Tuesday, June 30, 2020

New gTLD Reports from June were updated

New gTLD reports are monthly captures of domain name registration volumes according to specific groups, businesses or industries.

On the last day of each month, we capture these registration numbers so our readers can see if these increase or decrease.

This method is a good way to see if these domain names meet adoption by consumers or not.

20 reports are updated:
  1. New gTLDs related to POLITICS (.gop - .vote - .republican - .democrat - etc...);
  2. New gTLDs related to LUXURY (.rich - .yachts - .chanel - etc...);
  3. New gTLDs related to the MUSIC community (.music - .band - .hiphop - etc...);
  4. New gTLDs related to CATERING and CULINARY (.restaurant - .kitchen - .bar - etc...);
  5. New gTLDs related to PHOTOGRAPHY (.photo - .film - .gallery - etc...);
  6. New gTLDs related to CITIES : these are city names only (.paris - .london - .tokyo - etc...);
  7. New gTLDs related to COMPANIES : new domain name extensions that we believe a company should keep its eyes on;
  8. New gTLDs related to the LAW and LEGAL matters (.legal - .attorney - .lawyer - etc...);
  9. New gTLDs related to FINANCE (.credit - .capital - .finance - etc...);
  10. New gTLDs related to a COLOR (.orange - .pink - .green - etc...);
  11. New gTLDs related to SPORTS (.hockey - .basketball - .ski - etc...);
  12. New gTLDs related to ALCOHOL (.beer - .wine - .vodka - etc...);
  13. New gTLDs related to REAL ESTATE (.realestate - .realtor - .villas - etc...);
  14. New gTLDs related to RELIGION (.catholic - .bible - .church - etc...);
  15. New gTLDs related to CARS (.taxi - .auto - .car - etc...);
  16. New gTLDs related to HEALTH (.health - .doctor - .hospital - etc...);
  17. New gTLDs related to ADULTS (.wtf - .adult - .porn - etc...);
  18. FRENCH new gTLD applications : these are applications submitted by French companies only;
  19. Multiple Registries : group of Registries operating five (5) and more domain name extensions;
  20. Singular VS Plural versions of a new gTLD : these are domain name extensions which exist in their singular and plural version (ie: .gift and .gifts).

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Want to learn more about "the next Round"?

I keep having that question: "when is the next round?" and "what's your estimation?". Well, I like to give my opinion but ICANN history has clearly demonstrated that no date should ever be given unless it was published by the ICANN itself on its website somewhere. So no, I don't think it will be in 2022.

The next Applicant Guidebook

The applicant guidebook (also called the "AGB") is your next Bible and believe me, reading it is a total nightmare when you have no knowledge of the new gTLD application procedure: don't let this 338 pages PDF block you from submitting your application. By the way, the document I am referring to is dated 2012: it is the official documentation from the previous round of new gTLDs, the existing one is still being discussed and written.

I want to learn more

So you want to learn more? There is a way. Again, don't think that you will understand all of it but the positive thing about this is that there is documentation at the moment, a lot of it. The next official guidebook is being drafted and you can even contribute. Note that you will need to select the right group(s) to follow and learn to work in the distance doing meetings in the middle of the night and receive documentation that only the person who wrote it understands it. That is how it works but if you succeed in following the work group (which is a very big deal for me), you will start to understand what's coming upfront for the next round of new gTLDs. You will also understand how tortured are the participants ;-)

Where do I go?

I am only interested about "new gTLDs" so the path that I would suggest to follow is this one:
  1. Visit the "New gTLD Subsequent Procedures PDP Home" (see here);
  2. In the left column, there is blabla but point 2 tells you when the next meetings are (you will have to scroll down the list for the latest meetings). Note that these pages are then updated with the content of the meeting and an agenda is proposed prior to each meeting. It is this content you want to follow-up with to have an idea of what the actual discussions are for the next round of new gTLDs, and this is what you will probably read in the next Applicant Guidebook.
  3. To receive plenty of email with updates about ICANN new gTLDs, you can subscribe here: all reminders and publications related to active projects are emailed there (if you would like to join an active working group, you will need to email your request).
  4. Point 3 is king of disorganized and some subjects are outdated, I stick to point 2 personally.

My opinion on this process

I think it is a long one but I am the only one to think that, or am I? Also, you have to perfectly read English...but everyone speaks English right? I would love to be able to contribute more but the ICANN vocabulary is dictated by those exact same service providers you will have to talk to, to submit your new gTLD application so it is hardly understandable for new comers. For this exact same reason some will select the wrong service provider and pay an haw-full price for the submission of their application and its maintenance.

