What's in a .name? Media companies bid for new Web domains

ICANN | Boston Globe | Nieman Lab | Forbes | Wall Street Journal

Several media companies are among hundreds of applicants for new top-level Internet domains identified today by the organization that controls the Web's naming system.

The new custom domain extensions go beyond the traditional .com and .net -- about 2,000 applicants are bidding to control all kinds of new custom domains like .news or .book.

Among the applicants are The Boston Globe, which would like to administer all .boston websites, so in the future you might find its website at "news.boston" instead of bostonglobe.com. Also applying are The Guardian (.guardian, .theguardian and .guardianmedia), AOL (.aol and .patch), CBS (.cbs and .showtime), ABC (.abc), FOX (.fox), HBO (.hbo), The BBC (.bbc), The Weather Channel (.weather), and Bloomberg (.bloomberg).

Some major media companies not applying in this round are The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and CNN. That may have something to do with the $185,000 price tag.

It sounds like a steep price, though it could be a steal and a profit-maker for an owner like the Globe if it can sell a bunch of subdomains to other buyers (shop.boston, celtics.boston, etc.).

The most-competitive domains were .app (13 applicants), .home (11), .inc (11), .art (10) and .blog (9). Google and BET were among those bidding for .blog. The .news domain was also popular, with seven applicants including Amazon.

Amazon applied for 76 domains including other media-related ones like .book, .author, .buy, .call, .coupon, .deal, .free, .game, .mail, .map, .mobile, .music, .now, .pay, .play, .read, .shop and .video.

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    Jeff Sonderman

    Jeff Sonderman is the deputy director of the American Press Institute, helping to lead its use of research, tools, events, and strategic insights to advance and sustain journalism.


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