A private auction was held a couple of weeks ago for the new gTLD .Cloud and shockingly neither Amazon (AMZN) or Google (GOOG), which both applied for the extension, won the auction.
Amazon, Google, Donuts, Dot GLOBAL AS (cloudnames.com) and a third public company Symantec Corporation, (NASDAQ: SYMC) have all withdrawn their applications for .Cloud
The only two applicants who have not yet withdrawn their application are; Top Level Domain Holdings Limited (Minds + Machines) and ARUBA S.p.A. which is an Italian based hosting company whose site is at Aruba.it.
I have heard through the grapevine that in true David vs. Goliath style, the Italian hosting comapny ARUBA S.p.A. won the auction for .Cloud beating Amazon and Google and Symantec.
In Amazon’s case its pretty surprising to seem lose this one as cloud hosting is one of their biggest businesses.
According to cloudtimes.org, Amazon, Google and Symantec are listed in the top 100 cloud providers.
ARUBA S.p.A. is not.
We have always stated that despite some people opinion to the country Google and Amazon would not walk away with every new gTLD they applied for just because they could afford it.
I have always thought that every company in new gTLD auction or ICANN Last Resort auction, be they a huge public company or not would have a budget for each extension and they would not buy each one just because they were able to.
Consider that the market cap for Symantec is 17.25 Billion, the Market cap of Google is $367 Billion and Amazon is $138 Billion so this if Aruba won the auction they beat three companies with a combine market cap of over $500 Billion.
.Cloud is the only new gTLD domain name extension that ARUBA S.p.A. applied for.
Here is how ARUBA desicribes itself in their new gTLD application for .Cloud:
“”Aruba S.P.A., as a new player in the market is keen to differentiate themselves through a dedication to innovation and focus on the .cloud value to the cloud services community. We understand that with the introduction of numerous new TLD’s the landscape of the internet is very likely to change significantly and quickly and as such, are prepared to lead and drive this global innovation with a goal to be the flagship or in the industry.
Internet users will benefit from innovation as innovation usually leads to an improvement in service levels or competition, both of which are considered valuable by internet users.””
Here is some relevant information from ARUBA’s application for .Cloud
“The Mission and Purpose of the .cloud TLD will primarily be to create a viable and sustainable domain name sales business that will be operated as a going concern by Aruba S.P.A. The mission for this business specifically is to operate as many second level domains under .cloud as possible and the business will be geared towards providing pricing and policies that underpin this objective to make it achievable and affordable for .cloud registrants to register within the space.
The .cloud TLD aims to add value to the global online community through the provision of an alternative namespace that is relatively generic in nature and offers a new and innovative approach not currently available in today’s current TLDs.
In terms of a target market, the .cloud TLD will seek to capitalise on the growing international industry for technology services that are borderless, and seen globally as delivered within the ‘cloud’.
The .cloud TLD has the mission to identify and contextualize all the solutions based on Cloud technology: from single systems to entire service structures including, but not limited to, services such as SaaS (Software as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service). In terms of market size, estimates forecast a market value of around $270 billion in the year 2020 for Cloud based services.
Further, given that Cloud based services are a comparatively new area, the creation of the .cloud TLD is seen as being highly attractive to the industry in that it provides operators with access to a new and relevant branding opportunity as well as helping them to overcome the challenges of keyword domain name availability in today’s current TLDs.
.Cloud will be differentiated from other current gTLDs such as .net, .info or .org whose purpose is seen as less appealing for those seeking alternatives due to their reference to generic technology, information and organisations respectively. Rather, .cloud will provide a completely generic approach and a method for registrants to acquire domains in a fresh and reliable TLD.
Domain Name Registrars will be able to respond to this demand offering users the possibility to register “.cloud” domains without any restriction on use or content, except for cases provided for by current laws. This also allows for other registrants to register .cloud domain names that may be seeking to relate to areas that are outside of the previously stated Cloud Services industry, for example weather.
One of the goals of the .cloud TLD is to become an easily recognisable TLD with a perception of reliability and innovation.
Thus, this will ensure registrants and internet users understand the potential for .cloud TLD to forever be a viable option to today’s current TLDs.
The TLD will be open for general registration in the same manner as current TLDs, and will additionally offer for sale premium second level domains within .cloud that are currently not commonly available in the current environment due to being already registered in these long standing TLDs.
Registrants will benefit if .cloud can achieve this goal by creating awareness of the TLD in that it is foreseen that this will drive traffic and trusted search results toward .cloud domain names. This will benefit registrants by getting internet users onto their sites and driving their web metrics or ecommerce initiatives.
By creating new availability in the industry for shorter more easily recognisable domain names, .cloud envisage that internet users will be able to navigate to the required site quicker and are likely to more easily remember the domain name, creating a more direct internet surfing experience.
The TLD can also benefit the Internet, e-commerce and the online community by generating competition to current TLD’s and creating the more easily remembered domain names.
The strategy for .cloud is to have a goal to build the brand of the .cloud TLD to rival other current alternatives and be a TLD that services the cloud services industry. Whilst there is anticipated to have some natural deviation from this core market by way of registrations, this is seen as a key market for the success of the TLD.
Such targeting will be done through aggressive marketing that targets all current and future cloud services vendors looking for a new online identity.””