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With Q1 in the Books, the Only Constant in the Domain Industry Is Change

As the first quarter of 2020 ended, the number of new generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) domain registrations reached approximately 33.2 million. We expect to see additional growth through 2020 as TLDs such as .GAY will complete their launches before the end of the year.

Meetings and conferences in the domain industry in 2020 are in flux but will go on in new formats, new timeframes and new locations. New examples of .Brand use cases also continue to appear; for instance, some Registry Operators began using .Brand domain registrations in campaigns centered around the prelude to the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

.Brand use cases

The Tokyo Olympic Games and Paralympic Games were originally scheduled to take place in Tokyo, Japan, this summer. However, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Olympic Committee has postponed the games until 2021.

Prior to these developments, a number of Japanese multinational companies had been gearing up for the Olympics by registering ‘2020’ domain names in their .Brand Top Level Domains—for instance, Canon, Inc. utilized 2020.canon as part of a campaign leading up to the games.

For more information on the 2020 Olympics Partners’ .Brand domains that we reviewed, please see our Q1 2020: New gTLD Report.

The calendar is moving

As countries and international organizations pivoted away from hosting in-person meetings and conferences, the ICANN67 meeting originally set for March 7-12, 2020, in Cancún, Mexico, was moved to an entirely remote format. To hear our in-depth analysis of what happened at the meeting, please view our ICANN67 Community Forum Recap.

On a similar note, ICANN canceled the 2020 GDD Industry Summit and ICANN DNS Symposium that was to take place this May in Paris, France. INTA (the International Trademark Association) has also announced that its 2020 Annual Meeting (originally scheduled for April in Singapore) will be moved to November 16-20 in Houston, Texas. We will continue to monitor industry event schedules and notify you of changes.

Given the overall uncertainty that the world is facing, some TLD Registry Operators have taken action. For example, Top Level Design, the .GAY registry, will likely postpone the opening of the General Availability period for .GAY from May to September of this year.

For additional information on the topics featured in this post, please download the MarkMonitor Q1 2020: New gTLD Report.

By Chris Niemi, Manager, Domain Services at MarkMonitor

Chris is highly experienced in TLD operations, having held multiple roles and led several multi-disciplinary teams that have provided everything from specialized domain-related ancillary services to client-related research projects and global ccTLD support. Chris is a subject matter expert on the New gTLD Program and .Brand TLDs and has managed multiple TLDs through all aspects of the program (application, evaluation, delegation, and launch).

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