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Dot-brand early adopter becomes 48th to disappear

Kevin Murphy, April 30, 2019, 14:22:06 (UTC), Domain Registries

A Singaporean telecommunications company has become the latest gTLD registry to voluntarily drop its dot-brand.
StarHub, which had 2018 revenue equivalent to $1.73 billion, told ICANN it no longer wished to operate .starhub in February and ICANN opened its request up for a month of public comment last week (a formality).
It’s the 48th of the several hundred original dot-brand applications to change its mind after delegation.
Notably, StarHub was one of the first companies to announce its participation in, and tout the expected benefits of, the new gTLD program.
Back in February 2012, when most applicants were playing their cards close to their chest because the application window was still open, Oliver Chong, assistant vice president of brand and marketing communications at StarHub, said:

We believe the ‘.starhub’ Top-Level Domain will deliver clear marketing and advertising benefits to StarHub, such as improved online brand recall and a more intuitive consumer experience with easy to remember domain names such as ‘’. We also anticipate potential Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) benefits by operating a more targeted and relevant naming system that is clearly matched with our website content.

Yeah… so, none of that actually happened.
Like all the other dot-brands to self-terminate, StarHub never actually used .starhub, other than the obligatory placeholder.
As an aside that may counterbalance this bad news for the perception of new gTLDs, one of StarHub’s competitors in the Singapore mobile market is called Circles.Life. It uses as its primary domain and has apparently performed respectably since its launch in 2016.
Imagine that! A mobile phone operator being successful using a new gTLD domain!

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Comments (6)

  1. Jay says:

    “Imagine that! A mobile phone operator being successful using a new gTLD domain!” — A little sarcasm there? A hit on .life and ngtld overall
    Your .site advertisement though…haha. Pathetic, money hungry, fake AF. You don’t care about anything except that money apparently. Slimeball Btw, the purple ad is hideous, im off here…for good, never to come back, snake.

  2. Snoopy says:

    If it is 48 out of several hundred that is getting to quite signifiant numbers. I wonder if it will get to 2/3 dumping .brand completely given time? Word must surely be starting to spread amongst large corporates that these extensions are a waste of time and money.

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      Don’t take these numbers to the bank, but by my rough count there are currently 153 spec-13 dot-brands in the root that have only 1 domain (their nic.example) in their zone file. So you’d be looking at an absolute ceiling of 153 further withdrawals of this type.

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