We currently have 22 international generic top-level domains (such as the good old .com) with an additional 250 national-level ones (.co.uk for example) that we have got used to over the years. But when you get used to something, it is most likely that something will change…
The applications for new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) are soaring, which will revolutionize the way domains work. It could be any extension imaginable, such as www.pedro.pizza or www.kindle.amazon. The price of applications aren’t down-to-earth either, as you can expect to pay a $185,000 fee just to apply for ownership of a gTLD. That is only the application itself. You can expect a lengthy process ahead, as well as the additional costs to administering the gTLD. There is no certainty of acquiring the gTLD nor is there certainty as to what the future of these domains really is.
Play it safe
Say you are a multinational company and you have made several gTLD applications… Amazon applied for 76 domains for instance (I’ll let you do the math). It’s still not that easy though, you may have to fight for your domain, expecting to spend a little bit more than you budgeted. Let’s take .bank, .news or .sport, there will be several applications but only one can be bought. So then the domain goes up for auction. Good luck!
So who’s really playing it safe? Apple… They have applied for .apple only. I mean, what else would you need? If all of this goes through we should be seeing links such as: www.itunes.apple, www.iphone.apple and www.ipod.apple.
Consider a gTLD a name space, not a domain name. Once you acquire this space, you can do whatever you like with it. Well, almost. It’s a great way to play around with your corporate identity as well.
Let’s face it though, if you are not a big company like Google or Amazon, you probably won’t have a few million dollars to spare on registering some new funky gTLDs, so you may have to go for a cheaper alternative: the company Donut spent over 100 million dollars applying for gTLDs that would pay off in the future as they are trying to secure words that will be used by lots of smaller companies out there. A great business opportunity, yet again, if you have a few millions to spare. Otherwise you will be paying a lot less, enabling Donut to grow and make their investment worthwhile.
On the plus side, companies will be able to get more creative with their naming, not just opting for a name that involves strange combinations just to make sure it’s available in dot com. It will be a fresh start and give people the opportunity to stand out with their names.
What is the future of this all? We can’t know at the moment. Applications are still filed, so you can still jump on the bandwagon to acquire your gTLD. While you’re at it, put aside a few pennies in case you want to object applications as well, as that requires you to pay a small sum too. Will the dot coms really disappear?