The Top level domain (TLD) landscape is about to change. Over the past 20 years or so we have been use to dealing with a limited number of TLDs of which com, net, org and the country specific TLDs (ccTLD) where the most dominant. This is soon going to change. ICANN, the governing internet body is allowing anyone to apply for anything (.whatever). Over the next 12 months, we will experience a growing number of TLDs appearing online, on billboards, in commercials as TLD applicants try to differentiate themselves and reach their target audience.
If you are thinking you want to get one, consider first the costs which are $185,000 USD application fees, 200-300k in the bank, legal fees and at least another 500k budget in order to market the TLD for it to have a chance of success. So don’t bother unless you have at least 1 million to invest. Also consider that if the TLD you are applying for is contested (more then one applicant), after a mediation period there could be an auction (private or public) that could run into the millions in order to win the TLD and have the rights to run and operate it. So this path is not for the faint harted and needs considerable thought and planning before undertaking.
There will literally be 1000′s of new TLDs emerging in the next few years and ICANN is planning a second round of application soon which will allow another 5000 application to take place. 10 years from now, we could be dealing with 10′s of thousands on TLDs.