So after months of speculation as to who would be the first off the block with their new gTLD, the ICANN draw earlier this week has given some indication of which new Top Level Domains will be the first to see light of daw.
For those of us who sat through the live streaming of the draw on Monday (all nine and a half hours of it), the years of talking are now finally over. The age of the new domain name will be upon us in less than six months, if you believe the ICANN time line.
Based on the number of applications, the odds were on either Amazon or Google having the first tickets drawn. Amazon had bought tickets for 11 IDN applications and 65 non IDN’s, whilst Google, aka Charleston Road Registry had 74 tickets, although they also had a further 24 applications where they chose not to enter the draw. In terms of the IDN draw, 108 tickets were in the pot and Amazon saw their first application, the Japanese IDN for store, come out second behind the Chinese symbol for Catholic. In Non-IDN draw, Amazon again won the war of the big two, with the highly contested .play again being the first ticket drawn.
The first non-contested non-IDN that was drawn belonged to Dai Nippon Printing Co with their .dnp which we could see delegated as early as July 2013, closely followed by a “yes” from the man from .delmonte. Unfortunately for all of us little kids (at heart anyway) out there our plans to be a .ninja may have to wait until early 2014.
Whilst some of the big players may have some schemes up their sleeves to try and jump the queue, ICANN have been very clear in their policy in terms of readiness for delegation. Whilst an applicant can enter into a negotiation period with ICANN, they must launch their TLD within 12 months of signing their agreement with at least five domain names.
It remains to be seen exactly how many of the applicants who have been drawn early will be in a state of readiness by May 2013. Amazon and Goo..sorry, Charleston Road Registry will certainly have an advantage with their economies of scale to launch multiple TLD’s within a short period of time although they still have one almighty fight for the 19 TLD’s that they are in direct contention on. In fact that to me will be one of the most interesting aspects of early 2013 – the way in which contentions are going to be handled, especially where those two are in direct competition.
So for now it is still hard to say who the winners and losers are. Six months is a lifetime in this industry and who know’s what the situation will be when the new gTLD doors will be thrown open in May. At least we can all look forward to a new world of .christmas in time for Santa's visit in 2014!