Looking to get fancy with your site’s URL? It’ll cost you $185,000 to do it.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the nonprofit group that oversees the Internet’s address system, currently has 22 generic endings, such as .com, .edu, and .org. But it will open the doors to applications on Jan. 12 to let sites buy up whatever tags they’d like at a price of $185,000 per URL. (Earlier this week, ICANN opened up .xxx web addresses to all of you in the adult-entertainment industry who have been waiting so patiently.)
Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports, though, that the program “is failing to win over U.S. brand owners.”
Proctor & Gamble and Hewlett-Packard both tell BusinessWeek that they aren’t planning to do it. In fact, none of the 21 companies of the Standard & Poor’s 500 that BW surveyed in the last month intend to purchase these domains.
“A lot of companies are looking at the same math as we are and saying, ‘Let’s stop this proposal from happening,’” Gary Elliott, vice president of global marketing for HP, told Bloomberg. “There’s a tremendous amount of confusion about what this means and what the costs are.”
The National Retail Federation has asked for the agency to delay the offering. “With the application date just months away, there’s not time to think all this through,” said Mallory Duncan, general counsel of the group, according to BusinessWeek.
But some brands may end up buying domain names simply because they don’t know what their competitors are doing, BusinessWeek points out. “Brands are looking at the risk of being left behind,” said Josh Bourne, managing partner at FairWinds Partners LLC, a domain-name consulting firm, to Bloomberg. “If all of your competitors are using their .brand or .keyword in marketing campaigns and you don’t have one, it may make you look out of touch, out of date.”
Meanwhile, this past Tuesday marked the opening of the “exclusive 17-day period for the adult entertainment community” to grab up and caress whatever .xxx domains they want before the door flies open to fulfill the desires of the general consumer on Dec. 6.
"We are fully dedicated to the needs of the adult entertainment industry," said Stuart Lawley, CEO of ICM Registry. "Our goal is to offer an incredible opportunity to secure premium names they've always wanted. This is a brand new domain so the opportunities are endless. Adult site owners can find new ways to expand their existing online presence, develop new brands or connect with their fans."