ICANN is the Interent Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. It is a non profit organization. It oversees the structure of the interetn. Now ICANN wants to increase the number of top level domain names ten times more. The question is, does this mean that the present number of TLDs will increase by 10 and does the world need all that?
There are more than twenty generic top level domains like .com | .net | .org etc. and for those who are not in the know, MaizeCob confirms that .aero | .coop | .job | and .museum are also in existence. We also have others known as character country codes, and they come above the generic domain, they include all possible states, islands and atolls.
Just the other day, ICANN added about 12 internationalized TLDs. In 1985 there were a few dozen domains, and now there are about 250 million domains in 2013. This growth is about 80% but it has been slowing down over the last three years. The existence of millions of domains does not mean that all of them are being used. Only two thirds are active while the other third are parked as a single page or they do not resolve at all on the internet.
At present, ICANN is looking at 1000 or more new top level domains. This is just a proposal that must go through scrutinization before approval takes place. Some of those that are looking at their own domain include .amazon or .google. Maizecob expects that about 300 of the new top level domains will just be generic and open such as .hotel | .shop and .web. Once they come alive, they will compete with the old ones that we presently have throughout the internet.
The determinant factor will be in the ability of registries to cough as must as 2 million dollars and the $185,000 application fee. This puts them at a hard position of recovering their investments unless they also resale their domain names at high prices of about $100 each.
Registries as a business depend on infrastructure and marketing. Already the infrastructure is set up with the likes of Verisign, Afilias, CentralINIC, KS-Registry among others. Fees are from $50,000 and go to $100,000 or $200,000 in a year. Then there is the cost of promotion that can vary widely. This means that to stand out in the already overcrowded market will be so difficult.
Maizecob already knows of several marginal players like .mobi, .pro .travel and the likes that cannot even challenges the likes of .co and .me which as not only short but also smart. The .co did not just come out of nowhere. It paid millions to be where it is today as the preferred domain.
In the end, we hope that .com will feel challenged with the new gTLD names but the mother company Verisign will seek to defend its turf by becoming aggressive against any intrusion.
We can now just wait to see what ICANN and the rest of the players have in sleeves for us, as far as generic top level domains go.