The reluctance of rights owners


Ben Anderson

The reluctance of rights owners

Trademark owners have been largely avoiding sunrise periods in the first new generic top-level domains to go live. NetNames’s Ben Anderson assesses why, and offers some tips on brand protection strategies.

With more than 100 new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) either in their sunrise or general availability phase, this is the perfect opportunity to review the registration numbers, identify growing trends and reflect on what new gTLDs really mean to brand owners.

At the time of writing, there are more than 200,000 domains registered under the new gTLDs that have launched. Many observers are suggesting that these initial figures indicate the overriding success of the new gTLD programme. Compared to the 265 million-plus domains registered globally in the existing TLDs, the 200,000 figure represents a tiny fraction of that number. But with many new gTLDs still unavailable to the general public, and the level of consumer awareness still low, the initial numbers are not the best indicator of the programme’s success.

A review of the publicly available zone files indicates that .guru is the clear favourite among registrants, with .photography coming in second place. At the time of writing, the top 10 gTLDs by volume are:

domain, gTLDs, brands, NetNames