The domain space has evolved dramatically since 1985, when the first domain name was registered.
However, the growth of the industry has really gained momentum over the last decade or so, driven by the launch of gTLDs (generic Top Level Domains) and an increased focus on security and protection. It is not a static industry and the changes continue; this is one of the reasons we keep our customers informed of the state of the industry with our quarterly reports.
.Brands on the move
We’ve also seen movement in the .Brand landscape.
There’s been a 61% rise in .Brand registrations since the beginning of last year, with most of the growth coming from the financial services sector. Of course there have been some roadblocks as well; more than 50 .Brands have terminated their branded TLD contracts with ICANN and registration has been a little slower in the first half of 2019. However, registrations do continue to grow and brands are making use of the domains.
One of the most recent examples of this is from KPMG; the company transitioned its primary internet presence to a .Brand domain name, moving away from KPMG.COM to HOME.KPMG.
We take a look at this move in-depth in our latest gTLD report (Q3 2019).
Expanding domain protection
One of the trends we’re watching is domain blocking. This is another avenue brands can use to help protect their trademarks by blocking the registration of a trademarked term in selected TLDs.
This tactic can be used alongside defensive registrations and has been around for some time, but in the last few months homograph protection has been added to some blocking products. In essence, cyber criminals use homograph attacks to imitate brands by using characters that are confusingly similar to English characters, such as the Cyrillic “m” in мarkmonitor.com, to target consumers in phishing attacks.
The good news is that two registries have already incorporated homograph protection, which is a great step forward for brands.
And more recently, the entity behind the adult content-oriented .XXX Top Level Domain , announced its new blocking mechanisms, AdultBlock and AdultBlock+. Beyond .XXX, these blocks will cover the additional three adult-themed TLDs: .PORN, .ADULT, and .SEX.
Keeping track of change
To find out more about the expansion of blocking services, .Brand updates, .KPMG’s journey and the latest news from ICANN, download our New gTLD Report | Q3 2019.