This blog is about new generic Top-Level Domains from the ICANN new gTLD program. We also send daily news about new gTLDs in our Newsletter. Contact Jovenet Consulting for dotBrand specification 13, also called ".brand" domain name extensions.
I just saw that offer for Premium domain names sold "in a package" and I find that this is a bright way to offer them. If I am not so much in buying Premium domain names or participating to auctions, I believe that considering categories of TLDs is very important prior to buying a domain name at the regular price. For example, one would be interested to know that there is a dozen of domain name extensions dedicated to the business of Music. When preparing to buy a domain name to publish a content about Music...one should better know about what exists on the market.
Categories of TLDs did not exist in the past
In "the past", you would have bought a ".com", or a domain name from your country of residence ending in two letters. Today is different, when buying a new domain name within a certain business, it remains difficult to be informed that many extensions could match with the second level domain desired; even worse when the plural version of a domain name extension exists: if you are in the Real Estate business for example, you should check this list of domain name extensions before buying. I would also suggest to check that list of similar extensions too...and maybe that one too* for plurals.
What I saw
I follow a limited number of Twitter accounts and the Registry of African Geo TLDs Twitted this link on which you can read ".Africa - .CapeTown - .Durban and .Joburg domains from only $1.50 per slice". As a person interested in buying domain names from this region, I would certainly be interested in knowing that these domain name extensions also exist for the domain name that I am about to buy.
What about Registrars?
I know how difficult it is to create the right algorithm to suggest registrants the right domain name but unless I am wrong, and after checking at many registrars, all focus on the second level domain and none on the first level domain itself.
* These lists are frequently copied by Corporate Registrars lacking ideas ;-)
Community new gTLD applications were one of the three options offered by version 1 one of ICANN new gTLD applicant guidebook. It was also possible submit a "generic" or a "geographic application". I dug on the ICANN website and found out that, in the end - and according to me only - it was a bed choice to submit such application.
The ICANN website lists 84 applications submitted to the ICANN;
52 were delegated;
20 were withdrawn;
10 have/had objection(s);
9 receive a warning from a government (at least);
5 had a string contention;
4 are still "on hold" (.MUSIC - .KIDS - .MERCH - .HOTEL);
3 were not approved;
none received an applicant support from the ICANN;
the .BUGATTI new gTLD is a community application (...), not a .BRAND
Many trademarks submitted community applications;
some city names and territories are listed as community applications (.PARIS - .WIEN - .BZH ...);
ICANN sometimes forgets to update its datas so some of the 84 applications mentioned could have changed.
"Volumes", "usage" or both?
I went through the 52 delegated applications to investigate which ones have lots of domain name registrations and which ones don't. Volumes of domain name creations are important because they are a good indicator if the new gTLD is a successful project or not. Now: are volumes an indicator of usage: it is up to you to decide and don't care what you think ;-) This is what I found:
The .OVH new gTLD has 62,000+ domain name registrations;
The .BERLIN new gTLD has 54,800+
The .PARIS new gTLD has 20,900+
The .SWISS new gTLD has 17,900+
The .WIEN new gTLD has 15,400+
The .HAMBURG new gTLD has 23,400+
The .SCOT new gTLD has 11,500+
All other new gTLDs unlisted here have less than 10,000 registrations. This is surprising because we have very generic terms such as .ARCHI (for architecture), the .SKI and .NGO new gTLDs. The .ECO domain name extension has 3,8400+ domain names created.
We can easily see that none of these applications has passed the 100,000 registrations. If I perfectly understand that prices are not the same to register a domain name and "usage" matters; well, I also know how much it cost to maintain a registry and I would not want to operate a registry that has less than 10,000 registrations. In all of these cases, and no matter if a multiple registry lowers its cost operating multiple extensions, I am not sure that it is worth it to submit "another" community application in the next round of the ICANN new gTLD program...just because it limits domain name registrations to that specific community and also...because figures demonstrate that on a list of 52 TLDs, 7 only have more than 10,000 domain names on the market. Note that this does not even mean that they are used with a real website. We also know that restricting registrations to a so called community is just a line on the paper, anybody can pay to register a .SKI domain name (for example), it is absolutely not "restricted" in reality.
So: worth it for the next round? No...but that's just according to me.
Announced this morning by the registry, the number of 10,000 domain name registrations was reached. The number is interesting here because it took a few months for the new operator of ".best" domain names to reach out to this number compared to other new registries which have existed...for years and were created during the first wave of the ICANN new gTLD program dated 2012 (the first TLDs were delegated in 2013).
Just for the note
It is important to mention that:
the registry is not (yet?) present in China;
the innovation around this specific registry is coming in the future: an entire social network based on the use of domain names ending in ".best"
.BEST is complementary to .COM
There are "descriptive keywords" and "descriptive keywords". If this sentence means nothing in English, it means something in French: the ICANN new gTLD program offers plenty of keyword possibilities; some are defined by the program itself: "generic", "community" and "geographic"; but if a geographic TLD offers precision, "generic" and "community" can mean lots of different things. For example, did you know that .BRAND new gTLDs were considered as "generic" Top-Level Domains?
