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.NYC domain names available for registration today.
The .NYC domain name goes into general availability for New Yorkers today after a long, citizen-initiated process.
A Long Road
In the middle of the last decade, a group of New Yorkers proposed the idea of creating a .NYC domain to the city government. The city council passed a resolution to assign resources for a .nyc bid in 2008 and issued a request for proposal to find a partner in 2009.
The city select Neustar, which runs the registry for .biz and .us, and signed the contract in 2012.
Under the terms of the contract, Neustar led the effort for applying for the top level domain with ICANN and paid the associated fees. Neustar is also in charge of marketing the domain name and ongoing ICANN costs. For its work, it will keep 60% of the $20 wholesale fee per registration and the city will get the rest.
A Restricted Namespace
Unlike recently launched geo domains including .London and .Vegas, .NYC is only open to registration by locals. In order to register a domain name you must live or own a business in one of the five New York City boroughs.
“The city decided on this policy a number of years ago,” explained Jeff Neuman, VP of Registry Services for Neustar. “They wanted to ensure .nyc is for New Yorkers.”
“There’s a policy advisory board and it was very important to them as well,” Neuman said. “So you can imagine names like rayspizza.nyc or tonyspizza.nyc, they want to make sure someone in New York got that and not someone in Kansas City.”
The restrictive policy means that some people that associate themselves with New York and pay taxes to the city will not be eligible. For example, the banker that lives in Connecticut and commutes to a job in Manhattan isn’t eligible.
Neustar will use a proprietary tool to validate addresses. The tool is already offered by Neustar to other industries for services it provides.
.NYC has been marketed to New Yorkers for a while now. Don’t be surprised if you find similarities between .NYC marketing and that of .Co.
Neustar acquired .Co Internet earlier this year for about $100 million, and getting .Co’s marketing talent was a key part of the acquisition.
“The talent we got with the .co acquisition is really irreplaceable,” Neuman said. “.Co was really the first top level domain to do a consumer based marketing program, one that was very different and very successful compared to previous launches. It really was one of the reasons Neustar did the acquisition.”
Neuman noted that .NYC has been a multi-year project that predated the .Co acquisition as well.
Time for Lift Off
.NYC hits general availability at 11 ET today, and is available at many registrars for prices between $25-$40. The domain is only available at accredited registrars; domains are not being sold direct to consumers.
There will be a launch party in the Flatiron district (FlatIronDistrict.nyc) at 1 PM local time. A number of .NYC founders will be there, and there will be entertainment from Musical Theatre Factory (MTF.nyc) and Bridget Kelly (Bridget.nyc).
.NYC should be big, and it’s also a big test. Will the restrictive registration policies limit interest in the namespace? Or will it lead to .NYC being a must-have address for all New Yorkers and local businesses?
.NYC launches this week and Donuts’ well runs dry.
It’s time for the weekly overview of new top level domain names coming out this week.
It will be brief, as just five are on the docket as best I can tell. But one of them is certainly big.
.NYC will launch to great fanfare on Wednesday. This is a big test for geographic top level domain names, especially ones with restrictive registration policies. More on that later.
Also on Wednesday, Donuts releases .city at regular prices.
It doesn’t launch a domain in Early Access this week. This is the first week since Donuts started rolling out TLDs in January that it hasn’t had a new one to release.
Rightside launches .lawyer and .attorney on Wednesday. I’d imagine if you buy one, you should probably buy the other, too.
Report forecasts strong opportunity for new top level domain applicants.
B. Riley & Co analyst Sameet Sinha issued a report today estimating that new TLDs should go “from Zero to $500MM in Three Years”. The report also initiates coverage of Rightside with a buy rating and a $15 price target. The stock currently trades for about $10.
I reviewed the lengthy report and spoke with Sinha this afternoon. In general, I think it’s a good overview of the domain name industry and state of new top level domain names. Of course, the big question is if the assumptions underlying his projections are correct.
Here’s a chart that summarizes the projections: Click here to see the chart and continue reading
Customers have registered 960,000 second level domain names under Donuts’ domain names.Donuts, the largest registry for new top level domain names, hopes to sell its millionth domain name registration this month.
The company’s latest newsletter pegs its total registrations at 960,000 across 147 top level domains. That’s an average of about 6,500 per top level domain.
It will need to add 40,000 more domains without the aid of weekly launches. In previous months, the company released three or more domain names each week. In October, it will launch just three domains in total.
Still, small gains on the 147 domains currently available add up in a hurry.
A geo and an open .brand top level domain name launch this week.
It’s a slow week again for new top level domain names, and that will be the case going forward for awhile.
On Tuesday, the geo domain .bayern (Bavaria) launches.
On Wednesday, Donuts releases .deals in general availability. .City will enter the Early Access Phase.
Next week Donuts won’t send any domains to EAP, as it is running low on domain names to release.
There’s an interesting launch on Thursday. OVH, One of Europe’s largest webhosts, launches .ovh. Although it’s a brand, they’re opening it up to everyone.
According to the company, it announced .ovh as an April Fools’ joke back in 2009 and received 22,000 requests to register them. That convinced the company to apply for .ovh when ICANN opened up the new TLD program.