The mad dash for ICANN-approved generic top-level domain names (also known as gTLDs) is on.
The most popular generic suffixes, .art, .radio, .music, .shop, .food, .bank, and .web are being most aggressively pursued. Google is spending an estimated $10 million to apply for 50 domain name suffixes including .Google, .YouTube, .Docs and .LOL. (Is Google looking to buy a sense of humor?) It's actually one of the biggest brands to jump in, while more than 40 major companies, including Coca-Cola and GE continue to oppose the top-level domain program.
Go Daddy has applied for only two top level domains, .home and .casa. CEO Warren Adelman said the names “were chosen in part because they have multiple meanings with big market opportunities: they can be used in both a real estate context and personal context.” (Of course, the relationship between "Daddy" and "home" in English and Spanish is another lure.) “Dot.com has been getting the lion’s share of branding since the dawn of the internet,” added Adelman. “Any kind of new branding is heavy lifting.”
According to a blog post by Vint Cerf, Google's chief internet evangelist,
We’re just beginning to explore this potential source of innovation on the web, and we are curious to see how these proposed new TLDs will fare in the existing TLD environment. By opening up more choices for Internet domain names, we hope people will find options for more diverse—and perhaps shorter—signposts in cyberspace.
Driven by digital manifest destiny, fiercer than the original 19th century land-grab, ICANN’s addition of new suffixes and domains joining the current 22, is causing confusion and contention. Esther Dyson, former chair of ICANN’s board, “has compared the expansion to financial derivatives that add complexity without creating value. The price for the new names is less a result of the scarcity of online real estate than of greed among powerful domain registries, marketing agencies and lawyers.”
According to the Economist, ICANN has reserved about $350m in application fees collected to pay for legal fees and other ‘hiccups.’ They plan to process applications 500 at a time, each bundle taking about six months. With a projected six batches (over 2,000 are in), the first will be up and running two to three years before the last ones and competitors are already claiming it’s unfair. Thus the genesis of “digital archery,” ICANN’s proposed solution, as BC has covered here.
Top Level Domain Holdings submitted 92 applications for top level domains, 68 on its own behalf and 24 with partners or others.
- ?? (“shopping” IDN)
- ?? (“site” IDN)