When it is time

At some point, the ICANN will give us a date. At that moment, you will have decided to apply because your project will also have been prepared upfront: this is important, don't get there with your first questions. A few things to consider:
  1. Talk to more than one service provider AND DON'T LISTEN TO THE ONE THAT TELLS YOU ABOUT HIS FANTASTIC EXPERIENCE BECAUSE EXISTING FIGURES CLEARLY SHOW THAT MANY PROJECTS HAVE FAILED ;-) Remember that there has been one ICANN new gTLD round only in the history of Internet. 
  2. Don't tell about your string but at the last moment and be very careful about NDAs: meeting with more than one service provider in competition in the same room is the number one mistake.
  3. Don't sign a stupid contract with an exit fee or a minimum number of domains to create: try to get a price per domain created below the $1.
  4. Don't forget about the annual 10,000 ICANN tax: if your plan is to create a .BRAND new gTLD, it WILL cost you a lot to use you personalized domain names.
  5. Consider innovation and not just selling domain names.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

The end of the .AIGO new gTLD (notice of breach)

No transition for the .AIGO new gTLD

This follows the ICANN Determination to Not Transition Operation of the .aigo gTLD (PDF download):

On 25 June 2020, ICANN organization notified aigo Digital Technology Co, Ltd. (Registry Operator) of its intent to terminate the .aigo Registry Agreement entered into on 6 August 2015 (Registry Agreement).

Pursuant to the terms of Section 4.5 of the Registry Agreement, ICANN org conducted an assessment to determine whether or not to transition operation of the .aigo generic top-level domain (gTLD) to a successor registry operator. ICANN org is issuing its Determination, whereby ICANN org determined that the operation of the .aigo gTLD need not be transitioned to a successor registry operator based on the following rationale:
  • All domain name registrations in .aigo have at all times been registered to and maintained by the Registry Operator or its affiliates for their exclusive use.
  • Registry Operator has not at any time sold, distributed or transferred control or use of any registrations in the .aigo to any third party that is not an affiliate.
  • Transitioning the gTLD is not necessary to protect the public interest. Based on the above considerations, ICANN org will proceed to terminate the .aigo Registry Agreement and retire the .aigo gTLD as soon as feasible. 
The letter was signed by President and Chief Executive Officer of the ICANN.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

The .INTEL and .METLIFE new gTLDs dropped it

Two new gTLDs just announced their intention to drop it. This is called a "Termination by Registry Operator Section 4.4(b)". The two new gTLDs concerned are Trademarks:
  1. The .INTEL new gTLD (read the termination notice (PDF download));
  2. The .METLIFE new gTLD (read the termination notice (PDF download)).

My opinion on this

I think INTEL makes a mistake because a dotBrand new gTLD makes real sense for such a major Trademark. INTEL could have done a serious SWOT analysis do learn what it could have done with its personalized domain name extension. Now I can understand that one applicant does not want to pay a $25,000 ICANN fee per year ("plus the rest") to keep a tool that it does not use (even if I believe that it must not really be a problem for INTEL).

From the 642 applications withdrawn on a total of ,1930 submitted, I wonder how many to have withdrawn their application...will submit an application again: the .HILTON new gTLD maybe?

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The .SBS new gTLD was terminated

The Special Broadcasting Service Corporation just kindly asked if ICANN could initiate the termination process of it .SBS new gTLD application as soon as possible (PDF download).

SBS says it is one of the five major free-to-air networks in Australia. SBS’s portfolio includes TV, radio and digital services.

The notice (PDF download) is dated June the 12th:
On 22 April 2020, SPECIAL BROADCASTING SERVICE CORPORATION notified ICANN org of its intent to terminate the .sbs Registry Agreement entered into on 7 November 2014. Pursuant to Section 4.4(b) of the Registry Agreement, Registry Operator may terminate the Registry Agreement for any reason upon one hundred eighty (180) calendar day advance notice.

Monday, June 15, 2020

The .ZUERICH new gTLD is here

The ICANN just made a modification to the official TLD Startup Information page related to the .ZUERICH new gTLD which was delegated in...December 2014.

Sunrise Period

  • 01 December 2020 to 04 February 2021

Trademark Claims Period

  • 24 February 2021 to 26 May 2021

Additional Periods

  1. Limited Registration Period (LRP #1): 1 Apr 2020 to 31 Aug 2020
  2. Qualified Launch Program (QLP): 21 Nov 2017 to 23 Sep 2019
  3. Limited Registration Period (LRP #2): 4 Jan 2021 to 4 Feb 2021

Mission/purpose of the .ZUERICH new gTLD:

The content below was extracted from the official application submitted to the ICANN (and I got rid of the boring part):
The Canton of Zurich is one of the largest of Switzerland’s 26 Cantons, or national districts, and is home to the city of Zurich, which is the largest city in the country. The city has throughout its long history played an important role in the cultural and historical development of the Swiss Confederation and the country’s national identity.

The TLD “.ZUERICH” will be an expression of self-understanding and autonomy for the local state of Zurich and is anticipated to promote local industry, scientific interests, tourism and marketing, and to highlight the high standard of living in the Zurich region in a globally-visible and easily recognized format.

