(Photo by Flickr user Houston Ruck, used under a Creative Commons license)
Don’t go mourning the death of your .com domain just yet.
Four years ago, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced it would be increasing the number of available top-level domains (TLDs). Since then, companies like Google and Apple have been buying up new TLDs by the dozen (Google bought .app for $25M). Heck, the Eiffel Tower is even moving to a .paris extension.
So who helps these big brands manage their outrageously expensive and equally expansive TLD portfolios? Guys like Ken Schmid, who heads up strategic initiatives in digital brand services at Wilmington-based Corporation Service Company.
“I tell people this is probably the biggest company you’ve never heard of,” Schmid said of CSC, which has been in existence since 1899. “You can think of us as the corporate equivalent of GoDaddy.”
Though CSC has been around since before the turn of the 20th century, the company made its entrance onto the corporate registrar scene in 1999. When brands like McDonald’s or Microsoft or Twitter want to purchase a domain name, CSC helps them purchase and manage their growing collections.
According to Schmid, some companies have 50,000 domain names all over the world.
“There are about 1,500 of these new extensions that either have already launched over the past year-and-a-half to two years, or will launch over the next year,” Schmid said, adding that only 600 of those extensions are available to individuals — the rest are owned by corporations. “Some of them have already failed, which is kind of not a surprise,” he said.
Schmid said the transition will be slow, considering .com has been ingrained in the internet subconscious for the past 25 years. But depending on the domain, some companies can make it work now (cough cough — like sites that end with .ly).
Take former marketing agency essentia’s recent rebranding as Shiny, with a .agency extension. “Shiny.agency is genius,” Schmid said. “But they have to reinforce that. They want to make sure they have a lot of awareness around it.”
And for Delaware, what about .de, which is Germany’s local extension? Schmid said he’s seen local small business owners make the switch. “If you’re a local landscaper in Delaware, how neat is it to have joeslandscaping.de? Think about how memorable that is and how you might be able to stand out from the crowd,” he said.
“It’s going to take big brands like Barclays and small companies like Shiny to start adopting [new TLDs] and start getting the world out,” Schmid said.
In the meantime, we’re going to stick with technical.ly.-30-
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