The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has opened the doors today to receive applications for securing a generic top-level domain or gTLD. These gTLDs are the root of URL addresses – the last part of the domain, for example in the New Target website, ‘www.newtarget.com’, the gTLD is ‘.com’.

ICANN expects to see around 2,000 applicants registering to join the 22 gTLDs currently in existence. We did a little research to find out a few of the gTLDs most likely to be applied for and found these candidates:

  • .eco
  • .london
  • .bank
  • .canon

At a hefty $185,000 followed by start up costs at $500,000 and then yearly costs around $100,000, the application fee is no small number and brands will need to weigh the benefits and costs of applying. If more than one request is made for a gTLD—think .apple—ICANN will hold an auction to determine the owner.

Naturally all of this change is stirring up a bit of fear and controversy as brands could feel forced to spend large sums of money only to prevent others from getting their gTLD first. For the time being, Icann has stated they have established criteria for applicants which will protect brand owners.

If you are interested, get started soon because the application window is narrow. Applicants will have only four months to apply between today, January 12, 2012, and the last day of application acceptance, April 12, 2012.

Thinking of registering a gTLD? New Target can help you with your next strategic move. Call us at 703-548-3433 or email at [email protected].

With offices in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, Ca., New Target provides digital strategy, digital marketing, web design, web development, branding, website hosting, and creative services for prominent nonprofits, companies, and government.