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Observations about domain names at CES 2017

No .tech and a big difference between startups and established players.

Carnival showed off its new Ocean.com domain name.

Last week I attended the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The mammoth event features 3,500 exhibitors and well over 150,000 attendees.

One of the things I paid attention to, naturally, was which domain names companies were using. Here are a few observations I made.

Where’s .Tech? CES switched over to the CES.tech domain for this year’s show, but I can count the total number of times I saw CES.tech at the show on one hand. Actually, no hands. I didn’t see it a single time. Don’t get me wrong, getting hundreds of thousands of people to visit CES.tech is a big win, but I thought it would also get exposure during the show. I did get one business card from a company that had a .tech domain on it. Interestingly, the company uses a .com for its website and .tech address for email.

.Com rules for established companies Yeah, so no surprise here. Carnival, the cruise company, had a huge booth (I should call it a building) that prominently displayed its new Ocean.com domain name. I don’t know how much Carnival paid to acquire the domain from Richard Lau, but I’m sure it was just a small percentage of what it is investing in its technology and OCEAN branding.

This company chose a .Solutions top level domain (and a second level domain that fails the radio test).

…But new TLDs and ccTLD are big with startups .Com addresses weren’t as visible in the startup section of the event. Companies were opting for short domains on extensions like .io and .co. Although I didn’t see many new TLDs, I observed a company using a .solutions domain. I also came across a company using a .us domain name.

Domains are more prominent for North American and European companies These companies tended to show domains loud and proud on their booths. Asian companies…not so much. I found this odd, since many of the Asian companies were showing off technology commodities. You’d think domain names and branding would play a big part in trying to differentiate yourself.

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  1. Andee Hill says

    Anywhere.solutions can be registered for under $5 right now. It amazes me that companies don’t consider the radio test when choosing a company brand name. If nothing else, buy the correct spelling and forward to the anyware.solutions site…

    • Scott Alliy says

      same can be said for .company IMO. Who wouldn’t want to or shouldn’t own the.company of their industry and thus own the premium brand as in paver.company or fillintheblank.company. All the internal conferences in the world won’t help educate the end user and they are the ones that need what domain investors offer. No, not all GTLDs make sense IMO however its a shame for the great ones to sit idle instead of working for the right end user owner IMO. End user Education is has and will remain the key IMO

        • Mark Thorpe says

          Agreed, .Co is a lot better choice than .Company.
          .Company and .Solutions are too long of domain extensions.
          A domain extension should not be any longer than 5 characters max. Four characters or less is best.IMO

        • Alexvai says

          It dosen’t matter, is CEStech.com? Or CES.tech? Or CESco.com? Or CEScompany.com? Or CESco.tech? Or CEScompany.tech? Or CEStech.co? Or .inc? Or .ltd? Or llc? Or .corp? Or just .site, .online, .global…..
          So, all this confusion what does it tells you? .com just values more…

      • Snoopy says

        You are probably overthinking it a bit, it is just a brandable term that someone has thought up. Most techcrunch style startups are very small operations (couple of guys working out of a bedroom) with no revenue and the main business model being fund raising, so choosing a bad domain is unlikely to ever have a big effect. If they ever become consumer facing or “known” then at that point they have an issue. They don’t have an issue right now.

        • Nils says

          Isn’t this simply a company that chose “ware” as in… spyware/ ransomware/ kitchenware? So someone selling their wares (which seems to be adaptors for connected living, in their case). Looks like a good choice of name to me.

    • Sergey says

      Andee, could you comment on recent Donut’s policy of reserving very huge number of domains, please?

    • Snoopy says

      Andee, this is a tiny company, I don’t think they interested in spending money in case of typos. They raised 57k to fund their operation, so spending money on extra domains would be a complete waste of money. Even if they registered anywhere.solutions they still will have massive domain issues if they become successful because not only is the sld confusing, but the tld is confusing as well.

      They need 1 domain and a Facebook page. If they become big then they can think about domains.

  2. Ron says

    That is a really cool device, I must say, ware, and where are both applicable to the product, it is a shame, they are going to bleed traffic.

  3. Mike Sallese says

    Andrew- great report regarding CES with information not covered elsewhere. I agree with John above that your articles are well appreciated and you do fine reporting! Thanks for all of your work- you are a true asset to the industry! Cheers- Mike

  4. Alexvai says

    I was also in CES, and definetly .com still the preference of choice, I can’t remember but I did saw one .VEGAS in the train, is the only .vegas I saw…. As far as .co, .io, even .net and .me or words, like .solutions, .online, site, many of them a prominent prospects, however, many of them are just to fill out the stage… Ocean.com is beautiful, the CES.tech, I think will be part of their marketing body, Amazon uses it, Amazon.tech, but don’t see many Giants in that same field..

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