Since we last checked in, only three new truly generic TLDs have been delegated in ICANN’s new TLD program, and we’ll get to those.
Also in that timeframe, around a hundred new Brand TLDs have been delegated. Since they’re outside the scope of what we’ll be able to offer (Brand TLDs are “single registrant TLDs”, i.e. no registrar necessary), since so many are being delegated right now, we thought it was as good a time as any to address this trend head on.
But first, our three (truly) generic TLDs added this past month:
.beauty — July 15
Overall, there were just three applications for this domain, including Top Level Domain Holdings (aka Minds + Machines) and Donuts, both of whom submitted PIC (we detailed PIC back in April).
But it was L’Oréal’s application that ultimately prevailed. It looks as though L’Oréal will open up registrations to everyone, but .beauty may in fact be yet another brand TLD of the many delegated this month.
.doctor — July 21
There were also three applications for .doctor as well, two of which were a couple of usual suspects: Radix and Donuts whose application joined The Medical Registry Limited’s application. However, Donuts was the only applicant to submit a PIC and it may well be for this reason that their application prevailed.
.latino — August 4
There were only two applicants for .latino, Dish DBS Corporation (i.e. Dish Network) and Top Level Domain Holdings (i.e. Minds + Machines). After a private auction in the fall of 2014, TLDH withdrew their application and this month .latino was delegated to Dish DBS Corporation.
This is the only “community”-oriented application that Dish submitted, catering to the global Latino community, though interestingly only TLDH’s application contained a PIC.
The Brand TLDs
In 2013 when the first round of new TLDs was announced, it was estimated that around 680 of applied-for TLDs were so-called “Brand TLDs” or .brands. This amounts to more than a third of all TLD applications in the initial round of the new TLD program.
As of yet, though, Brand TLDs are not a separate category of gTLDs as is the case with GeoTLDs and Community TLDs and the reasons companies might have applied for one are varied.
Some companies, most notably Canon, had specific marketing in mind, while others applied defensively for their .brand. Others applied not totally certain of how they would use their .brands when they were delegated.
As such, some .brands may eventually be available on the public market and while the fact that many brands have outsourced the registry backend management to companies with experience in this area (i.e. companies that operate registries that do offer domains for sale on the public market), doing so undercuts many of the main advantages of a Brand TLD.
It’s not hard to see how having a public, proprietary namespace might be beneficial to a company, even if used for purely internal purposes and some Brand TLDs may never be used for the web. But those that do will benefit from stronger branding (no generic “.com” required) and better assurance of reputation. After all, a domain name can cost less than a dollar while a TLD is much more expensive and much harder to get, which in turn insures a certain level of security in itself.
Most Brand TLDs fall under the category of single-registrant, a category created by ICANN for the new TLD program. This suggests that more than a few of the companies who have been delegated these TLDs intend to use them to more directly manage their brands online, especially on the web.
To give you an idea of just how many Brand TLDs are currently being delegated, we’ve put a list of the ones this past month. To give you an idea of what kinds of companies are interested in these, we’ve broken them down by category:
Sports and Entertainment:
Retail and Apparel:
Automotive, Electronics, Manufacturing:
Finance and Commerce:
As more of these Brand TLDs are delegated, expect to see more companies using these proprietary namespaces in the wild.
And 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). That especially applies to Brand TLDs.