Latest news of the domain name industry

Recent Posts

.wow has more collisions than any other new gTLD

Kevin Murphy, November 18, 2013, Domain Registries

Amazon, Google or Demand Media are going to have to block over 200,000 strings in .wow, which all three have applied for, due to the risk of name collisions.

That’s tens of thousands of names greater than any other applied-for gTLD string.

Here’s the top 20 gTLDs, ranked by the number of collisions:


The average new gTLD string has 7,346 potential collisions, according to our preliminary analysis of the lists ICANN published for 1,318 strings this morning.

As blogged earlier, 9.8 million unique domain names are to be blocked in total.

Seventeen gTLDs seem to have been provided with empty lists, so will not have to block any domains in order to proceed to delegation with ICANN.

ICANN blocks almost 10 million new gTLD domains

Kevin Murphy, November 18, 2013, Domain Registries

ICANN has asked new gTLD registry operators to block a total of 9.8 million domain names, due to the perceived risk of damage from name collisions.

To put it another way, Verisign has managed to take close to 10 million domain names off the market.

ICANN today delivered second-level domain block-lists for 1,327 new gTLDs. Combined, the number of unique blocked domains is just over 9.8 million, according to DI’s preliminary analysis.

Some of the lists relate to gTLDs that will not be approved because they’re in mutually exclusive contention sets with other strings (for example, .unicorn and .unicom).

Twenty-five unfortunate gTLD applicants did not receive lists, because ICANN said they do not qualify for the block-list-based “Alternate Path to Delegation”.

We’re currently crunching the numbers and will have more information later today, with a bit of luck.

Only two new gTLD bids in Initial Evaluation

Kevin Murphy, November 16, 2013, Domain Registries

Initial Evaluation on the first round of new gTLD applications is almost done, with only two bids now remaining in that stage of the program.

ICANN last night published the delayed IE results for PricewaterhouseCooper’s .pwc and the Better Business Bureau’s .bbb, both of which were passes.

The only two applications remaining in IE are Kosher Marketing Assets’ .kosher and Google’s .search.

The latter is believed to be hung up on technical changes it has made to its bid, to remove the plan to make .search a “dotless” gTLD, which ICANN has banned on stability grounds.

Eight applications are currently in Extended Evaluation, having failed to achieve passing scores during IE.

Why Hansen quit .nyc for

Kevin Murphy, November 16, 2013, Domain Registries

Ken Hansen has surprised many by resigning from Neustar, where he was general manager of the slam-dunk .nyc new gTLD initiative, to become CEO of, a new pseudo-TLD registry.

The announcement raises a couple of big questions.

First, why is being launched as a registry?

The name belongs to domain investor Paul Goldstone. He put it up for sale in March 2012, with broker DomainAdvisors speculating aloud that it would fetch a price in the millions.

We wondered at the time whether CentralNic, whose bread and butter back then (before its interests in new gTLDs became clear) was two-letter country-codes in .com, would swoop to buy it.

We also wondered whether .CO Internet would make an offer, in order to eliminate competition and reduce existing and potential confusion with its own ccTLD, .co.

If either company made an offer, it does not seem to have been accepted.

Goldstone is instead going to try to build a registry around the name, with Hansen as CEO and himself as president. DomainAdvisors founder Gregg McNair is chairman of the new venture.

Second, why on earth would Hansen, who has been leading business development for Neustar’s own .nyc — the forthcoming new gTLD for the city of New York — join an unproven .com subdomain provider?

He tells us that his confidence in .nyc’s prospects has not waned, but that he is one of the owners of the new company.

He said in an email:

Sometimes following the crowd is not the best thing to do in business. New gTLDs have always been about choice from my perspective. I still believe in new gTLDs in general, but there is still a VERY significant market for short recognizable domains ending in .com. We will meet that demand. Not to mention, we can move quickly without waiting on ICANN.

Gaining visibility for a subdomain product can be tricky at the best of times, but with hundred of new generic TLDs coming to market… Hansen, Goldstone and McNair really do have a challenge on their hands.

The new company intends to run sunrise, landrush and “premium” names phases for its launch, which is expected to kick off in the first quarter next year. No word yet on whether it will follow the CentralNic model and also voluntarily incorporate ICANN policies on UDRP, Whois and so forth.

.sexy and 10 more gTLDs now in the root

Kevin Murphy, November 14, 2013, Domain Registries

The third batch of new gTLDs have gone live.

Uniregistry’s .sexy and .tattoo are currently in the DNS root zone, the first two of its portfolio to become active.

The TLDs .bike, .construction, .contractors, .estate, .gallery, .graphics, .land, .plumbing, and .technology from Donuts have also gone live today.

Donuts already had 10 new gTLDs in the root from the first two batches.

There are now 24 live new gTLDs.

The first second-level domains to become available will be nic.tld in each, per the ICANN contract they’ve all signed.

You’ll notice that they’re all ASCII strings, despite the fact that IDNs get priority treatment in the new gTLD program.