All told, ICANN received 1,930 applications, well more than the 1,200-plus figure previously cited. Each applicant ponied up $185,000 per application just for the privilege of applying.
The applications include a good number of .brand gTLDs. Many recognizable brands applied for their company names. For example, Apple applied for .apple, Barclays applied for .barclays and Comcast applied for .comcast. Companies also applied for product-related TLDs. Sony, for instance, applied for a .playstation gTLD. The number of brands applying for .brand gTLDs which intend to use them for anything more than defensive purposes remains to be seen.
Some of the most active big names that may have real plans for new gTLDs include Google, Microsoft and Amazon. Amazon, for example, applied for a number of interesting gTLDs, including .tunes, .app, .author, .aws, .book, .bot, .buy, .call, .circle, .cloud, .coupon, .deal, .dev, .fast, .free, .game and .play. The latter, of course, will probably not sit well with Google, which earlier this year rebranded its app store as Google Play. For its part, Google’s applications, which came through an entity dubbed Charleston Road Registry Inc., include .play as well, plus .hangout, .here, .inc, .kid, .lol and .music, amongst many others.
Not surprisingly, the most interesting action in this process will be seen around generic gTLDs that established players in the domain market and upstarts alike could use to operate public registries. Numerous gTLDs received multiple competing applications. Ten applicants are vying for .art, nine for .blog and six for .online. If any of these are selected by ICANN, the organization that runs the internet’s domain name system will have to decide which applicant is the top contender.
Although the need for, and desirability of, new gTLDs is debatable, new gTLDs are coming and the selection process will no doubt be watched closely.