The Partnership Opportunity in gTLDs
Posted by Jennifer Wolfe on 19th April 2013 in 360 Blog

Mega media partnerships like AOL and Time Warner and GE and NBC dominated the last decade or so of media news. These mega media companies sought economies of scale and domination in a way not possible in earlier years.

As gTLDs begin to go online and big brands like Google (100applications), Amazon (76 applications) Home Depot, JP Morgan, American Express, Loreal, McDonalds, HBO, Showtime, CBS and ABC, as well as the NBA, NFL and MLB, and others launch their own channel of the internet, the next question for all the companies that didn’t apply is: “what partnership opportunities may be available? “

While most brand gTLD applicants are still navigating the acquisition process, they will soon turn to developing their strategy. As they do, any company who did not apply for a gTLD should consider the opportunity to partner. Do you currently advertise on any of the media applicants or sports networks? Are you in search or data? Are you an agency with content you could create for new applicants? Every brand gTLD will eventually look at reinventing itself. Innovative opportunities from creating niched social networks, search, content distribution, new networks of programming and entertainment or information, shopping portals and platforms or groupon style discounting are possible in an expanding internet environment.

For companies who did not apply, they may want to consider reaching out to these brand gTLD applicants. Do you have data they can use? Do you have content that may help them? What about shopping or licensing partnerships? While you can still get it on the next wave of gTLD applications, it may be a few years before that could go live, so forming important partnerships now may be critical to your future digital success.

And, for brand gTLD applicants, as you move from acquisition into strategic planning, look around at others in your supply chain of vendors or vertical segments. Who didn’t apply that might benefit from a partnership opportunity? Why did ABC and CBS apply but NBC did not? Why didn’t Facebook, Pandora, Groupon or EBay apply? Who might they partner with in the future?

For banks or financial institutions who missed out on this first round of applications, you should be looking at the communities focused on secure financial transactions as possible solutions .com may lose consumer confidence, then what will you do?

Or, did you miss out on the opportunity and now want in? Consider acquiring one of the generics prior to launch. While there are some policy issues to work out (namely that the applied for string is for an open system), there may still be ways to make it work to fit your needs. For big brands who did not apply, the time is now to start evaluating who did apply and who might be a good partner. And, for really big brands who didn’t apply, do you want to acquire another gTLD or should you just wait for the next round? The time is now to evaluate partnerships while the brand applicants are in planning phases.