Almost half of major consumer brands set to apply for a dot Brand Top-Level Domain

New survey from Afilias shows that 44 percent of large companies intend to submit a dot Brand application, but few are aware of the limited application period

Leading registry services provider Afilias today announced the results of a USA / UK survey, conducted by Vanson Bourne, on dot Brand top-level domains (TLDs). The survey found that 82 percent of major brands are aware of the opportunity to apply for a dotBrand TLD, and 54 percent of those “aware” companies intend to apply for a dot Brand TLD; that is a total of 44 percent of all companies surveyed who plan to apply. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is now accepting applications for new dot Brand TLDs, but will close the application window on April 12, 2012 — less than one month from now.

Afilias commissioned the February 2012 survey of 200 consumer-facing businesses with 3,000-10,000+ employees. The survey captured the attitudes and intentions of companies in regards to the ICANN “New gTLD” program. Of the companies that are aware of the program, more than half are actively planning to apply while another 40 percent are still considering applying. And 71 percent of companies who are keeping the new gTLD program under consideration said they believe dot Brand domains are an important trend to watch.

These results indicate that Internet users can expect to see a substantial number of dot Brand domains in 2013 when the new TLDs are expected to go live.

Lack of awareness jeopardizing applications

While the majority of respondents are aware of the dot Brand opportunity, almost half of those businesses -- 47 percent -- were unaware of the looming deadline: April 12, 2012, when ICANN will close the submission window. Further, 17 percent of respondents said they would consider it “regrettable” if they missed the application deadline.

“What’s clear is that awareness of the new TLD program is high, and that brands now understand the potential power of their own TLD and are going for it,” said Afilias CMO Roland LaPlante. “Unfortunately, many are unaware that there are less than four weeks left to apply, and this means that some may miss the boat. Given that tight timeline -- and no indication from ICANN as to when businesses will be able to again apply for a dot Brand domain -- companies need to act now.”

Potential years of disadvantage

Respondents were also asked if they are aware that ICANN has not announced a next round of applications, and that the wait may be several years until the next round commences. A total of 44 percent said they were not aware of this gap between the current round ending on April 12 and the next one, whenever that may be.

“Brands that decide not to apply in this application round risk an indeterminate period of disadvantage against competitors who apply for their dot Brand domain. A dot Brand TLD offers companies more control over their online presence than ever before. A dot Brand also opens new possibilities for customer engagement and increased online security,” LaPlante said. “The application contains 50 in-depth questions, including 22 of a highly technical nature. Businesses must be able to answer all of these questions within the time remaining. As a long-time registry services provider, Afilias already has the 22 technical questions answered, so businesses who work with us can still make ICANN’s deadline.”

About Afilias

Afilias is a global provider of Internet infrastructure services that connect people to their data. Afilias’ reliable, secure, scalable, and globally available technology supports a wide range of applications including Internet domain registry services and Managed DNS. For more information, please visit http://www.afilias.info/dotbrand/application.