They are set to join an increasingly crowded market of new gTLDs with new launches happening almost daily. Registrations for all the new gTLDs launched since October 2013 soared past the half million mark on 15 April and stood at 569,082 as of 22 April. The .guru gTLD has comfortably stayed ahead of the pack since its launch in the first week of the programme with 51,837 registrations, and a market share of 9.14 percent. Following is .berlin with 46,515 registrations and then .photography with 33,112.
Setting the standard of the city/regional gTLDs has been .berlin. T The success of .berlin has fuelled the anticipation for .london and .nyc both among the domain registrars and brand holders. The only other gepgraphic TLD with any registrations of note has been .ruhr which now has 2,945 registrations while a number of others are set to launch in coming weeks. These include .cologne and .koeln, .saarland, .quebec, .vegas (Las Vegas), .tokyo and .wien (Vienna) with Paris due to followi in the second half of 2014 after it was delegated into the root zone of the internet in mid April
But it is .london and .nyc that have the potential to be the biggest and most successful when it comes to registration numbers. Both are large cities with populations of around 8.2 million for London and its 32 boroughs while New York City has a population of 8.3m. They are also two of the very few cities with a strong global presence, along with cities such as Paris and Tokyo that are also launching.
And both London and New York City are in reasonably crowded TLDs. In the case of London, the United Kingdom’s ccTLD, co.uk, is reasonably crowded with over 10.5 million registrations and soon to grow as Nominet, the organisation that runs the UK TLD are planning to allow registrations in the .uk space for the first time in late June . For New York City, .us has never really taken off and .com has over 113 million registrations meaning it is difficult to get a preferred domain name. And like Berlin, both cities have a lot of tech start-ups and a population that is internet savvy.
But what will be integral is a successful marketing campaign. For .berlin, the company behind the gTLD worked with local businesses and government for several years, raising its awareness.
To help spread the word of .london, a couple of “pioneers” or “anchor tenants” have been embraced. Meantime Brewery and ExterionMedia have both been used to promote .london in its early days, while more recently West Ham United, the Covent Garden Market Authority and AllStars Collective have all expressed their desire for a .london domain to express their “Londonness”. Two organisations that have already been allowed to publish their new .london websites are the London Evening Standard newspaper (standard.london) and the London Symphony Orchestra (symphony.london).
Further enhancing the desirability of a .london domain, Deborah Meaden, the entrepreneur and Dragon’s Den investor, said “Successful business leaders are always looking for opportunities to stay one-step ahead of the competition. Changes in technology, like the expansion of the internet and the release of the new Dot London domain, present a real opportunity for companies to gain a competitive advantage, to innovate, to refresh their brand and become more relevant to their customers.”
With its launch imminent, for those interested they should be aware there will be two phases through which dotLondon domain names will be released. They are as follows:
Phase 1: Commencing 16:00 GMT on 29 April and will end at 16:00 GMT on 31 July 2014 and will be what is described as a “London Priority Period” giving priority to registered trademark holders and Londoners in applying for domain names
Phase 2: Commencing 11:00 GMT on 9 September 2014 and is the General Availability where equal access is for all interested customers for all other available domain names
For .london domains, anybody with a presence in London or an interest in London will be able to apply. Allocation of names during the first phase will depend on a priority ranking. The following is the priority ranking of customers:
- those that have a validated trademark object in theTrademark Clearinghouse
- those having a London address AND a right to a name (e.g. it matches their business name such as Lloyds of London or the London Stock Exchange)
- those having a London address for any name
- those without a presence in London
Where there is more than one application for a domain those applicants will be validated by an external validation agent. If, after validation, multiple applicants for the same domain name end up in the highest priority ranking then an auction process will be used to determine who will get the domain name.
The infographic below helps explain the launch.
For .nyc domains it is simpler but more restrictive process with domain names only available to businesses and organisations with a New York City address and individuals with a primary residence in New York City can register a .nyc domain.
Only time will tell which city will come out as the world’s hottest Internet property but the smart money is on one of London or New York City.