Today (29 March) is the closing date when applicants have to be registered in ICANN’s online TLD Application System (TAS) and the number of registered users is growing rapidly. The latest figure published by ICANN shows that as of 25 March there were 839 registered users, up from 556 on 23 March and 329 on 19 March.
However as ICANN makes clear, this does not necessarily (and will not) represent the total number of applications since each registrant can apply for up to 50 new TLDs.
While there will not be 50 applications per registered user, the consultant FairWinds Partners recently said their clients are applying for 2.72 TLDs each. And if their average of 2.72 TLDs per applicant was the average for all applications, then there will be well over 2000 applications.
“Some clients are applying for more than 10,” noted FairWinds, “while some are applying for just one. These clients are all, for the most part, large companies with major, well-known brands. Some are applying for only ‘dot brand’ gTLDs that correspond to their major business, product, or service names, while others are pursuing generic or category terms as gTLDs. Some are applying for both. We are by no means saying that more gTLDs are better – at this point, until new gTLDs have become an established feature of the domain name space, we cannot know what the ‘right’ number of new gTLDs for any given business or other applicant to pursue is. For some, one application makes perfect sense, while others will likely benefit from applying for more.”