Happy VHOn 29th April London celebrated the first birthday of its digital offspring, the Dot London domain. Since London & Partners, and registry services providers Minds + Machines, launched the new Top Level Domain (TLD) there have been over 60,000 registrations, making it the 13th most popular new generic TLD. There can be no doubt that the first year has been a success, with London as one of the top three most popular GeoTLDs, along with other global counterparts dotNYC (74,000 registrations) and dotBerlin (156,000 registrations so far) . Where the TLD has done well is grabbing the headlines, not only in the technology press, but also in more mainstream media.
Dot London has certainly benefited from having some high-profile London brands as pioneers, with Premier League football team West Ham United, the West End show ‘The Commitments’ and the restaurant group Scoff & Banter being three of the original trailblazers who are still promoting the gTLD. Other iconic London companies, new and old, including Museum of London, London Zoo, Sky Garden and the new Camden based gin distillery, Half Hitch, have all adopted the Dot London domain name since the gTLDs launch last year.
The success of any new gTLD will be measured on usage and renewal rates. Currently, according to stats provided by www.nTLDStats.com, over 40% of Dot London registrations are active webpages making the capital’s TLD more operative than dotBerlin (25%) and dotNYC (29%). Though this is encouraging it will be the parked names that will prove key to the renewal numbers. However, the gTLD is still growing by around 3.5% per month, which is impressive.
Dot London’s competition
Dot London can certainly claim to be one of the most popular city-specific gTLDs. It is well documented that dotBerlin’s numbers were boosted in the first few weeks by marketing promotions, which may have a major impact on renewal numbers when they start to kick in during the next few months. We have already seen a net reduction in the number of domains under management by a few thousand in the past few weeks. DotNYC continues to grow, even with restrictions on registrants having to be located within the five boroughs of New York City. Behind Dot London, Tokyo (26th), Koeln (Cologne) (36th), Moscow (43rd and its Cyrrilic character variation in 46th) and Paris (50th) all sit in the top 50, unlikely to challenge Dot London’s position.
In April, ICM, the registry behind dotAdult and dotPorn announced that they believe their sunrise may have eclipsed that of Dot London to become the most successful of the new gTLD programme to date. Even so, it was an impressive campaign from London and Partners, underlining both the attractiveness of the Top Level Domain and the desire to associate with one of the most popular cities in the world. As web users become more familiarised with the new gTLDs and London’s brand continues to grow in power and influence, Dot London is destined to become one of the most successful web address endings of the future.