Thursday, April 25, 2019

The .STARHUB new gTLD drops it

This is an application from Singapore. As explained on its website, StarHub is a leading homegrown Singapore company that brings to people, homes and enterprises world-class communications, entertainment and digital solutions.

Dated March the 12th, StarHub sent its termination letter to the ICANN asking the termination process to be initiated as soon as possible.

What the application said:
The .starhub gTLD will create a new generation gTLD serving the interests of end users by providing an authoritative internet space where information, services and resources of the brand, its affiliates and partners that are associated with the brand will be closely controlled by StarHub Ltd (StarHub). The majority of the anticipated domain name registrations in the .starhub gTLD will be used in the promotion and communication of the StarHub brand and its info-communication and multimedia services. A subset of domain names has the potential to be created and used for online communication and marketing purposes, with internet users assured of brand authenticity.
Details from the procedure are available in this letter (PDF download)

Friday, April 12, 2019

The .MUSIC new gTLD is a go!

Domain names ending in ".music" (instead of ".com") are coming. The news is fresh and from the 8 applicants from 2012, one remains: Constantinos Roussos, from, is the final winner of this 7 years fight between multiple applicants.

Announced yesterday in a Tweet, Constantinos pointed mad new gTLD evangelists (like me) to a link proving the change:
  • Application Status: Evaluation Complete
  • Contention Resolution Status: Resolved

A "community" application
The application states that .MUSIC is a community application. It means that these domain names will be restricted to being registered by members of the music community. Let's hope that restrictions to future registrants (those who will register such domain names) won't block them from registering one. It is what happened to the applications of multiple registry Dominion Registry (and a few others), who finally decided to remove restrictions from some of their extensions.

Note that this TLD is already available in the monthly new gTLD reports from Jovenet Consulting.

What the application says
Question 18A from the application "Describe the mission/purpose of your proposed gTLD" is a rather long one so I extracted what I believe is of my personal and selfish interest. I'd suggest to read the full application for those who want full details:

The .MUSIC Mission / Purpose is:
  • Creating a trusted, safe online haven for music consumption & licensing
  • Establishing a safe home on the Internet for Music Community (ʺCommunityʺ) members regardless of locale or size
  • Protecting intellectual property & fighting piracy
  • Supporting Musiciansʹ welfare, rights & fair compensation
  • Promoting music and the arts, cultural diversity & music education
  • Following a multi-stakeholder approach of fair representation of all types of global music constituents, including a rotating regional Advisory Committee Board working in the Community’s best interest
.MUSIC will effectively differentiate itself by addressing the key online usage issues of safety, trust, consistency, brand recognition as well as communicate site subject-matter: music-related content. The TLD will be exclusive to the Community and will incorporate enhanced safeguards and Use policies to protect creators, intellectual property and rights holders.

DotMusic will also provide non-registry services and activities which have been established through ongoing outreach efforts. Community members need to be able to distinguish themselves from illegal or unlicensed sites. Ensuring monies flow to rightful owners and the Music Community is critical to the .MUSIC Mission. Purpose-driven services and activities are:
  1. Development of Music Community Social Network Premium Domain Channels (Channels) sorted by category types, e.g. genres. It will leverage Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best practices to improve .MUSIC website search result rankings. The objective is for .MUSIC domains to signal a badge of trust that enables search engines to provide music consumers more relevant and safer search results while reducing infringing and unlicensed rogue sites. Premium Channel development will also include a global Song Registry;
  2. Promoting arts and music through sponsorships, events and Music Community activities; Enriching society with artistic and cultural diversity;
  3. Advancing music education and the study of music in school curriculum by donating proceeds of domain registrations to relevant causes;
  4. Re-inventing music discovery and search innovation by leading the way to establish the Industry standard for official music sites to benefit the at-large global Music Community and the Internet;
  5. Enabling legal music licensing via a global Song Registry akin to the International Music Registry (IMR -⁄imr) & Global Repertoire Database (GRD - ⁄ International Copyright Enterprise) initiatives. 
DotMusic serves the Community without conflicts of interest and is accountable to the Community by establishing an Advisory Committee & Policy Board with representation from each constituency in the Community. The Committee will advise and provide perspective on .MUSIC issues such as broad policy matters and introductions of new services to meet Community needs.

The Premium Channels will maximize the competitive landscape and innovation in both the music and domain space.

