As 2007 came to a close with record breaking domain name sales this year, steadily increasing domain name registrations world wide and an increasing scarcity of premium domain names it is time to look ahead to see what 2008 has in store for us. Here are our predictions for 2008:
- 2008 will confirm that the U.S. has no intention of freeing ICANN from its U.S. contractual ties….especially in an election year.
- ICANN will receive 100+ new top level domain (TLD) applications in the first wave but will receive twice that many before the end of 2008.
- Two-thirds of the new TLD applications will be for IDN top-level domains.
- The new TLD testbed evaluation process that ICANN launched in November, 2000 will come to a welcome end. By the end of June, 2008, ICANN will have a Request for Proposals published. ICANN will begin to receive and evaluate applications for new top-level domains in Q3, 2008. Before accepting new applications, ICANN will clear the queue of its forty-or-so legacy applications. Only a handful of new TLD proponents from 2000 will remain interested in pursuing their old applications. (Predictions: .WEB, .HEALTH, .UNION, .GEO and .III).
- Of the 100 or so new TLD applications received in the first wave, at least 60 will have Verisign, Neustar, or Afilias as the proposed “back-end” registry provider. DENIC and the DotAsia group will account for another 10% of the applications.
- The Whois National Law Procedure will create a new market for privacy services, and registrars will race to incorporate private registration subsidiaries in the countries with the strongest privacy laws.
- 2008 will be a year of registrar consolidation bundled together with the trend of increasingly easier to use domain management interfaces for their customers.
- Even though everyone seems to be so worried that we are headed towards a major economic downturn and consequently a serious downturn in the advertising markets, we predict that web-based advertising businesses will in fact enjoy significant gains in 2008. These gains, however, will not be evenly distributed. The markets will reward innovation and growth in new forms of advertising, and punish those who are seen as not having a strategy.
- 2008 will lead us towards a mobile web worthy of a serious development economy, one that looks a lot like Web 2 looked in 2005. That includes the development of more and more mobile enabled web sites that will add portable value to the end consumer.
You can submit your predictions to us here. We want to hear from you!
Source: DomainNews Team – January 3rd, 2008