Cypriot entrepreneur Constantine Roussos has beaten 7 other applicants, including Google, Donuts, Radix and Amazon, for the right to operate the .music new gTLD.
Domain Incite had been speculating in recent days that it was likely Roussos’ DotMusic had won, and following victory noted that it wasn’t yet known how much was paid. DI notes that MMX was the last of the applicants to withdraw their application.
DotMusic faced early competition from Far Further, who had the backing of some music industry heavyweights, but as Billboard reports, they applied as a “community” applicant and failed to meet the threshold required. When Far Further dropped out, the industry moved to back Roussos’ DotMusic. However they then fell afoul of the required “community” threshold. They then appealed, a process that “was still ongoing when, in a surprising turnaround, they struck a closed-door deal with the other remaining .music suitors (including Google and Amazon) that resulted in the others withdrawing their applications.”
This resulted in DotMusic avoiding a public auction to resolve the contention set, a process that Roussos admits he would have had zero chance of winning.
“If we did go to a public auction with ICANN, I would have [had a] less than 0% [chance of] winning,” Roussos told Billboard, adding, “This is kind of a shock for everyone, actually.”
The new generic top level domain is to be operated for “legitimate members of the entire global music industry” and will take a strong stance against any domain name involved in infringing copyright.
“If I would [ask] you, ‘What’s Queen’s official website?’…It’s not Queen.com,” says Roussos by way of example. “If I asked you ‘What’s Kiss’s website?’ Well hey, Kiss.com is a dating website… And then you look at other ones, like Justin Bieber. JustinBieber.com is owned by some blogger called Justin Bieber.”
For anyone interested in registering a .music domain name pre-registration is currently available which will give first communication and the opportunity to register the desired domain. However launch dates haven’t yet been announced.
For more information on the DotMusic application process and the ideas behind the application, see the Billboard article here. There are also a number of articles on Domain Incite including this most recent one here.