Got .Milk? New Domain Names Are Here If You Have The $$$
Once upon a time, in the 1990s, one man held the Internet in the palm of his hand. That man, computer scientist Jon Postel, died at the age of 55, after being called “God of the Internet” but before he saw the World Wide Web fully come into its own. Thanks in part to Postel and his work, domain names for websites have, for two decades, remained generally fixed and recognizable: one’s options have been .com, .org, .net, .gov, and .edu.
Now all of that is about to change. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) was a non-profit when Postel was a key figure there. Recently, however, it has decided to try a new strategy and generate huge amounts of revenue by auctioning off new top-level domains.
Not only does this provide revenue (these TLDs sell for tens of millions of dollars) but it creates more space on an increasingly crowded internet for companies to get hold of domain names which include their trademarks or product names.
But not all TLDs will be brand names. Google has, among others, bought the rather generic .app for around $25m, for instance. This gives it the sole right to create web addresses such as Google.app or Android.app, and to charge others to register others. …
Amazon recently beat Google in the auction for the .buy domain, but it ended up costing them a reported $4.6m.
Uniregistry bought the .mom domain and issued a statement that It hopes to “honour all mothers by providing them with their own online space in which they can build a personalised online identity” – for a price, of course. Another domain registry, Donuts, has bought .family and .fyi. A consortium of the Financial Services Roundtable and the American Bankers Association got together to buy .bank in the hopes of using it to convey trust for online banking.
Bankers do indeed need better PR; as this adorable video makes clear, even children harbor distrust of the Jamie Dimons of the world. But when it comes to domain names, is the Internet now going to be a crazy free-for-all?
Kind of, yeah! Here’s a list of the domain names that have been secured so far. Some of them are logical (“.LGBT” [sorry Q …], “.lotto,” “.deals”) and straightforward (“.army,” “.navy”). Some are locales (“.Melbourne,” “.Joburg,” “.Brussels”) and some are religious (“.Mormon”, “.Christmas”). But some I can’t see the point of, especially because they’re cumbersome: “.Republican”? “.Furniture”? “.Industry”? “.International”?
And “.website” is a bit too on the nose.
People are paying real money simply to get considered for these strings. The application fee alone is $185,000 (!) and there is no guarantee that you will be successful:
Investment. In addition to the US $185,000 evaluation fee and ongoing registry operating costs, applicants must demonstrate sufficient financial depth to keep the registry fully operational for at least three years even if the business plan does not achieve its objectives.
Loss of Investment. There is no guarantee you will get the string you applied for. If you do not pass the extensive evaluation process you could lose some or all of your initial investment. As with any new business, getting the operation started does not guarantee that revenues will profitably sustain it.
If you do have that kind of cash though and you want to get in the game, I recommend buying up “.win.” Somehow, though it’s a no-brainer, that one does not seem to have been claimed. People are too busy purchasing “.Properties” and “.Marketing” I guess.