144 New TLD Applicants With 1 Month RemainingPosted: February 29, 2012
As reported by DomainIncite, there are now 144 applicants for new TLDs with each being able to apply for 1 to 50 new TLDs.
1 month remains for potential applicants to open a new account in order to apply for new TLDs, with the final deadline for new TLD applications being April 12. The halfway point both for new applicants as well as for new TLD applications themselves has been passed.
The question of course is how many extensions will be applied for? While a handful of companies have indicated applying for multiple extensions, many of the publicized new TLDs leading up to the application period were from entities not applying for other TLDs. Also note that there can be multiple registrants going after the same new TLD.
As Kevin on DomainIncite noted, the 144 figure was up from the 100 figure ICANN publicized just 2 weeks earlier. There’s a good chance that the period for opening a new account will be back-loaded with companies finalizing last-minute decisions to press forward. That said, I believe it will settle in the 250-300 applicant range.
If that’s the case, there may not even be 500 different new TLDs being applied for when all is said and done. Given that was the ceiling given on the amount of new TLDs being approved for release early next year, while ICANN was hoping to exceed that figure, applicants should be relieved that they won’t have to wait any longer for their approvals.
One thing I find interesting is that based on what I’ve seen, the companies going after multiple extensions are focusing almost purely on generic extensions. Originally it was believed a majority of extensions applied for would be .brand extensions, but it seems while there may be more applicants getting .brand extensions, overall there will likely be more generic new TLDs applications overall.
Many brands may feel their own TLD does little more than market themselves further. Some smarter brands however will likely have an interesting plan for their .brand TLDs that will get their customers or sellers of their products interacting more closely with them. Also, given the significant cost to apply for and run a new TLD, it prices out many businesses.
On May 1, all applications will be made public and open for comment. Whether new TLDs make a splash or not, everyone in the domain industry is curiously waiting to see what the new horizon will hold.