Web could see a flood of .brand domain names.
There are a lot of new top level domain name service providers out there, and each has its own estimates on how many new TLD applications will be submitted next year.
Here are the numbers from Verisign: 1,000 to 1,500 applications and 2/3rds of them from brand owners.
This isn’t just another wild guess. Verisign runs the .com registry, so you can expect that many potential top level domain applicants have at least talked with the company about new TLDs.
Today I talked with Sarah Langstone, Director of Product Management at Verisign, about these predictions.
Langstone said that the numbers are extrapolated based on conversations the company has had with potential applicants. The company saw an upswing in inquiries as soon as ICANN formalized the date for the application window.
If you do the math on her estimates, we could potentially see 1,000 .brand applications.
Although Langstone isn’t overly surprised by the number of inquiries for .brand domains, she has been surprised by who they’re coming from.
“What I was surprised about were how many traditional bricks and mortar type firms were interested in applying for a new TLD,” she said. Some of the inquiries came from companies that don’t have a large online presence yet.
Langstone said that brands are saying they see marketing benefits in new TLDs: they can be shorter, more intuitive, and easier to remember. Some brands want to use them for partner or affiliate networks as a way to show that the partner is authentic.
However, she concedes that a lot of user education will be required to reap these benefits.
How many of the .brand TLDs will be used right away? Will companies go all in with their .brand? That remains to be seen. Langstone said a number of companies want to test .brand domains for market acceptance before deciding on a final plan of how to use it.
One thing is for sure. If .brand domains are successful, we’ll soon have a web of haves and have nots.