Long term, effective marketing of the “.ZUERICH” TLD is an important part of this plan, which will be effectuated through the careful and well-orchestrated cooperation of the city of Zurich, the Zurich Tourism office and the Canton itself. The key elements of the ISDM strategy include: i) unique and permanent positioning of the new “.ZUERICH” TLD, ii) preserving and enhancing the reputation of the space, iii) maintaining the well-regarded reputation of the Zurich brand, and iv) development of a common entry site for the name space (see Attachment 1 to our response to Question 48).

The applied-for TLD string, “ZUERICH,” represents the phonetic pronunciation of the German-speaking Canton. In German, the spelling of the Canton is “Zürich”. The Umlaut over the “u” in the word produces a “ue” sound, leading to the pronunciation of “Zuerich”, corresponding to the proposed TLD text. Thus, it has become standard amongst Swiss Internet users, when typing, to replace “ü” with “ue.” The logical TLD for the Canton is therefore “.ZUERICH.”

The Mission and Purpose of the “.ZUERICH” space

The new gTLD “.ZUERICH,” is intended to support the new branding project of Zürich on the Internet.

The “.ZUERICH” TLD shall provide a comprehensive vehicle through which the Canton may communicate not only with citizens, companies, and organization within its region, but even with individuals and companies worldwide who, in one way or another, interact with the Canton of Zurich.

Initially, the Canton will reserve all domain names under “.ZUERICH” to itself, and may later elect to license domain name registrations under “.ZUERICH” to its affiliates such as, but not limited to i.e., Cantonal and city governmental departments and municipalities, cultural and artistic organizations, or transportation authorities. The Canton may further decide to license the use of second level domain names to other affiliates.

The Canton of Zurich will oversee all registrations for the space, and will be the only authorized registrant of domains. This provision will be made clear in, and enforced via, the applicable Registry-Registrar agreement. All registrars offering “.ZUERICH” domain names for registration will be aware of this requirement, and will be provided with sufficient information to enable them to verify whether a potential applicant for a domain name is in fact the properly authorized entity. The single-registrant nature of the space will provide the Canton with necessary monitoring opportunities, to ensure that the TLD is used only for appropriate purposes and to display relevant content.

The Canton anticipates benefiting from this new space by providing a single comprehensive and helpful location where interested parties can learn more about the opportunities available in Zurich. Visitors and long-time residents alike will come to view gTLD “.ZUERICH” as the natural “go-to” for information about the area. Used in this way, the Canton expects the gTLD “.ZUERICH” to play an important role in its new branding project for Zürich.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Backend Registries don't speak French

One might be surprised by such title but as a person involved in creating and promoting dotBrands and other generic new gTLDs, there are a few things that I see...and one that is now obvious is that Backend Registries don't speak French (but a very few).

This is Paris, France

Creating a new domain name extension requires to think upfront about a strategy but also...about service providers. The Backend Registry is a mandatory service provider when creating a new Top-Level Domain but unfortunately, the offer is limited in France because of our language: Backend Registries don't offer French as a language.

No French? You don't exist

There is a demand in France and interested parties in creating their domain name extension usually proceed through their accredited Registrar, sometimes their Law Firm and sometimes...directly through the Backend Registry provider. I usually talk to the Backend Registry first and fortunately for me, I speak, write and read English.

I like to go straight to the point and just like everyone in business, I like to limit the number of subcontractors. In more simple word, if I had the project to create a new gTLD, I would talk directly to the appropriate service provider and to me, that provider is the Backend Registry: the better when he  has a presence in your country or speaks your language.

I will speak french for you

There are coming Backend Registries (preparing their offer for the next round) and existing Backends; but from my Top10 list, one website offers French only and I believe that this is potential lost business for the others because addressing to one in his language breaks the first barrier to business. 

As a new gTLD Consultant based in Paris, I will offer that service to introduce your Backend Registry offer to French, contact me and will explain how.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

UPDATE: the .CPA new gTLD is Secured

Extracted from the main website: ".cpa is a new, secured domain exclusively available to licensed CPA firms."

The .CPA new gTLD

What does CPA stands for?

The three letters stand for "Certified Public Accountant" for licensed accounting professionals.

Important dates:

  • Sunrise Period: 01 July 2020 to 31 August 2020;
  • Trademark Claims Period: 01 November 2020 to 01 February 2021;
  • Limited Registration Period: TM Holders - 1 Jul 2020 to 31 Aug 2020;
  • Limited Registration Period: Early Application Period - 1 Jul 2020 to 31 Aug 2020;
  • Limited Registration Period: Limited Registration Period - 1 Sep 2020 to 31 Oct 2020;
  • The application period for .cpa domains begins July 1, 2020.

Good to know:

There are other domain name extensions for Accountants but they are open to register to anyone: the .ACCOUNTANT (1,750 domain names registered) and the .ACCOUNTANTS new gTLDs (1,650 domains registered). Find the full list of similar Top-Level Domains in our tools.

The registry gives a good explanation of this TLD's potential.

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