10 Things You Need to Know About Why gTLDs Will Change Everything
Posted by Jennifer Wolfe on 25th March 2013 in 360 Blog

Most people are still questioning the impact of ICANN’s new gTLD program. While some say nothing will change, I offer ten reasons why it just might change everything.

Google, Amazon and Microsoft have each made bold moves. Google, the world’s leading search and data company, applied for nearly 100 gTLDs. Don’t think they will do anything with it? Think again. Amazon, the company that revolutionized online purchasing and prime two day delivery of almost anything, will change the way you think about the internet. And, Microsoft, the backbone of most computer systems, will drive change in its eleven applications including Skype, Live, Xbox and more. These digital leaders will transform the way you use the internet and drive consumer behavior faster than any other company.

IDNs will launch this year for the first time in the history of the internet, providing real global connection on the world wide web. In languages ranging from Arabic, Chinese, Japanese and Cyrillic, now around the globe the internet will encompass new forms of communication and language options.
With 900+ new generics set to launch in the next year and a half, the scale of this shift is unlike anything in the past. Creating zip codes or categories of the internet, everyone will have a new place to call home from .moms to .tennis and .golf to .inc and .fashion, .music and .movie – you name it and there will be a place for it. Unlike the one off launches of .biz, .travel or .info, this is a scaled launch of hundreds of new options to feed the creative and innovative souls of every frustrated person out there who can’t find anything left in .com.
Search will be transformed as these new top level domains become a part of search algorithms, providing category indicators or zip codes to the internet. Search will change. There is no way to have this kind of change with Google, Amazon and Microsoft at the helm and not see search change. As search changes, so does the internet.
We are slowly cutting the cord to the cable box. While many think the end of cable is still five to ten years out, the launch of gTLDs will be one more nail in that coffin. As fiber optic cable by Google makes its way to more communities and Samsung and Apple fight for the flat screen TV hooked to the internet, the shift from accessing content by a cable subscription to the internet will accelerate. gTLDs then become the channels you surf.
Integration with mobile and apps will also increase with gTLDs offering a more robust anchor to that strategy. While there is clear indication web sites will be less important in a mobile world, at some point as consumers hook those flat screens up to the internet, the anchor to mobile strategies will ultimately be the internet and a landing page. With gTLDs, brands have more options to architect that landing page and user experience.
The new generic top level domains will offer users faster resolution with brands and smaller eco systems to navigate. Consider that .com, operated by VeriSign, is resolving millions of queries every single second around the globe. Now, imagine a brand like playstation.com is resolving only thousands of queries every second or even every minute within its own secure ecosystem of .playstation. Might it be faster and provide a better experience for gamers or content where speed is important?
More opportunity for entrepreneurs will be created. While many argue the opposite, the entrepreneurial boom of the early 90s should serve as a jumping off point. We had no internet before the early 90s – when it launched it gave rise to new creative thinking and innovative disruptive models that have transformed our society. Suddenly opening up the internet to thousands of new creative top level domains can serve as a catalyst for entrepreneurs to rethink the internet business model.
History repeats itself but at a faster pace. If you look at the .com boom and the emergence of social media and app technology, it’s not hard to see how paradigm shifts occur. They just now occur at a much faster pace. Don’t underestimate how quickly the gTLD movement could change everything. Understand the facts, make some assumptions and be willing to take risks to benefit from this next paradigm shift of the internet.
Half of the world’s top brands have applied for a new generic top level domain. When big banks, insurance companies, pharmaceuticals and retailers, consumer goods and media giants promise consumers more security, a better and more personalizef experience and drive consumers away form a .com and to a .brand, then behavior will quickly change and adapt to a new gTLD environment. Once consumers see the benefit, they will follow.