New gTLD Update: The Changing Conversation Surrounding New gTLDs

As the launches of the first round of new gTLDs (ngTLD) are winding down, we are seeing an interesting shift of focus from registries. The conversation is changing from promoting the launch of ngTLDs to how their TLD is being used and ways to increase registrations and renewals.

Usage is going to continue to play a key role in the discussion around ngTLDs. There are many things that may contribute to the possible growth of usage over the course of the year along with an increase of registrations. These include, but are not limited to, the release of Premium Domains, removing domains from Premium and Reserved lists, and, in the case of China, an increase in the number of ngTLDs receiving approval by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIT).

The approval by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIT) allows Chinese customers and registrants to host their domains within China. It will be significant when specific TLDs receive this approval, as previous registrations by individuals in this region were speculative. We anticipate a spike in registrations and usage once a TLD receives approval from the MIT.

With the change of focus, we recommend clients speak with their Client Services Manager about taking a renewed look at the current state of their valuable marks across ngTLDs. Our experts can put together a ngTLD Consultation or, for those who have had a consultation in the past, a ngTLD Consultation Refresh. The ngTLD Consultation provides an analysis of client brands and trademarks so that recommendations can be made regarding the ngTLD extensions. This includes a full landscape examination of all the ngTLDs currently in General Availability, as well as direction on TMCH, Blocking Services and ngTLDs on deck. A ngTLD Consultation Refresh will take a look at the recommendations from a previously prepared ngTLD Consultation, in order to bring the client up to speed on where their brands and trademarks are currently registered and how the landscape may have changed.

Overall, we anticipate that the usage of ngTLDs is going to build over time as internet users become more open to visiting something other than a .COM. For some companies, using ngTLDs as a core domain requires many changes to their infrastructure, while others are more easily able to make the change to their internal systems. The growth in the usage of ngTLDs within a company is going to be organic. Even in the world of ngTLDs, it is a marathon and not a sprint.