Hi, I’m Sam. One of the things that’s been brought to my attention this year is the introduction to gTLDs, which stands for generic top-level domains, for those of you who might not be aware of them. In other words, “.brand”. So we’ll come on to what the “.brand” stands for shortly.
Now, these have been on our radar for years now, but have only started taking a real prominent effect in some people’s marketing campaigns. 2008 was when ICANN initially started speaking about them. So, you’ve got your gTLD, which is the generic top-level domain. Companies like Apple would be going after things like these. So it’s “.Apple”. You can have “.HMV” or “.Aviva”. ICANN are predicting that the industries that are going to be most suited to these gTLDs and those that are going to be applying for them are those that are in the entertainment industry or the financial services industry.
The cost of these things are not cheap, and you can put in your application, which we’ll come on to in a second, but just to put in your application, you’re looking at spending $185,000 to apply for a gTLD. If you are then accepted, you’re then looking to pay over $25,000 every year as an annual subscription so that you can have this.
So, back into early 2011, ICANN brought out the fourth version of the Applicant’s Guidebook. So you really can get a feel for the type of information that ICANN are looking for in order for you then to be accepted into this program. 2012 ICANN is saying that you can actually start applying for them and they’re going to be accepting applications for it. With a view to the beginning of 2013, they suspect that the first use of gTLDs are going to actually be seen. So, as I say, big companies like Aviva, MoneySupermarket and ComparetheMarket, all of these different financial services industries, plus the likes of HMV, Virgin, all these different sort of media entertainment companies will also be the most likely people to be going after these.