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Big brands line up for new ‘.brand’ domains: Melbourne IT



ICANN approval of new Top Level Domain program unleashes new wave of domain innovation

“Today’s decision by ICANN will unleash a new wave of domain name innovation. This is the biggest change to domain names since the creation of dot com 26 years ago,” said Theo Hnarakis, CEO & Managing Director of Melbourne IT

Singapore – 20 June 2011 – Large brands from the entertainment and financial services industries are the most likely candidates at the front of the queue to apply for new ‘.brand’ Top Level Domains, according to global brand interest received by Melbourne IT Digital Brand Services.

Ninety-two per cent of the 150 organisations which have expressed interest to Melbourne IT DBS about applying for a new Top Level Domain (TLD) indicated their preferred choice would be their core brand name, or a ‘.brand’.  (For example: Canon has publicly stated they will apply for ‘.canon’).  A further 11% indicated they were interested in applying for a generic term as a TLD (example generic names could be .bank, .hotel and so on).

ICANN approved the final application guidelines for its new TLD program today in Singapore, paving the way for applications to open for the new domains in early 2012.  ICANN has indicated that it anticipates between 300 and 1,000 new TLDs could be created under the new program, providing an alternative to existing TLDs such as .com or .net.

It had been widely assumed that applicants for new .brand TLDs would be large brands and the information drawn from the 150 organisations which have expressed interest to Melbourne IT DBS supports this:

  • The average market cap of interested applicants is $36.7 billion USD
  • 92% are interested in applying for their main brand, and a further 9% in a product brand.  11% interested in applying for a generic term
  • 87% indicated they are interested in applying for one TLD, but the remaining 13% are interested in applying for two or more new TLDs
  • Consumer facing brands are the most keen (65%) with the remainder being business-to-business brands.  The highest proportion of interested brands are drawn from the entertainment, publishing and media industry (19%) and financial services (19%); followed by IT and Telecoms (15%), travel and tourism (7%), and consumer goods industries (7%)
  • The reason for applying is clearly split between two intentions – 48% indicated their primary intention is to protect against brand infringement, with another 45% indicating the primary intention is to create competitive advantage for their business
  • The 150 organisations are spread across the United States, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

“Today’s decision by ICANN will unleash a new wave of domain name innovation.  This is the biggest change to domain names since the creation of dot com 26 years ago,” said Theo Hnarakis, CEO & Managing Director of Melbourne IT.

“For many organisations, the chance to secure their company name as a ‘.brand’ domain represents a significant marketing opportunity.  It also provides increased control for organisations over their web domain, allowing them to protect their brand and build trust in an increasingly complex digital world.  No longer will big brands be sharing their domain space on the Internet with others – they’ll be masters of their own domain.”

Applications for new TLDs will open in early 2012 and close 90 days later.  Once the application period is closed, it is expected that future applications for new TLDs will be unlikely to be accepted for at least 2-3 years.  The first new TLDs are expected to go live on the Internet in 2013.

“Brands need to act now if they want to apply for one of these new domain names as it is not as simple as registering a .com address.  ICANN’s application fee is $185,000 USD and the application process is complex, requiring a submission which will run into hundreds of pages.  Many companies will engage with a specialist to help them apply and manage their new TLD,” Mr Hnarakis said.

“Melbourne IT DBS is ideally placed to assist organisations considering applying for a new TLD – from business plan development, management of the application process, to assembling and operating the technical infrastructure.”

An infographic explaining the new domains is available for media use at http://www.flickr.com/photos/melbourneit.  For more information on the new Top Level Domain program and how organisations can apply, visit http://brandgtld.com/ or contact Melbourne IT Digital Brand Services.

ENDS.

About Melbourne IT Digital Brand Services

Melbourne IT Digital Brand Services (Melbourne IT DBS) helps organizations manage, protect and optimize their brands online to maximize the value of their online assets.  Our expertise helps clients minimize risk and make smarter decisions in managing their online presence.

Headquartered in Mountain View, CA, Melbourne IT DBS maintains 15 offices in 10 countries.  Melbourne IT DBS’s 3,500+ clients include some of the world’s most recognizable brands such as Volvo, LEGO, GlaxoSmithKline, Deloitte, and Twitter.  Melbourne IT DBS is a division of the listed Melbourne IT Group (ASX: MLB).  For more information, visit www.melbourneitdbs.com.

About Melbourne IT

Melbourne IT (ASX: MLB) helps organizations of all sizes to successfully conduct business online.  Our complete portfolio of Internet-based technology services drives business effectiveness and profitability for more than 350,000 customers around the world.

The breadth of Melbourne IT’s offering extends from helping small businesses build an online presence through to managing the complex technology environments of large enterprises and governments – including Internet domain name services, web hosting, online brand protection and promotion, video content delivery, managed IT services and more.

Melbourne IT’s culture of integrity, innovation, collaboration and customer centricity has been built by more than 700 employees spread across 18 offices in 10 countries.  Our customers include Volvo, GlaxoSmithKline, LEGO, Queensland Department of Education and Training, Socit Gnrale, Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Coca-Cola Amatil, and Twitter.  For more information, visit www.melbourneit.info.

Media contacts:

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Tony Smith / Sarah Tsiros

Melbourne IT

Tel:  +61 7 3230 7525 / +61 7 3230 7321

pr@melbourneit.com.au