City branding: Big Apple gets its own .nyc domain

Individuals, businesses and other organizations with a physical address in the Big Apple can now request a .nyc domain name.  It's one of over 150 new domain extensions launched this year, according to Domain.com, which calls .nyc one of the "most anticipated city-based domain extensions to date."

“Anyone who’s ever visited Manhattan knows that the city transmits a certain lively entrepreneurial energy that’s catching and contagious,” said Brian Unruh, General Manager for Domain.com. He suggests the new domain extension "is a momentous, once-in-a-generation opportunity for New Yorkers to indelibly link themselves to the official history and future of New York."

People can apply for a NYC web address on the ownit.nyc website. Early applications are being accepted through Oct. 3, and then on Oct. 7 an auction will start to determine who gets names that multiple people request. After that all NYC residents can register available .nyc web addresses on a first-come, first-served basis.

An Information Week story suggests that the city sees its new digital real estate as a revenue generator. It will get 40% of yearly revenues from .nyc -- or a minimum of $3.6 million for the initial five-year contract period.

First city in the U.S. with a top-level domain

“New Yorkers are constantly innovating and putting this great city on the digital map,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “The launch of the .nyc domain is one of the most anticipated arrivals for the city and the Internet at large. There is no shortage of New Yorkers ready to claim their exclusive .nyc identities online, and this is their chance to reserve their piece of this city’s valuable digital real estate.”

And while New York City may be the first city in the U.S. with its own top-level domain, European cities are on the bandwagon too. According to BrandChannel.com, in March .berlin became the first city domain. And last month .london opened for business with 50,000 applications received almost immediately.

Other cities that picked up their own names include Paris, Vienna, Johannesburg and Nagoya in Japan.

Cities like Montreal that didn't get in on the first round of city domain names may get another chance. The Montreal Gazette reports the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers – the nonprofit organization that coordinates Internet naming – is considering another round of new domain registrations, but not likely this year.  

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