Half a BILLION dollars later and, PHEW, we're all done buying up dot-word domain rights

Now ICANN has to decide how to spend its cut

The auctioning of rights to new dot-word top-level domains has finally come to a close with the sale of .stream to portfolio company Famous Four.

In the past week, four other gTLDs - .map, .living, .search and .fun - has also been resolved, with two of them going to Google.

Over the past year, domain-name overseer ICANN has run monthly auctions for multiple competing applications for the same name.

Out of the initial list of 233 planned auctions (six of which flogged two names at a time, such as .car & .cars, and .sport & .sports), in the end just 13 went through the public ICANN process with the remainder opting to settle in private, usually through a private auction.

Those 13 have, however, generated nearly $59m in proceeds for the non-profit organization – money that its chairman controversially implied last week that the board will decide how it is spent.

The largest single public amount paid was the $25m Google shelled out for the most popular name of the entire process: dot-app. That may also have been the largest single amount for any gTLD, although it's worth bearing in mind that the private auctions for .blog, .news, .book and others may have raised similar amounts of money. Each of the aforementioned three are estimated to have gone for between $10m and $20m.

The cheapest was $400,000 paid for .srl.

Overall, more half a billion dollars have been spent in resolving the ownership of new top-level domains. And that's despite lackluster sales under the new names: just over five million dot-word domains have been registered so far, equating to less than two per cent of the total domain name market and less than five per cent of the size of just the dot-com registry. ®

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