How many companies are willing to spend up to $200,000 to purchase their own domain?
The historical fare of .com, .net, or .org domains is not at stake here — but a new group of domains that are determined by each purchaser.
The current list of 21 generic top-level domains (excluding country-specific domains such as .ca and .uk) includes the fare you typically see at the tail-end of every browser URL: .com, .gov, .biz, .info, .travel, and so forth.
Companies have historically been limited in what they can buy and how they can market their brand in accordance to availability. Google owns google.com, for instance, and if you want it you either need to make Google an offer or wait until its domain registrar contract expires.
What if Google wants to purchase .google or the state of Utah wants to purchase .utah? That’s not an option today.
Companies, organizations, and individuals can not buy their own domains in the name of themselves. You can only customize the second level of the domain, such as google of google.com, not the top-level itself.
The Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers (the nonprofit group that manages the interoperability of the internet, inclusive of deciding which top-level domains people can buy), makes it possible to brand your own domain.
You don’t have to worry that a particular domain is unavailable anymore because if you have the cash (and ego) to afford it, you can own your own.
Electronics manufacturers Canon and Hitachi are mulling it. You may not need to visit canon.com anymore, but, say, www.canon or marketing.canon or printers.at.canon or any other naming convention they want if they own the top level.
“We have provided a platform for the next generation of creativity and inspiration,” said Peter Dengate Thrush, Chairman of ICANN’s Board of Directors.
Who has the inspiration to spend the money, though?
I have some thoughts, but how about you?