• The Hollywood Reporter on LinkedIn
  • Follow THR on Pinterest

Competition Begins to Secure Internet Strings .Movie and .Music

ICANN says 1,930 new generic top-level domains are in play, and Google and Amazon.com want more of them than anyone else.

The applications for new generic top-level domains – the letters that come after the dot in an Internet address – are in, and, while the entertainment industry has applied for many of them it also left out lots of major brands.

Disney’s ABC, for example, has applied for .abc but not .espn or even .disney. CBS applied for .cbs but not .showtime and Viacom didn’t bother with .mtv nor did Comcast bother with .nbc. News Corp., through a holding company, applied for .fox but ignored myriad other brands and Time Warner through a holding company applied for .hbo.

Sony has applied for .sony, .playstation and .xperia while Microsoft wants .xbox. There were no applicants, though, for .wii.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the nonprofit entity that governs domain names, has been accepting applications, at $185,000 each, for several months. ICANN’s intention is to add hundreds, even thousands more gTLDs to join .com, .net, .org and the relatively few others that already exist.

Many top brands didn't bother trying to secure gTLD string that would amount to copyright infringement if another company attempted to control it, which might explain no one applying for .disney, .warnerbros and the like, as well as any celebrity or band name following the dot.

Other brands being chased by their parent companies include .HGTV, .BBC, .weatherchannel and .foodnetwork. Dish Communications is pursuing .blockbuster and Netflix wants .netflix.

There are multiple applicants for each of the primary sports: .football, .baseball, .basketball, .hockey and .soccer. And, as expected, there are multiple applicants seeking control of .movie, .film, .music, .game, .book and .news. And while .tv is already a gTLD, no one applied for .television.

In cases where more than one entity seeks control of a gTLD, ICANN promises a rigorous background check to choose the best applicant. Where there’s a tie, a gTLD could simply go to the highest bidder.

ICANN disclosed on Wednesday that it has accepted 1,930 applications, and the most sought-after gTLD string, with 11 entities chasing it, is .inc. The complete list is here.

The two companies chasing more new gTLDs than any other entities are already Internet behemoths: Google applied for 101 gTLD strings and Amazon.com for 76 of them.

Google, for example, wants .baby, .car, .channel, .corp., .dad, .mom, .dog, .family, .film, .fun,  .love, .prod, .show and even .dot. Of course it also wants .youtube.

Amazon wants .tunes, .video, .wow, .zero, .audible, .author, .box, .coupon, .deal, .fire, .hot, .save and .like. Amazon also wants .imdb, which is to be expected since it owns IMDb.com.

Naturally, there are several that Google and Amazon are competing for, like .buy, .cloud, .drive, .free, .game, .book, .movie, .music and .kids.

ICANN is expected to take 18 months to decide which applicants get which gTLD strings.