A Global Protected Marks Lists (GPML) will reserve all major music brands and established artists, such as RIAA-certified platinum-selling bands.

Phased launches provides rights holders a first-come in the .MUSIC Sunrise, auction of multiple initial landrush domain inquiries, and eventually allows all stakeholders of the Community to register. All registrants must adhere to restricted Use, Name and Anti-Abuse policies that will be monitored to prevent bad practices harming the Music Community.

The full application can be downloaded here.

Note that what the applications says is now "dated" so anything can happen. Oh, and by the way, I can't wait for

Monday, April 8, 2019

So: which new gTLDs are becoming mainstream?

I went through the exciting exercise of checking all March 2019 new gTLD reports to extract which domain name extension shows an interesting learning curve (or something strange happening). This is what I noticed for the 20 categories of TLDs:
  1. In the list of new gTLDs for Politics, the first new gTLD to have been delegated from the ICANN new gTLD program - .GURU (63,000) - lost 2,000 registrations since January 2018 (not 2019). I was very excited to grab one when it launched, but I dropped it then. Globally speaking,these extensions, some being negative, don't attract consumers so much.
  2. In Luxury, the .VIP (840,000) and .BEST (12,000) Top-Level Domains keep growing but surprisingly, many .BRAND new gTLDs like .GUCCI - .CHANEL or .CARTIER seem to have found no use of their extension yet.
  3. In Music, the .LIVE new gTLD goes up with 332,000 registrations and increasing but .PARTY seems to die little by little. The .BAND and .DANCE new gTLD have an interesting progression curve: they've kept growing in volume since January 2018.
  4. Multiple Registries operate more than 5 new gTLDs: Donuts, Radix and Google are growing in volume significantly.
  5. Singular or Plural? Some of these extensions are clearly failures... Is it so because they exist in two versions and no one would invest in such a risk? That's my opinion but I also know that most registrant, when registering one of these domains, don't necessary know about the existence of a second version of the extension. I call these a trap. I think that the .HOTEL, when it launches, will make sense for a hotel and I would definitely buy my name as a hotel.
  6. The Catering report shows that the .FOOD new gTLD has now 6 registrations instead of one in January and February: will it launch soon?
  7. In Photography, the .ART new gTLD stands out of the crowd with a very interesting learning curve: it has more than 50,000 registrations today.
  8. City name new gTLDs are a little disappointing but Japanese cities like .TOKYO (first city to have more than 100,000 domain names registered), .NAGOYA and .OKINAWA grew in March 2019.
  9. The listing dedicated to companies keeps showing that I was not wrong about on the new gTLDs that companies should register their domain name with. Some of them I would not buy but basically, all are growing in volume. 
  10. In "Law and Justice", not many TLDs and not much is happening.
  11. The Finance report is an interesting one for .BRAND new gTLDs, it is the opposite of the Luxury report: many brands are using their TLD and registering dozens of domain names.
  12. Colors: there are 6 of them and one is a Trademark: .BLUE - .PINK and .GREEN are growing slowly below 10,000 registrations.
  13. In Sports, the .YOGA - .RUN and .FITNESS have kept growing since January 2019. Owner of the .NIKE new gTLD published a job offer, let's hope that part of the role will be to develop the TLD.
  14. Alcohol: guess what: .WINE - .BEER and .VODKA grow in volume: slowly but they grow.
  15. The Real Estate report is a long one and 3 new gTLDs are of interest in March: the .REALESTATE - .CASA (house in Spanish) and .HOMES
  16. In French new gTLD applications, .BRAND extensions are truly used and many domains are being registered.
  17. None of the religious TLDs are of interest in March and .WED (for "wedding") remains silent.
  18. None of the TLDs dedicated to the automotive industry has more than 10,000 registrations. Surprisingly, some .BRANDs have more registrations than some generic TLDs dedicated to selling domain names to the general public through the network of accredited registrars! The .AUDI new gTLD registered more than 1,330 domains already.
  19. The .HEALTH and .DOCTOR are growing in volume below the 10,000 registrations and .BRANDs are still searching a use for their TLD.
All new gTLD reports are available here.

Note that I often use "new gTLDs", "Top-Level-Domains", "TLDs" or "domain name extensions" not to make these publications too boring. Also, some TLDs listed and losing traction month after month belong to the same multiple registries.

.BRAND new gTLD Reports are updated once a month: CLICK HERE !