By Lauren Tracey
ICANN published the Sunrise Period for Google’s latest new gTLD .APP, which opens for registrations beginning on March 29, 2018.
Google won the rights to operate the .APP registry in 2015 after bidding over 25 million dollars at a heated 2-day ICANN auction. To this day, it remains one of the highest winning bids for a new gTLD in the ICANN auction process.
Google was very involved in the new gTLD application process, applying for over 50 new gTLDs in round one. Google also applied for a number of .BRAND TLDs, such as .GOOG and .GOOGLE, which they have actively utilized to host brand content.
Originally, Google’s application stipulated that .APP would be a closed new gTLD, for use by Google and its subsidiaries alone but was changed to an open new gTLD after ICANN banned closed generic new gTLDs in the first round.
Launch of .APP New gTLD
There is great anticipation for the .APP new gTLD. With practical applications across many industries, .APP is expected to be popular. It seems likely that companies in the technology industry will jump on these domains as they become available, not to mention most of Google’s Android Apps.
The .APP new gTLD also shows great potential for startups who are building an app platform and do not have the capital to pay for a traditional .COM TLD. We may even see companies in the retail space buying .APP domains to host a landing page for their own mobile apps.
It is hard to give an exact estimate of what an individual .APP domain will cost at this stage and price will inevitably vary by registrar. Google’s other new gTLDs, such as .HOW and .SOY, is priced at $30 per domain and $20 per domain, respectively. Given that .APP was so desirable at auction and seems to have built-in demand, it is not unlikely that the starting price will be a bit higher.
It is clear that Google is very invested in the success of new gTLDs and the brand has the clout to make a significant impact in the space. We are looking forward to seeing how Google’s use of new gTLDs, especially in .APP, will impact the domain name space as it launches.