The three-month Dot London launch period, during which applications from Londoners and London-based organisations are given priority, ends this week.
With just four days remaining, London’s property and entertainment industries are proving to be the most popular choice for new Dot London web addresses, reflecting the capital’s attraction as a place to live, relax and do business.
Terms connected with the housing market, such as properties.london (which has received more than 30 applications), apartments.london and houses.london are among the most sought after Dot London domain names. Trades that serve the property industry are also proving popular, with addresses such as removals.london and scaffolding.london receiving numerous applications, while there are three times as many applications for estateagent.london as for lettingagent.london.
However, the most popular Dot London domain name is nightlife.london, with more than 40 applications. London’s pre-eminence in the entertainment sector is also reflected in the popularity of domain names such as whatson.london, theatretickets.london and concerts.london.
The initial launch phase for Dot London, where applications from Londoners and London-based organisations are given priority status, ends at 5pm on July 31. Trademark holders also have until July 31 to register their applications. More information is available atwww.dotlondondomains.london
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “London is the best place in the world to come and live, work and relax so it’s no surprise that’s reflected in the most popular new Dot London web addresses. Until Thursday we are putting Londoners at the front of the queue for new domain names so I would urge everyone in the capital who wants one to come forward to grab the opportunity.”
Leading businesses and international brands are among those that have applied for new Dot London domain names during the initial phase. They include the menswear firm dunhill London, The Landmark Hotel, The Royal College of Art, ZSL London Zoo and Cath Kidston. They will join Dot London pioneers such as Fortnum & Mason, the London Symphony Orchestra and Metro Bank as some of the first businesses to secure a Dot London address.
By acquiring a Dot London domain name, businesses, museums, shops, theatres and galleries will secure a web address that is more relevant to them as a London brand, easy to remember and instantly identifies them as being located in London or having an association with the city.
Natasha Hinds-Payne, who is responsible for protecting the Cath Kidston brand online, said: “London is the city where the Cath Kidston brand was founded. We’ve registered our name under the Dot London Priority period because we want to ensure that customers wishing to reach us in London can find us with ease and because of the direct association to our brand’s birthplace.”
Dot London is one of more than 1,000 new Top-Level Domains (‘TLDs’) being released by ICANN, the global internet body, as alternatives to .com or .co.uk, a move hailed by ICANN as changing the internet forever.
Dot London offers a once in a generation opportunity for businesses and individuals to secure their ideal domain name before it’s gone. However, for leading brands it also presents a challenge. Businesses need to consider whether and how they should protect their intellectual property and how they could use the new domains to their advantage.
David Green, Head of Global Digital Marketing at KPMG, said, “The Internet is changing, impacting how brands and businesses engage with their customers in an increasingly digital economy. The city’s new Dot London domain presents London-based businesses with an important opportunity: a Dot London domain signals a geographical relationship with the city, providing greater relevance for anyone searching for a particular supplier or business in London, as well as branding benefits of association with one of the world’s leading city brands.”
Louise Popple, senior associate in the Trade Marks, Media and Copyright practice at international law firm Taylor Wessing, said: “The launch of Dot London is an exciting opportunity for anyone with a connection to the city. Going forward, it should be possible to search just amongst Dot London websites, which – in the crowded internet space – will be a significant bonus for London businesses. But it does open up the possibility of abuse. Brand owners with a strong London connection would be wise to register their brand as a Dot London domain, even if only to avoid the risk of cyber squatters. Registering domains tends to be much cheaper than fighting to recover them.”
Demand for Dot London domain names remains strong with registrars – companies such as Go Daddy, Fasthosts, 1&1, and 123-reg – that sell domain names.
Simon Yeoman, UK General Manager at Fasthosts Internet Ltd said: “We have seen great interest and a strong demand for Dot London. It is vital that London-based firms take advantage of the London Priority Period and grasp their domains first. Dot London was created for them and will become an ever-more valuable asset. With just some days until priority applications start to be awarded, we’re looking forward to seeing our first Dot London customers’ websites grow online.”
Stefano Maruzzi, VP of EMEA at GoDaddy, said: “Brand London is stronger than ever. A global hub of technology, creativity and innovation, the UK capital is a city synonymous with success. The Dot London domain is the ideal address for businesses looking to associate themselves with the city and a fantastic springboard for companies looking to carve out their digital identity. It’s time for businesses and individuals to register and associate themselves with one of the world’s greatest cities.”