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Ready To Grab Your Own .music Domain Name? New ICANN Rules Make Possible

image from www.google.com During a special Sunday meeting, the Board of ICANN, the international organization that overseas domain names, approved a plan to dramatically increase the number of Internet domain name endings from the current 22, which includes such familiar domains as .com, .org and .net. A new .music domain, the longtime dream of Constantine Roussos and his supporters,  will likely be included.

The changes could effect the way people search for information including music on the net and how artists and music companies structure their online presence. "Internet users search the web using keywords," explains Roussos, who founded .music (dotMusic) to encourage the domain. "The dominance of Google was a direct result of providing users with the best search result for the keyword phrase they were looking for…The other way Internet users search the web is typing the website directly into their browser. However, unless you have a distinct name, there is minimal chance you will be able to register your brand name in .COM."

As examples Roussos offers:

    Justin Bieber – It is not JustinBieber.com
    Queen – It is not Queen.com
    Prince – It is not Prince.com
    Eagles – It is not Eagles.com
    Bruce Springsteen – It is not BruceSpringsteen.com
    Van Halen – It is not VanHalen.com
    Tool – It is not Tool.com
    Kiss – It is not Kiss.com
    Chicago – It is not Chicago.com
    Boston – It is not Boston.com
    Oasis – It is not Oasis.com
    Usher – It is not Usher.com
    Nirvana – It is not Nirvana.com
    Journey – It is not Journey.com
    Foreigner – It is not Foreigner.com
    Scorpions – It is not Scorpions.com

A new .music domain could change all that for artists and music tech companies ready when the names become available.  ICANN will soon begin a global campaign to raise awareness of the new top level domain names Applications for new doamins will be accepted from January12 – April 12, 2012.

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20 Comments

  1. Whats going to keep .music’s from becoming .coms? What I mean is how will they guarantee Nirvana gets Nirvana.com and if someone else claims it, how will Nirvana get it back? Also what if there are multiple artists with similar names?
    It would be interesting to see this catch on, could be great for fans to be able to find music easier it just seems pretty difficult to facilitate.

  2. This is a horrible idea. It will be riddled with porn domains & squatters holding musicians’ names hostage for a hefty price. justinbieber.com may not be available for him, but if you type his name into google his site comes up…not “justinbieber.com”.
    I think someone is trying to leave a legacy for their own gain…

  3. The proliferation of domain names seems kind of ridiculous.
    But definitely .mus would be preferable to .music
    Of course, they created .mobi when it should have been something shorter like .mob or even .m given that if you have to actually key it in on a mobile device every stroke is an extra pain!

  4. It can not be .MUS because it is too confusingly similar with .MUSEUM that already exists. Plus .MUSIC actually means something and it will help SEO as well,
    Constantine

  5. We have built a globally protected marks list that includes all the major bands and artist. If there is any violation of our policies or cybersquatting or typosquatting, the domain will be retrieved. Given that we will be a restricted top-level domain not open like .COM, this will facilitate more trust from fans because they will know that the artist .MUSIC page is official and verified.
    Constantine Roussos

  6. Excellent point if .MUSIC was an open top-level domain. However, we are launching .MUSIC as a restricted top-level domain with strict enforcement policies to prevent this kind of malicious behavior.
    Cybersquatting or typosquatting will not be tolerated. In regards to registration, we will require that music entities be verified through .MUSIC accredited Community Member Organizations (CMOs). These could be trade organizations, PROs, Unions, accredited digital aggregators and other reputable organizations with members.
    Constantine Roussos

  7. As I mentioned earlier, .MUS is not a better extension than .MUSIC. If you look at Google alone, the long tail of the word “music” is in the billions of search queries every month. From just the SEO perspective, .MUS does not add value and is grounds for ICANN to reject .MUS because it is similar to .MUSeum that already exists,
    Constantine Roussos

