What if There Were 100,000 New Domain Extensions in the Near Future?Posted: February 28, 2012
What if in 2020 there were 100,000 new TLDs in total? A blog post by Naseem Javid looks at the scenario and how it would affect the thought behind use of gTLDs.
In my Business Insider article 10 Myths About the New Top-Level Domains, one point I make is that you won’t be able to register .anything and .everything when new TLDs hit. The limitations of ICANN’s new TLD program will keep that from happening. In fact, their limitations will keep Naseem’s scenario from playing out.
One of the things we feel will hold new TLDs back is expectation – on multiple fronts. People who have heard about new TLDs and seen many articles embellishing the program will believe that you can have .anything you can think of and will be let down when that’s not true. Because of the limited size of the program – only 500 new TLDs maximum to be approved for release in early 2013 – people won’t be able to expect a particular extension to exist.
For instance, our last article went into .City TLDs – under current limitations, we may see about 25-50 .City TLDs in this first round of approvals. Think of how many thousands upon thousands of cities there are in the US alone, let alone in the world. 25-50 doesn’t even represent a single percent of them.
That means you can’t expect a particular .City TLD to be there. In fact, let’s look at the hypothetical scenario that there will be 50 .City TLDs per approval round and let’s say ICANN has 2 approval rounds per year which is a possibility. That would mean after 10 years, there will still only be 1,000 .City TLDs. Sure, that may cover many of the world’s largest cities, but that’s also approved over 10 years – some would only be in existence for a year or two.
While it would have been a completely radical change to the internet, opening up the TLD space in a far bigger way would at least provide that expectation possibility. Why not have every .City possible, every .Industry possible and so on?
The problem is that even if they all existed, you then run into the issue of where you would expect to find a business. Would it be on its .brand, its .industry, its .niche, its .city, or on .com or an alternative general extension? Consider that new TLDs as-is will be competing against well over 200 million established domains when they start coming out. Suddenly having .everything would still take an awful lot to push away the over 100 million .com domains.
The current program as ICANN has laid it out will still be revolutionary in its own way. It will indeed mean a massive expansion of domain extensions. It just won’t likely mean a massive change in the current breakdown of domains by extension on the internet – .com, .net, .org, country-code extensions for local businesses in those countries, and all the rest competing for the remaining scraps.