branded generic top level domains

Companies and organizations are continuously applying to ICANN for new Brand gTLDs, and after the applicant successfully passes the Pre-Delegation checks, the new top level domain is delegated to the Root Zone.

In our new series we will go through the newest brand gTLDs and write about the most interesting ones. This is the first part and we will write about .aaa, .aarp, .accenture, .afl, .android, .apple, .arte, .airtel, .audi, .axa, .azure and .barclays top level domains.

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Also Read: Exiting Generic Top Level Domains

.aaa

This top level domain will be provided by the American Automobile Association (AAA), which is the biggest automobile club, it has more than 53,000,000 members. The back end part will be maintained by a professional internet company, Neustar, so the association will be able to handle the front end stuff.

.aaa was delegated to the Root Zone on August 28 2015; the main purpose of this domain is to provide trusted domain names to all American Automobile Association officers and regional clubs, including all of the employees as well. This way fake domain names can’t be used on behalf of AAA, since only AAA related entities will get an .aaa top level domain name.

Based on the Association’s plans, .aaa domain names will be provided for free of charge or small fees that will cover the expenses only.

.aarp

.aarp is related to American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), a non-profit organization for helping American people, who are older than 50 years. AARP wants to provide a special top level domain for its own affiliates, subsidiaries and even for users as well.

The gTLD was delegated to the Root Zone on November 3 2015, the backend provider will be Verisign.

.accenture

Accenture is a global company with almost 250,000 employees which has business activities in more than 120 countries. Its main services include the management consulting, different kinds of technology services and outsourcing.

The .accenture top level domain was delegated to root zone on May 9 2015, based on Accenture’s plans, it will be served as restricted registry. The main goal of this brand gTLD is to promote the brand identity and authenticity of the mother company.

The registry provider of .accenture top level domains will be Verisign.

.afl

Australian football has different rules than American football or European soccer. The major organization of Australian football is Australian Football League (AFL) which asked Melbourne IT as application consultant in order to delegate a new .afl TLD.

The process was successful, since .afl top level domain name was delegated to Root Zone on March 28 2015. ARI Registry Services will provide the full back end support for this TLD.

AFL also wants to use the .afl domain names to authenticate its own websites and provide secured space for them. The new TLD’s domain names can be used by AFL partners, club, players, service providers, etc.

.android

.android is a new Brand gTLD that was requested by Google via its subsidiary, Charleston Road Registry Inc. It was delegated to the Root Zone on November 12, 2014.

According to Google’s plans, the new gTLD will be used for Android related marketplace and to issue second level domain names for Open Handset Alliance’s purposes. This alliance was created to support the Android operating system and platform and control the related work and developments.

Charleston Road Registry will be the provider of .android domain names and based on the company’s plans, the TLD will be available for everyone that meets the registration rules.

.apple

Apple Inc. is one of the biggest computer, tablet and phone manufacturers in the World; there are no people who have never heard about an iPhone, iPad or iPod. The company applied for this new TLD with Afilias as the registry provider.

.apple gTLD was delegated to Root Zone on November 3, 2015. Apple stated on its application, that the new gTLD will be used to inform people about Apple, its products and services.

.arte

.arte top level domain was requested by Association Relative à la Télévision Européenne G.E.I.E. (ARTE), a public Franco-German television channel. It focuses on arts and culture, broadcasting on both German and French languages. Its market share is around 2,2% in France and 1% in Germany.

ARTE applied for .arte TLD and successfully passed the ICANN application process, the new gTLD was added to Root Zone on October 20 2015. The domain is very similar to .art TLD which was one of the most popular new gTLDs of ICANN.

.arte domain names will be provided by Verisign, as back end operators and only ARTE affiliates will be allowed to register new .arte domains. With this step, ARTE would prevent the copyright problems.

.airtel

.airtel gTLD is a Brand TLD of Bharti Airtel Ltd, a leading telecommunication company in Asia and Africa. The company has presence in 19 countries with more than 200 million customers. It provides mobile and data solutions, broadband and IPTV and long distance services.

The new gTLD was added to Root Zone on July 8 2015, after Bharti Airtel passed the application process. .airtel domain names will be available only for Bharti Airtel company purposes, its divisions and departments, services, products and solutions. The gTLD can be served for company partners and customers as well.

According to the company’s plans, there will be 4,000 live .airtel domain names at the end of the first year, while another 1,000 domain names will be launched in the second and third years as well.

.audi

Audi is a well-known brand with more than 50 billion USD yearly turnover, being subsidiary of the second biggest car manufacturer group in the world, Volkswagen AG.

Audi applied for .audi gTLD at ICANN and on November 25 2015 the top level domain was successfully added to Root Zone.

According to the company’s plans, the .audi domain names can be used exclusively by the company and the Audi community members. All of .audi domain names’ registrar and owner will be the company itself, but the members will have a chance to act as the admin contact and maintain the web space at any related domain names.

The registry provider of .audi domain names will be Afilias. There are other Brand gTLD applications that are related to Volkswagen AG, like .lamborghini and .bugatti top level domains.

.axa

AXA SA. is one of the biggest insurance groups in the World, having presence in 61 countries and employing more than 200,000 people. The company’s natural markets are Europe, North America, Asia & Pacific, but offers its services in South America, Central America and the Middle East as well.

AXA got the certification of successful application of .axa TLD on December 19 2013 and shortly after, on March 19 2014 the new gTLD was added to Root Zone. The selected registry provider for the new domain is Neustar.

Based on AXA’s announcements, the new .axa top level domain name will be available for AXA partners and employees worldwide. The company counts upon many registration requests after making the TLD available for public.

.azure

Microsoft is a real software giant and Azure is its cloud platform for big companies, serving by data centers worldwide. Azure was launched in 2010, since then it has become one of the fastest developed services of Microsoft.

Microsoft had enough resources to complete the ICANN application process easily and asked Verisign to be its registry partner. The .azure TLD was added to the Root Zone on June 8 2015.

The company wants to use .azure domain names to provide services to Azure customers. With this new gTLD the services would be authenticated and secured easier.

The .azure domain name registration processes will be maintained and controlled by the Microsoft Domain Name Management team and they already issued the .azure Domain Management Policy (aDMP). aDMP defines how an .azure domain name could be allocated and registered and which rules should be followed during the process.

According to Microsoft’s plans, an .azure domain name registration will have four steps. First, the Team will do eligibility confirmation then check the naming convention as well. As the third step, they will review if the use of domain is acceptable, finally they perform the registration.

As the application of Microsoft stated, .azure domain name registrations are restricted to Microsoft itself and its wholly owned subsidiaries.

.barclays

Barclays Bank was founded in 1690 in the UK; nowadays, it is one of the leading global bank groups. Its revenue in 2015 was more than 25 billion pounds and it employs 130,000 people worldwide.

Barclays has presence in 50 countries and has more than 50 million customers. The group bought the Lehman Brothers in 2008.

.barclays TLD’s registrar will be ARI Registry Services, and the application process ended in 2015. The new Brand gTLD was added to the Root Zone on March 24 2015.

Barclays will use the new TLD to provide a secured, trusted and authoritative channel for its customers and group members. With it, people could use the Barclays services easier and without getting spammed or scammed by Internet or real life criminals.

End Note

For now this is all that I can fit into this article. In our upcoming series we will cover more branded top level domains. If you would like to learn more about domain registration and how to choose a good domain, I highly recommend reading our domain name guide. This tutorial will teach you how to choose a good name for your website, what extensions you should pick and which are the most common mistakes you should avoid when registering a domain.

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