ARI Registry Services has signed up to provide registry services for 161 new generic top-level domain applications.
The announcement this morning confirms that the domain name industry now has a Big Four – at least – set of dominant gTLD back-end providers.
ARI said it has signed 85 generic, 70 brand and 6 geographic gTLDs applications. CEO Adrian Kinderis said in a statement:
Non-disclosure statements restrict me from revealing our full client list at this point in time, but what I can say is that our technology will support some of the world’s largest and most recognised brands within the electronics, media, telecommunications, automotive and banking segments.
The company, part of the AusRegistry Group, was previously only known for its .au registry and some software consulting work on internationalized ccTLDs. It had expected 100 gTLD clients.
In Verisign’s most recent Securities and Exchange Commission filings, it has started identifying ARI as one of its key competitors, along with Neustar and Afilias.
Verisign is providing the back-end for 220 applications.
Neustar and Afilias have not yet announced their respective numbers. I expect both figures could quite easily be higher, but maybe not a great deal higher, than Verisign’s.
Top Level Domain Holdings also has not revealed numbers for Minds + Machines, but that’s a slightly different model due to the fact that M+M will also be the applicant in many cases.
With about 1,900 new gTLD applications filed, and barring any surprise back-end announcements, we could well be looking at hundreds of gTLD applications that propose a self-managed registry.