With the much-anticipated .music top-level domain (TLD) nearing launch date, we look at its history, who it is for and how it might fare.
When will .music be available?
The TLD is expected to launch in 2022—but it has been a long process to get here.
In 2012, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) launched the latest iteration of the New gTLD Program, allowing companies to apply for their own TLDs. As part of this process ICANN allowed for a community-based gTLD type that is operated for the benefit of clearly delineated community.
With approximately 1,000 new gTLDs delegated in the ensuing nine-and-a-half years, the global internet community has had many registration options; one of the last potentially ‘major’ TLDs that has yet to launch is .music. Having worked through several ICANN-related processes, the TLD is anticipated to launch in 2022.
Who can register a .music domain name?
According to the registry site for .music, the TLD is “exclusive only to legitimate members of the entire global music community” including: musicians and creators, bands and groups, industry professionals, and music companies. Its Registry Agreement states that as a ‘community TLD,’ .music has specific community registration policies that address: eligibility, name selection, content/use restrictions, and enforcement.
So how will the TLD fare as it describes a well-known concept (music) but has purposefully limited its eligible registrant class by adding verification requirements to protect the larger internet community? In asking this question we can compare two cross-sections of existing TLDs – music-related TLDS and community TLDs.
Music TLDs: strength in numbers
In our analysis, we have a list of ten select unrestricted but music-related TLDs by number of domains registered:
.audio, .band, .country, .dance, .guitars, .hiphop, .live, .radio, .rocks, and .studio
Which do you think currently has the most registrations? Download our analysis to find out.
Community TLDs: small but steady
Likewise, we have also listed ten selected community TLDs by number of domains registered:
.archi, .bank, .eco, .insurance, .llp, .ngo, .ong, .pharmacy, .spa, and .sport
Each of these are targeted for use by distinct community members from more highly regulated sectors such as banks, insurance companies and pharmacies, to broader communities supporting everything from sports to the environment and wellness. Look at our analysis and see the current stature of these online communities by TLD.
What is the future of .music?
Time will tell. The .music TLD may resemble some of its musical TLD peers and get into the multiple thousand registrations based on the idea that music transcends all cultures and countries across the world. Or it may mirror its community-minded counterparts and have a smaller registration footprint but maintain high quality registrations that serve its community members and protect the larger internet community.
While we won’t know for some time as the .music TLD has not launched yet, you can be sure that Clarivate’s domain name experts will notify our clients about all of the .music registration and launch requirements and keep you current on other important TLD launches into 2022 and beyond.
To see more information about TLD launches that can assist you in making domain portfolio management decisions, please reach out to your Domain Portfolio Advisor or contact us here.