CentralNic plc today announced that its client Top Level Design LLC (“Top Level Design”), has succeeded in beating seven other companies to successfully acquire the rights to the new Top-Level Domain (“TLD”) .DESIGN. CentralNic has subsequently been awarded exclusive global distribution rights to .DESIGN domain names.
The New gTLD .Design was won in a private auction and the amount was not disclosed. Among the 7 companies that CentralNic beat to get .design were Uniregistry, Donuts, Starting Dot and Top Level Design, LLC. I suspect that the price paid must be between 5 and 10 million dollars.
The .DESIGN TLD will initially be made available to trademark holders in Q1 2015 and will become available to the general public for purchase in Q2 2015, serving many substantial industries including lighting design, landscape design, sound design, software design, and a myriad of curatorial and creative fields. Some of the biggest design industries are:
· Graphic design : a global industry composed of over 500,000 designers and 350,000 businesses (Ibis World, December 2013) ; a highly fragmented market, with the top 50 companies in the United States producing 15% of the total revenue for this industry
· Web design: an industry valued at $21 billion across the globe, with over 220,000 individuals and 120,000 firms in the U.S. alone (Ibis World, September 2014)
· Interior design: and industry responsible for $48 billion in specified products annually (American Society of Interior Designers, June 2012). The United States market alone is made up of 12,000 firms and 17,000 self-employed designers, generating an estimated $9 billion of annual revenue (American Society of Interior Designers, June 2012).
CentralNic is the technology platform which exclusively powers .DESIGN domains and makes them available to domain retailers globally. CentralNic will share in the worldwide revenues from the subscription sales of all .DESIGN domain names.
Commenting on the exclusive distribution agreement with CentralNic, Ray King, CEO, of Top Level Design, said: “The broad world of design now has its own domain and we are delighted to be partnering with CentralNic in providing this vital new piece of Internet infrastructure to the large number of design firms and designers around the world. Consumers are increasingly focused on design, and it is at the origin of every successful product in today’s world; we expect .DESIGN to be one of the leading success stories among the new Top-Level Domains.”
Ben Crawford, CEO of CentralNic, added: “.DESIGN is the most hotly contested of any TLD awarded so far, and CentralNic is pleased to have been selected as the company to make it available through our global retail network. It has impressive commercial potential, and it will be adopted more quickly than many other TLDs as it caters, among many other groups, to one of the best-informed professions on new Internet developments – website designers.”