How do you spell Catholic in Chinese? Don’t know? You probably soon will. The latest chapter in the story of generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) opened to much applause and a few grins this week as ICANN undertook its new gTLD Prioritization Draw in Los Angeles, USA.
The draw was used to determine the priority of which domains will be given first mover advantage after 1,930 global applications were received for new gTLDs (remember how much they cost?) almost double the amount expected and winners then paid an aditional US$100 to be entered into the draw.
First out in the draw was .catholic written in Chinese script. In terms of UK related domains, the Welsh look likely to be first served with the gTLD of .cymru drawn 244th in line, although .london at 635th also has a good chance of being available in 2013 if ICANN is to hit it’s own aim of 1,000 domains launched within 12 months of their meeting in Beijing in April 2013, the other welsh specifc domain .wales was drawn at 807 so may not get a launch until 2014.
Here at 123-reg of course we will make these new gTLDs available for you to register and pre-register as soon as they become available, and we will keep you updated on progress.
Places play a large role in the new gTLDs but so do brands, not only via their brand and product names but also more generic options. Second out in the draw was Amazon with their Japanese script version of .store. Meanwhile, the highest drawn standard latin script applicant was .play. That also goes to Amazon and with 4 other parties including Google applying in the initial process for that domain, the value of that piece of internet real estate just zipped up even more. With the process allowing for objections to be made against applied-for strings until March 13, 2013, the .play domain is expected to become the most written about extension since .com.
The next chapter in the gTLD story is likely to be some high profile battles and objections as brands look to asset their own authority on the new internet spaces. We will keep you updated in the run up to the official launch at the ICANN meeting in April. In the meantime we’d love to hear your thoughts on the how you see the new gTLDs having an impact on your domain buying.