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May 29, 2018

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Here's the The Lowdown from DN Journal,
updated daily
to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry. 

The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

New .ICU Extension Became Latest New gTLD to Enter General Availability This Afternoon

The latest new gTLD  to hit the market, .ICU, entered General Availability this afternoon (May 29, 2018) at 2pm (U.S. Eastern Time). Domains in the new extension from Luxembourg-based ShortDot SA are now available at over 100 registrars in more than 30 countries around the world. 

Pricing varies from low standard rates upward through several premium levels. A quick spot check at a few registrars showed some attractive opening day pricing - just $1.49 for standard rate domains at Dynadot for example. The next level up (which includes a lot of one word and 3-letter domains) seemed to fall in the $15 range with Uniregistry selling  those at $13.20 (for the most sought after keywords there were much larger jumps at all registrars we checked which has become standard operating procedure in the new gTLD world).

Kevin Kopas
.ICU Co-Founder & COO

The registry is marketing .ICU as shorthand for "I See You," describing it as a new extension designed to provide an easy, innovative, and universal alternative to traditional domains.  Other generic new gTLDs could say the same thing but ShortDot COO Kevin Kopas pointed to another attribute that he believes will help separate .ICU from the crowd, saying his TLD is offering end users a partnership beyond just the domain name. 

"We know that an online brand starts with a domain name but ends with a relentless focus on connecting more meaningfully with customers," Kopas said. "To do this the company has designed a "Pioneer Program" which provides media expertise to new and evolving businesses who are looking to create, expand, or improve their online marketing strategies. The program includes exclusive access to a digital co-working space with help from others and learning resources like a  

21-module online media program aimed at bringing businesses closer to their customers by driving strategic and consistent message delivery across online platforms."

Kopas added, "The program has already gained several participants, including TottenhamHotspur.icu, a site supported by the English Football Club. This domain markets a Football camp in Italy with FA and UEFA-qualified coaches for boys and girls ages 8-16. Pia Jensen, who manages the parent business, Italian Tours, says "we are excited to become a 'Pioneer' because it will allow us to improve our messaging and reach more kids and parents."

The management team and board of directors at .ICU is comprised of domain industry veterans Lars Jensen, Kevin Kopas, Mogens Nielsen and Michael Riedl and the registry uses CentralNic as its backend service provider.

(Posted May 29, 2018) 

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