In 2012, ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and numbers, accepted applications to create new Top Level Domains (TLDs). A TLD is the text to the right of the final dot in a domain name. For example, .Com is the most popular TLD today.
This year, the Internet will experience an unprecedented expansion. In today's world, there are just 22 generic Top Level Domains - like .com or .net - to choose from when purchasing a domain name. In 2014, that number could jump to over 700 available choices. Companies and individuals may soon be able to purchase domain names such as www.Shoe.Shop or www.Marketing.Guru or create email addreses such as Marketing@Brand.Email. The possibilties endless.
This unprcedented expansion started in 2012, when ICANN held an historic application round inviting companies from around the world to apply to create new Top Level Domains (TLDs). 1,930 applicaitons for new TLDs were filed in ICANN's historic 2012 application round. Applications were filed for generic TLDs, like .Site and .Web, for branded TLDs, like .BMW and .Abbott, and for geographic TLDs like .London and .Berlin.
Donuts, Inc. - through its subsidiary companies - applied for more TLDs than any other organization. Donuts, Inc. applied for 307 TLDs including .Shop, .Web, .Guru and .Email.
The .Email TLD is a general purpose TLD that can be used literally for any type of business, club or organization. Domains in the .email TLD are ideal for use by for corporate, club, or organizational emails. Imagine a company email address at Jane@Brand.Email, or a Marketing email address at Sales@Brand.Email.
Donuts, Inc., through its subsidiary company Spring Madison, LLC, was the sole applicant for the .Email TLD. The .Email TLD quickly passed ICANN's evaluation process, and the .Email Registry Agreement was signed with ICANN on October 31, 2013. The .Email TLD is currently in the sunrise phase, and domains within the .Email TLD are expected to go on sale to the public on March 19, 2014.
We recently had a chance to catch up with Mason Cole, VP Communications & Industry Relations for Donuts, Inc. to discuss the .Email TLD.
DotAnything: How do you envision domains within the .Email TLD being used?
Donuts, Inc.: "We leave this decision to the end-user registrant. This is a more specific TLD, so it's clearly likely it can be used for e-mail services (Example: you may someday tell a friend that you could be contacted at email@example.com), but it could be used in other contexts as well -- perhaps someone is interested in rating e-mail services or displaying funny e-mails for entertainment. Surely there will be creative uses we haven't anticipated."
DotAnything: What made you decide to apply for the .Email TLD?
Donuts, Inc.: We started with a list of approximately 3,000 candidate names and eventually narrowed the list to the 307 for which we applied. That narrowing was based on extensive analysis we conducted on each potential name, which helped inform us about what would make sense for the marketplace and what kinds of names customers would be looking for. We found the likelihood of broad usage of the name, consumer appeal, and strong utility. In addition, it's naturally associated with Internet-based activity.
DotAnything: Have you taken steps to help ensure that emails sent to domains utilizing the .EMAIL TLD will be deliverable?
Donuts, Inc.: "Email addresses within the .email TLD will function just like email addresses do within the .com TLD. We do not anticipate any deliverability issues particular to domains within the .email TLD."
Pre-register for your .Email domain today at DotAnything.co.