.CLUB Domains moved into the number two spot on the new gTLD league table overnight, but its growth appears to be slowing.
In today’s zone files, .club has 47,362 domains under management, having added 734 on Sunday; .berlin stood at 47,243, having added 33 yesterday.
.guru still leads with 56,813 names.
Sunday is typically a slow day for domain registrations across the industry, but .club’s growth does appear to be slowing compared to its first few days of general availability, regardless.
It saw 1,141 net new names on Friday and 1,351 on Saturday. The previous Friday and Saturday adds were at 4,904 and 3,828.
It’s difficult to get a comprehensive picture of daily growth due to the registry missing a few days of zone files last week.
ICANN has killed off Amazon’s application for the new gTLD .amazon, based on longstanding but extremely controversial advice from its Governmental Advisory Committee.
According to a New gTLD Program Committee resolution passed on Wednesday and published last night, the applications for .amazon and Chinese and Japanese translations “should not proceed”.
That basically means all three applications are frozen until Amazon withdraws them, wins some kind of appeal, manages to change the GAC’s mind, or successfully sues.
Here’s the last bit of the resolution:
Resolved (2014.05.14.NG03), the NGPC accepts the GAC advice identified in the GAC Register of Advice as 2013-07-18-Obj-Amazon, and directs the President and CEO, or his designee, that the applications for .AMAZON (application number 1-1315-58086) and related IDNs in Japanese (application number 1-1318-83995) and Chinese (application number 1-1318-5581) filed by Amazon EU S.à r.l. should not proceed. By adopting the GAC advice, the NGPC notes that the decision is without prejudice to the continuing efforts by Amazon EU S.à r.l. and members of the GAC to pursue dialogue on the relevant issues.
The NGPC noted that it has no idea why the GAC chose to issue consensus advice against .amazon, but based its deliberations on the mountain of correspondence sent by South American nations.
Peru and Brazil, which share the Amazonia region of the continent, led the charge against the bids, saying they would “prevent the use of this domain for the purposes of public interest related to the protection, promotion and awareness raising on issues related to the Amazon biome”.
Amazon had argued that “Amazon” is not a geographic term and that it was against international law for governments to intervene and prevent it using its trademark.
ICANN commissioned a legal analysis that concluded that the organization was under no legal obligation to either reject or accept the applications.
Under the rules of the new gTLD program, the NGPC could have rejected the GAC’s advice, which would have led to a somewhat lengthy consultation process to resolve (or not) their differences.
The big question now is what Amazon, which has invested heavily in the new gTLD program, plans to do next.
A Reconsideration Request would be the simplest option for appeal, though almost certainly a futile gesture. An Independent Review Process complaint might be slightly more realistic.
There’s always the courts, though all new gTLD applicants have to sign legal waivers when they apply.
A fourth option would be for Amazon to negotiate with the affected governments in an attempt to get the GAC advice reversed. The company has already attempted this — offering to protect certain key words related to the region at the second level, for example — but to no avail.
.CLUB Domains failed to overtake .guru in its first week of general availability as promised, but the company is nevertheless upbeat about taking the number one spot “within days”.
The last zone file available for .club shows 41,203 names, but that’s the May 14 file. The company, or its back-end, has been having trouble keeping its zone file current in the ICANN system this week.
That was an increase of of 10,523 over five days, or 2,104 per day on average.
As of 1500 UTC yesterday, the company reckoned it had 44,450 sales.
That would still place it at #3 in the league table behind .guru with 56,097 (up 200 names today) and .berlin with 47,079 (up 60 names).
If the growth rates stay roughly the same, .club may well overtake .guru in less than a week.
CEO Colin Campbell told us in March that “I firmly believe that .CLUB will exceed all other new generic top level domains in the first week of launch in registrations and overtake .GURU as the leader.”
The company is hosting a party in New York with celebrity endorser 50 Cent next Thursday (disclosure: I’m attending on .CLUB’s dime) which may or may not lead to a spike.
The Domain Name Association is hoping to raise funds for marketing by hosting private new gTLD auctions, according to executive director Kurt Pritz.
Chair Adrian Kinderis made the pitch at a meeting of the New TLD Applicants Group today.
The DNA is hoping to tempt applicants that are reluctant to participate in existing private auction schemes because they don’t want their money going to competitors.
Instead, the winning bid in an auction managed by the DNA would go straight into the DNA’s marketing and operations budget, to the potential benefit of the whole new gTLD industry.
Participating applicants would get to choose how the money would be split been marketing and the general DNA kitty.
The organization hasn’t picked an auction provider yet, and no applicants are yet committed to the plan, Pritz said.
The American rapper Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson has become the first big-name celebrity to get in on the new gTLD game, announcing today that he’s launching a fan site on a .club domain.
He’ll launch 50inda.club at a .CLUB Domains launch event in New York on May 22, the registry has just announced.
‘In Da Club’ was the name of his breakthrough single in 2003.
A quote in a press release, attributed to Jackson, said:
As I prepare to launch `Animal Ambition’ on June 3 and my new drama `Power’ on Starz, the timing was right to give my fans a central web location to stay on top of all my latest news and social updates. I like to stay on the cutting edge, and 50inda.club represents the new wave of Internet names that actually mean something to me and my fans.
Fiddy has 7.41 million Twitter followers. That’s the kind of social media exposure not many other — probably no other — new gTLD operators have managed to achieve to date.
This, in my view, is a huge coup and is exactly the kind of thing new gTLDs need to be doing to get the word out about new gTLDs.