.London Priority Period Sees Nightlife.London Top Applications

The .London domain that has proved most popular is nightlife.london with over 40 applications. London's pre-eminence in the entertainment sector is also reflected in the popularity of domain names such as whatson.london, theatretickets.london and concerts.london.

But while nightlife.london has proved to be the most popular domain to date, housing and property have proven to be the most industries.

Terms connected with the housing market, such as properties.london (which has received more than 30 applications), apartments.london and houses.london are among the most sought after .london domains. Trades that serve the property industry are also proving popular, with addresses such as removals.london and scaffolding.london receiving numerous applications, while there are three times as many applications for estateagent.london as for lettingagent.london.

The initial launch phase for .london, where applications from Londoners and London-based organisations are given priority status, ended at 17:00 on 31 July.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson gave his support saying “London is the best place in the world to come and live, work and relax so it's no surprise that’s reflected in the most popular new Dot London web addresses.”

Leading businesses and international brands are among those that have applied for new .london domain names during the initial phase. They include the menswear firm dunhill London, The Landmark Hotel, The Royal College of Art, ZSL London Zoo and Cath Kidston. They will join .london pioneers such as Fortnum & Mason, the London Symphony Orchestra and Metro Bank as some of the first businesses to secure a .london domain.

By acquiring a .london domain name, businesses, museums, shops, theatres and galleries will secure a domain that is more relevant to them as a London brand, easy to remember and instantly identifies them as being located in London or having an association with the city.

“London is the city where the Cath Kidston brand was founded. We’ve registered our name under the Dot London Priority period because we want to ensure that customers wishing to reach us in London can find us with ease and because of the direct association to our brand’s birthplace,” said Natasha Hinds-Payne, who is responsible for protecting the Cath Kidston brand online.

Marketers and those behind brands have also given .london the thumbs up. David Green, Head of Global Digital Marketing at KPMG, said, “The Internet is changing, impacting how brands and businesses engage with their customers in an increasingly digital economy. The city's new Dot London domain presents London-based businesses with an important opportunity: a Dot London domain signals a geographical relationship with the city, providing greater relevance for anyone searching for a particular supplier or business in London, as well as branding benefits of association with one of the world’s leading city brands."

Louise Popple, senior associate in the Trade Marks, Media and Copyright practice at international law firm Taylor Wessing, said: “The launch of Dot London is an exciting opportunity for anyone with a connection to the city. Going forward, it should be possible to search just amongst Dot London websites, which – in the crowded internet space – will be a significant bonus for London businesses. But it does open up the possibility of abuse. Brand owners with a strong London connection would be wise to register their brand as a Dot London domain, even if only to avoid the risk of cyber squatters. Registering domains tends to be much cheaper than fighting to recover them."

The .london Priority Period runs from 29 April until 31 July 2014. Anybody with an interest in London can apply for a .london domain name. Allocation of names will depend on a priority ranking. The following priority ranking will be used:

  1. Trademarks verified with ICANN’s Trademark Clearinghouse database

  2. Londoners (those with a physical address in the City of London or its 32 boroughs) with rights to a name (such as proof of business or trading name

  3. Londoners (those with a physical address in the City of London or its 32 boroughs

  4. Non-Londoners

During August 2014, .london will allocate names according to priority ranking. Domain names with a single applicant will be allocated first. In cases where there is more than one applicant in the same priority ranking for the same domain name, an auction will decide who will get the name. Validation will be used to assess where applicants fall in the priority ranking.

At the end of .london Priority Period, if there is more than one applicant in the same priority ranking, those applicants will be invited by their registrars to participate in an auction for the applied-for domain name. Applicants may choose to participate or withdraw from the auction. The auction will then take the form of a private and closed auction via an online platform.

Find out more about getting your own .London today.

By David Goldstein, Online Researcher and Consultant.