How Much for That gTLD?

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ADOTAS – Is $185,000 the right price for a single gTLD? No, it’s definitely not. If a gTLD is supposed to provide worldwide exclusive use of a name identity with unlimited sub-name-brand-extension-domains, this amount is insufficient for ICANN to add on critical features in the same application process.

A gTLD is like buying a powerful car engine and being given a list of body shops, mechanics and tire stores for optional fitting. This is just how it was before the revolutionary assembly lines of Model T — now a century later we are again at the unassembled gTLD production lines, while cyber highways await the grand race of those magnificent folks and their high flying name identities.

The $185,000 price tag is very modest. Looking from the end-user’s point of view, current global advertising expenditures run well over $500 billion annually worldwide. There are far too many organizations spending tens of millions monthly in keeping their main name identity visible.

ICANN could have easily offered a full blown million dollar “hassle-free turn-key global cyber name identity solution” package with all the streamlined functionality support so necessary to this new frontier. Instead, it is fragmented into different areas where overly-protective disciplines seem to prevent this new mechanism from becoming fully mobile.

A rush application based on a grand and novel idea with a snazzy name could backfire or miss out on simple or obscure technicality or miscalculation. Without a multidisciplinary and unified focus the risk of error is too high.

On the other hand, the brilliance of the technical and legal minds so often become entangled in their own hardwiring of the left and the right types of brains. The concepts and discussions are either marketing driven or techno-legal jargon while crisscross confusion and protective arenas only create trepidation among real decision makers.

The law firms and domain registries are posturing for power to fill the vacuum but their disconnections to marketability are too obvious. The domainers have already earned their stripes on the easy-come-almost-free domain names but on this marathon they are boldly working and there will be spectacular successes and some catastrophic failures. Most important, ICANN is releasing the updated “New TLD Applicant Guidebook” with a new website and soon to launch its advertising campaign.

Undoubtedly, the markets are seeking bold leadership with clarity and comprehensive understanding. The big question is will all these special skills intertwine to complete the circle, or obscure the goal by creating more smoke?

Old domain name mentalities see the $185,000 cost as very expensive — the equivalent to buying 18,000 domains. The neo-cyber-branding model sees this as no different to the cost of a bubbly TV ad commercial that gets pulled within days for some politically incorrect message.

There are all kinds of other routine mega expenditures — like running a dozen full page ads in cities around the world to make an impact for a single day or a logo-slogan-branding remake exercise, but don’t forget the frequently allocated million dollar budgets to fight out losing trademark battles over mediocre names.

If this platform is supposed to be the most powerful cyber branding and name identity fortification tool something is lacking in the market positioning of this concept. The unfamiliarity among agencies and brand holders is the most serious issue and unless the depth and gist of the entire program is well understood and teams are calibrated, the germination will be stagnant.

On the other hand, due to tight timelines and the limited number of players allowed, the anxiety level to compete would rise suddenly. For every single successful example there would be dozens of players ready to join from countries around the world. This will create hyper-visibility of gTLD concepts with colorful interaction, the variety of new ideas, markets, languages while all wishing to race their champion name identities on the same and only platform of one internet and one world.

For now a gTLD ownership offers the cheapest and fastest tool to create global cyber name identity domination in the marketplace.

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