If I will leave the definition of "community" TLDs apart, since defining a community is always hard, generic TLDs can deliver much more precision:
Simple keywords referring to an industry subject like the .REALESTATE new gTLD;
Niche TLDs like sports: the .TENNIS new gTLD for example or .PIZZA for a specific food;
Reference keywords: the .COM Top-Level Domain is one since time made of this string a reference. The .BEST new gTLD is one too.
One will not start the website of his company using a ".best" domain name because it would sound sarcastic, but if one's business did not want to be the best...then why bother creating a business? This is where ".best" domain names should also be registered and used by ".com" registrants: ".best" domain names should point to the best of a ".com" websites. For example, many heard of the French "Les Galleries Lafayette" and its famous website www.galerieslafayette.com : isn't it time to offer the best of "Les Galleries Lafayette" on www.galerieslafayette.best showing sales only for example? I'd definitely visit!
The best alternative for promotion
According to a recent Twit showing ".best" new domain name registrations, it is clear that .BEST domains are becoming the best alternative to promote a product or a service in addition to a ".com" Trademark domain. For example, Layerhost, a hosting service provider registered layerhost.com for its Trademark domain name and also webhosting.best to promote its web hosting service. This company wants to say that it offers the best web hosting.
In this type of naming strategy, we can easily imagine Marriott.com being the first to register generic domain names such as: hotels.best, nychotel.best, londonhotel.best, vegashotel.best, ...
Investors are concerned
Registration figures also demonstrate that the .BEST new gTLD as a huge potential for investors in terms of domain name availability when mixing a city name to a certain kind of business.
In the listing above, name of cities appear attached to keywords such as "lawyer" or "bankruptcy": I would certainly not be surprised that these registrants may be either investors or businesses protecting their online area of business.
Once a month, I track new gTLD registration volumes and decided that IDN would not be part of my reports because I am selfish, lazy and more important: I don't understand IDNs since they are in a language that I can't read. I will probably add these to my report one day when I have enough sponsors for my publications ;-)
I went through the official list of delegated new gTLD and noticed that four IDN strings are already listed in my reports - in their ASCII version - but I never heard about them...because they are IDNs.
An IDN for .WEB or .NETWORK
There is an Arabic version of a string in competition with ".web" or/and ".network" domain names; the شبكة (xn--ngbc5azd) new gTLD has more than 800 domain names created. It was delegated more than five years ago.
Check the list of TLDs in competition with this IDN.
An IDN for .ONLINE
There is a Russian version of a string in competition with ".online" domain names; the онлайн (xn--80asehdb) new gTLD has 3,220 domain names created. It was delegated in 2013 and competes with the same strings from the list above.
An IDN for .SITE
There is a Russian version of a string in competition with ".site" domain names; the сайт (xn--80aswg) new gTLD has 1,160 domain names created. It was one of the first new gTLDs to be delegated in 2013.
An IDN for .GAME(S)
There is a Chinese version of a string in competition with ".game" - ".games" and ".juegos" domain names; the 游戏(xn--unup4y) new gTLD has 160 domain names created. It was also delegated in 2013 and should be added to my list of similar TLDs in the future.
This sounds like an official announcement from a website that I just spotted: there will be an applicant for the .AIRPORT new gTLD.
If such a Top-Level Domain for Airports makes sense to me, I remember that we already have the .AERO legacy domain name extension which has existed for "centuries" and I don't remember spotting any domain name ending in ".aero" from my entire life.
Just for the note, the .AERO legacy Top-Level Domain was established on December the 19th 2001, and has 20,000 (more or less) domain names created.
I guess that's the question: why would ".airport" domain names catch the attention of all airports worldwide when the ".aero" legacy generic Top-Level Domain kind of "never saw the day"? Is it because ".aero" is a restricted extension, "reserved exclusively for aviation"? Is it because "aero" is too wide and does not offer the precision required to define an airport? Is is because the backend-registry does not contribute more to promoting the TLD of its client? (Roland, I hope you won't read this).
Check the official announcement on www.dotairport.com. The pitch is rather good and delivers the true message why new gTLDs really make sense today.
(I would personally have used the same second level domain but with a ".domains" as the extension to support the project ;-)
It is the end of February 2019 and I spent a big part of my day updating these reports "one by one". I suggest to have a closer look at the report on Singular and Plural new gTLDs (and push to reading the list of similar new gTLDs).
New gTLDs related to POLITICS (.gop - .vote - .republican - .democrat - etc...)
New gTLDs related to LUXURY (.rich - .yachts - .chanel - etc...)
New gTLDs related to the MUSIC community (.music - .band - .hiphop - etc...)