ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Name and Numbers) has announced they are accepting applications for new GTLD names. The price to apply is $50,000. At such a price, and with no guarantee of acceptance, why would anyone bother? There is one very compelling reason; money.
The Internet boom is really just getting underway. Many people have touted the imminent demise of the Internet for years, but every time you turn around there are hundreds of thousands of new sites to visit, and people are visiting them. When someone comes up with a great site, the traffic to it is tremendous and there is a rush to buy up all the domain names that are reasonably close to it so no one else can capitalize on their hard work. Usually this means getting the rights to .net, .com, .biz and so on. Currently there are only a handful of GTLDs available, but that is about to change.
GTLDs are the prime real estate of the Internet. Owning the GTLD is like owning a country. You get to decide who gets this tiny parcel of land and at what price. New York City, for instance, has announced they will be seeking the rights to the GTLD “.nyc.” It makes sense that they would want it. Of course anyone with a business or niche idea that is focused on New York City will be hot to get their domain name with .nyc appended. They can redirect all of their .com, .net etc. domains to their new .nyc domain. How much revenue do you think New York City will be able to realize through the .nyc GTLD?
The thing is, ICANN will not just grant anybody the rights to a particular GTLD. There are strict guidelines to even apply for one. Unlike the ever present land grab for domain names, GTLDs will only be granted to those who can demonstrate a legitimate reason for wanting it. If your company believes they can generate a legitimate claim to a GTLD and has $50,000 to get the application started, now is the time to petition ICANN.