Neither of them won .cloud, which begs a big question.
.Cloud is a valuable top level domain name.
I’m basing that on the seven applications it received, and that Amazon.com, Google and Symantec all applied for the domain name.
So which one of these heavyweights won the rights to .cloud? This one:
Wait – what? That cartoonish logo doesn’t match any of the heavyweights that applied for .cloud.
Aruba S.p.A., an Italian webhosting company, won the battle for .cloud against some of the world’s largest cloud companies.
This isn’t the only battle Amazon.com and Google have lost so far, and that has caught many by surprise. A common refrain from new TLD applicants that found themselves pitted against one of these heavyweights on “reveal day” was that they couldn’t win.
Amazon has won some big auctions, such as .buy. And it has picked up less-desirable top level domains like .spot. But it has also lost contention set decisions for .cloud, .group and .video — which are certainly some of the more valuable TLDs.
Google’s losses seem to heavily outweigh its wins. It lost all three public auctions it participate in during September. It has lost challenges for .cloud, .book, .dog, .site, .live, and the list goes on and on.
Why is this happening, and what does it mean for new TLDs?
The first thing that has happened is that nothing has happened. People were just wrong.
They were wrong about Amazon and Google having the wherewithal to win all of these auctions. Yes, they have the cash. But winning every auction they participate in is a whole lot of cash for a highly risky business idea.
Sure, Google or Amazon can afford to spend $20 million on any one TLD. But does it make sense to spend a half billion dollars to get all of the TLDs they applied for?
I can picture Google’s domains team getting budget for new TLDs. But asking for a half billion dollars for an experiment?
I’ve also heard that one of Google’s new TLD executive champions left the company. Often, an executive suite champion is needed to see a project to fruition. Having worked at a Fortune 500 company, I’ve seen plenty of initiatives (even those with lots of sunk cost) get shelved for political and monetary reasons. And “just because”. Regardless of how big a deal new TLDs are to new TLD companies, these things are just a spec on the wall at Google and Amazon.
It’s also possible that both companies simply “have their number” for how much each TLD is worth, and people are paying much more.
Now that people see Amazon and Google losing these domain auctions, what does it mean for new TLDs?
On the one hand, it creates opportunity for some of the smaller players to really push new TLDs forward. Spending $5 million is a big deal to the smaller guys. I assume they’re going to try to make a business of it, whereas Amazon might let TLDs sit on the shelf.
The glass is half empty viewpoint is that Google and Amazon don’t see as much value in new TLDs as people thought they did.
My opinion: neither of these companies like to waste money just because they can.
They’ll have budgetary controls, irrespective of who they are and wont necessarily want to play into the hands of an obvious strategy by smaller players.
I think its highly likely they’ll have a longer term company acquisition strategy in place for key TLDs that hit the numbers, as well as a move towards the main portfolio applicant(s) open to a takeover.
A very canny move.
I think they’ve come to realise that they would be better suited having a branded TLD that means something to consumers, is unique and also allows for virtual services to be future proofed by not being attached by brand to the current medium of providing them (cloud technology).
Me think they now see the obvious, namely, that gtlds are stupid, confusing and serve absolutely no useful purpose. Game, set, match: Team Schwartz.
That’s how I read this too. Based upon how much both have invested in cloud strategies, the fact that they are not investing in .Cloud is a sign that they don’t think TLDs don’t have any impact on their cloud initiatives.
Andrew Allemann says
I suspect they bid in the auction, just not high enough to win.
I’m sure they did too. However they have much deeper pockets than the winner and if they considered the TLDS important, they could’ve easily top other bidders.
They chose not to bid again simply because they don’t see enough value in the TLDS.
Domo Sapiens says
Jean Guillon says
I’d say .CLOUD does not sell, that’s why.
Simple, they don’t need 10,000 domains to sell their service, just 1, and they most likely probably own it.
The person who commented above about having financial analysts, and internal controls with respected budgets is dead on.
Actually a blow to GTLD’s these guys did not win, they could have opened some doors for sure. Now you are most likely to see crazy premiums from a underfunded party who is going to be fighting to recoup capital.
Domo Sapiens says
it means a ‘Cloudy with a chance of meatballs’ forecast.
But nothing new really.
Far more significant is the fact that Amazon.com was denied .amazon and
that MSFT (live.com) withdrew/abandon his application for dot live …think about it!
I wonder what any of the potential email addresses would look like:
Houston we have a problem when it comes to ’email addresses format and the new gTLDs”. (Root and Protocol problem)
“The writing on the wall”
brand tlds are better for brands to run. and generics like cloud come and go. When I was a kid apps where called software, wtf were my uncles intials, clouds were in the sky and filled with water and y2k was what everyone feared.. fads come and go, brands are forever
From A Mile Away says
I small death. The gtlds are going down.
Bruce Garrison says
$25 Million for Google to get .app. The new gTLDs aren’t going anywhere.