foremost, try it.

When I first did it, my first Periscope was actually at Summit Live. It was opening night and I was like “ok, I’m not really sure if this is for me.”

I had Periscope and Meerkat on my phone. At that point, I said, all right I’m going to try to Periscope. And so I think I titled the scope “Liquid courage on the dance floor at Summit Live” or something like that.

I had a bunch of people watching me and it was my very first one. And I was like, “oh this is so much fun.”

And from that point on I was hooked.

My advice would be to try it.

You’re not going to be perfect out of the gate. No one is but at the same time it doesn’t have to be perfect.

I think people want to know that companies and brands are real. They all make mistakes.

You know, now more than ever I think that our our country is a very forgiving country.

No one in this country is perfect. No company is perfect.

We don’t ever get things right the first time and I think that’s what people are drawn to.

They’re drawn to that realness and that kind of rawness.

And I think if companies and brands start doing that more, I think it’s only going to help them solidify their brand, their position in the marketplace. It’s going to help them acquire new customers.

Plus the return on investment is huge! There’s no cost to do this.

If you have someone at your company that’s passionate about your brand as a company, use them.

Like me, that’s what I’ve done. I’ve sort of taken it upon myself to be the persona of (dot)live in our company. And it’s really cool to be able to do that.

If you have internal advocates, an internal champion in your company that absolutely loves what they do on a day-to-day basis, leverage that. Let them try out this live video stuff.

Put yourself out there as a brand that’s on the forefront of adopting these new technologies and just see what happens.

What would you say to the company that doesn’t have that resource and is interested in possibly outsourcing and finding influencers and people to do that for them?

Yeah, I would say find someone that loves your brand and is already talking about your brand natively without getting paid first.

Those are the people whose message is going to resonate more with your consumers than someone who is just trying to fill a void or a need.

If you have someone that’s passionate about your company and your brand, I would say go after that person rather than going after an influencer that has a huge number of followers.

Go after someone that is passionate about your company and your brand because that will come through in their storytelling.

This was great Marc. I’m glad that you were on the same page with all of my questions and had some sort of secret spy in my room to know what they were. 

And to your point about the spouse having to deal with you, my husband, same for him. The difference is, he knew what he married because I was an actress when we met so this is, video is my space, in general.

He’s patient but he’s not on board with being out there.

It’s really funny and it’s actually cool because we’re like the yin and yang of each other. It’s great. I wouldn’t want him to be like me at all.

Right. It’s a good balance. Absolutely. For me and my wife, when I’m getting out of hand, being a little bit too noisy and boisterous (because that’s my personality), she helps rein me in. And maybe I bring a little bit of the boisterous side out of her sometimes. It’s fun.

That’s right. Well, thank you so much for your time. I appreciate it.

Absolutely.

 

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