In the past 30 or so days since we reported on recently-delegated TLDs there have been some pretty high-profile strings delegated to the root. Their high desirability and the competition to lock-down lucrative virtual real estate this month makes it seem like a big game of Monopoly. Let’s take a look.
.blog — May 18
This TLD is an obviously valuable property. Of all new gTLDs, .blog would probably be considered the Boardwalk or Park Place of the board, so it’s no surprise that ICANN received nine applications for this TLD.
A lot of the major players submitted their bids: Donuts, Top Level Domain Holdings Ltd. (its subsidiary and technical provider Minds + Machines is a better-known name), Afilias, Radix and also Google, who received a GAC warning, presumably because of the perception that if awarded this application, they might use it to unfairly promote their blogging platforms.
In the end, Panamanian registry Primer Nivel, who also acts as registry for .legal and .news (more like the St. James Place and Marvin Gardens than another Boardwalk or Park Place), won out against the rest.
Edit: It has come to our attention that .blog was ultimately delegated to the registry with the punny name Knock Knock, WHOIS There, a subsidiary of Automattic creators of the popular open-source blogging platform Wordpress.
.dot — May 18
Another one that’s tempting to think of as fairly desirable, maybe the awkwardness of the repetition —“dot-dot”— dissuaded too many applicants. This one was between Google and DISH Network. In November 2014, DISH Network won an auction, paying $700,000 for .dot. Now, ICANN has delegated .dot to the root zone.
.shop — May 23
With the prevalence of online shopping, it’s no surprise that there were also nine applicants for .shop as well, including, again, many of the usual Monopoly players: Amazon, Donuts, Radix, Google and Famous Four Media. But one applicant stood out for wanting this more than anyone: GMO Registry. GMO wanted .shop so badly, they applied for it twice: once as a community application (we discussed that back in April) and once as a “standard” application.
Perhaps not surprisingly, then, GMO prevailed (their community application was approved). But .shop is not quite the prime real estate it seems. Uniregistry’s application for .shopping has also been approved and is pending delegation and so has Amazon’s application for .通販 (.xn--gk3at1e) which means “online shopping” in Japanese.
.realestate — May 23
Speaking of real estate, .realestate also joined the ranks of delegated TLDs this month, with dotRealEstate LLC prevailing against three rivals. This was the sole application which did not receive a Community Objection by the National Association of Realtors, so this organization was apparently their favored vehicle for their association.
.games — June 2
Interestingly enough, after the debacle of .game’s scheduled release by the registry, withdrawal, re-coordination, and re-release that concluded recently, on June 2, .games was delegated to the root.
.ups — May 28, .netflix — May 31
We’ve generally refrained from discussing brand TLDs much here, but two big brand names joined the root zone as TLDs this month: .ups and .netflix. It’s not clear what companies will do with their brand TLDs, if anything besides sit on them, but should either UPS or Netflix decide to make use of these TLDs, you can be sure they will be high-profile.
Those are the changes to the great, big Monopoly board of new gTLDs this month. You can keep track of future developments on this page from ICANN.
Remember: these are new TLDs on the cutting edge of having been added by ICANN. As such, any discussion of one of these TLDs should not be interpreted as meaning any of these extensions will be imminently available on Gandi (though we, of course, try to offer all the extensions we possibly can).