This has to be the strangest way to announce a new gTLD partnership to date.
Judging by a spoof video uploaded to YouTube yesterday, Tucows withdrew its applications for the .media and .marketing new gTLDs after receiving a pay-off from rival applicant Donuts.
Presented as “the hotly contested .media and .marketing gTLD bout” between Tucows CEO Elliot Noss and Donuts co-founder Jon Nevett, the video humorously documents the negotiation process.
If you don’t have four minutes to spare, or if awkward office-based spoof videos make you want to beat yourself to death with a bright red stapler, here’s the money shot:
While I’ve not yet received confirmation that the video is based on true events (it’s Saturday), the facts all fit.
Tucows withdrew both its .media and .marketing applications around July 26, according to the DI PRO new gTLD timeline, giving Donuts a clear run at delegation.
Uniregistry was the only other applicant in both contention sets, but withdrew its applications for .media and .marketing July 19 and June 21 respectively.
There’s nothing in the video to suggest that Uniregistry made a similar deal, but it seems likely.
It’s the first example I’m aware of of Donuts settling a contention set outside of the private auction process.