Awareness for the launch of generic top-level domain names may have puttered out, but the first new extensions will soon become available for public use, including .Nike and .AOL, as well as .Boston, .music, .home and .inc.
Research from Sedo analyzes the depth of awareness by execs in the advertising and marketing industry. The findings provide results from a small sampling of respondents. About 54% of the 361 people participating in the August survey -- all working in advertising or marketing -- purchased domain names in the past, and the remainder have not.
In a video interview by Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) posted on youTube, Christine Willett, VP of gTLD operations, said she expects to see the first new gTLDs go live this year.
In the Sedo survey, respondents were asked whether they were aware that some new gTLDs could go live this year, joining the ones that everyone has become accustomed to using, such as .com, .org, and .net. Some 54% said "no;" 25% said "yes," and the remainder were not sure.
When asked whether they thought the new gTLDs would make the Internet more confusing to navigate, 62% said "yes," 27% said it will not have an effect either way, and 11% said "no."
Some 40% said confusion will become the biggest hurdle facing the launch, followed by awareness at 22%, widespread adoption at 21%, and 8% who said providing a value proposition.
The confusion seems to be a short-term concern because many executives believe gTLDs will eventually become successful. In fact, many respondents felt that gTLDs will be an additional tool for them to utilize to get a message or product in front of their audiences.
About 70% of the agencies responding to the survey said clients have not discussed using gTLDs in an advertising campaign; followed by 18, not yet; and 12, no.
Thirty-five percent of respondents said their ability to secure a memorable Web site address would become the No. 1 advantage of new gTLDs, while 19% said availability was the main advantage.
There were 1,930 applications received. As of Aug. 21, 2013, ICANN counts 1,814 active applications; 116 that were withdrawn; 864, change requests submitted; and 779 change requests approved and posted.