  8. The final cost will be determined by registrars. The way it works is the .MUSIC registry comes up with a wholesale price and then every interested registrar (Godaddy, Network Solutions and 1000 other registrars) can apply to be able to provide .MUSIC to music entities – just as long as they abide to the policies the .MUSIC registry sets forth for registration and usage.
    Then the registrar (eg Godaddy) can either price it below the wholesale price (they could upsell hosting and make their money there) or sell it higher than the wholesale price (if their only revenue source is the domain name). Prices will vary from registrar to registrar. It all depends on their overall strategy and their business model. Most registrars bread and butter is hosting. This is why they offer free domains if you buy 1 years of hosting or any of their other add ons.
    The price of .MUSIC from our .MUSIC Initiative will be competitively priced on the wholesale level. Again this is still to be determined but since there is verification it will be a bit higher than the .COM price. The advantage is obvious: you become a member of a verified, trusted community of official music websites. Our goal is to organize .MUSIC in a consistent manner where direct navigation through the browser can be leveraged without the help of Google and ensure that monies flow to legitimate music entities that are verified as opposed to pirates or unlicensed websites. A value-added to the Music Industry. If you think of safe extensions you think of .GOV and .EDU i.e the restricted top-level domains. This is the approach we are taking. Safety, security and resiliency is key in launching a new top-level domain.
    Constantine Roussos
    .MUSIC
    http://music.us

  9. is there a way to be verified, preregister and hold your .music domain until approval from ICANN? or do we just wait until after april 12 2012 for the good word?

  10. Is there a mailing list I can join to remind me of when these will be available (if they ever are). I am very interested in this and the SEO benefits would be very valuable so any info on a reminder mailing list you can give me would be appreicted.

  11. This morning’s NPR Business Report mentioned that it will cost, at least, $185,000 to maybe, just maybe register your new ICANN domain. So, unless you have the cash, you need not worry how this will play out for the average blogger. Good luck trying to cybersquat.

  12. No you can not yet. There have been some companies in the domaining industry that have begun pre-registrations for .MUSIC or other top-level domains. These are not ICANN-approved or endorsed. The .MUSIC Initiative has no plan for pre-registrations before we announce the .MUSIC Community Member Organizations that will be used to verify that you are a music entity.
    This is a highly complicated process given that many artists have the same name from different countries. We are working on those policies in order to ensure that the allocation of .MUSIC names are made in a fair, transparent and meaningful way.
    You can sign up on the http://music.us site if you want to be in the loop with all the latest developments. I agree, it is quite a complicated process.
    Constantine

  13. Thanks for the message. We are swamped with requests today. Seems the new Top-Level Domain approval is the hottest topic in the media today.
    The mailing list for the .MUSIC Initiative is at http://music.us
    In regards to SEO benefits, there will be many. We will be leveraging premium domains like Rock.music and Business.music and Radio.music etc to create a dynamic directory of .MUSIC registrants that will include content if those registrants decide to create it on the network of sites. Think Wikipedia meets LinkedIn meets Myspace but using premium domains. That way, if you register .MUSIC, your domain will be listed and thus found in the search results very fast. Building trusted links and link popularity is very important to Google. Pagerank is highly related to trust and quality content.
    Hope I answered your question,
    Constantine

  14. That fee is just the ICANN fee. Then there is a $25,000 yearly fee. If you include the registry set-up fees, escrow fees, ICANN per domain fees, the cost of marketing, operations, personnel, branding, outreach as well as building the technology to power a TLD, that number is dwarfed.
    You are precisely correct about cybersquatting a TLD. It will be impossible. Just the mere process of delegation of a new TLD is highly complex and ICANN checks everything, even performs background checks on the executive team. For example, if a company or individual has 3 cybersquatting cases lost in the last 4 years, ICANN takes their money and rejects them. Another rejection includes not meeting the technical requirements of launching a new TLD. Then you also have to have 3 years of registry operations funds in an escrow account for ICANN as security. Like I said, this is a very complicated process. The real issue at hand is the TLDs that have no plan. Many new TLDs will certainly fail. Launching a registry and working with ICANN is not an easy process. Most of the world has not even heard of existing TLDs such as .TRAVEL, .MUSEUM or .AERO. They exist but the usage has been limited. However, cybersquatting is very low on those restricted TLDs since they are not open for the public to register. The more restricted the less cybersquatting and the more secure the extension.
    Constantine

  15. Thanks for the article Bruce.
    Lots of questions that is for sure given the complexity of all the policies that need to be incorporated to ensure that .MUSIC has a safe and responsible launch. Our inbox has gone crazy today given the global press that the ICANN announcement created.

  16. So a musician like myself can’t get a .music because I’m not a huge artist? That’s lame, I was hoping that this would give smaller or up and coming independent artists a chance to get an exclusive domain.
    Great work.

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