Report: Most .XXX Registrations from Non-adult Companies

Aug 5, 2011 6:00 AM PST

LOS ANGELES — As the buzz over the new .XXX TLD builds steam, a new report claims that 80 percent of pre-registrations are coming from non-adult companies.

According to U.K. web hosting firm Easyspace, eight of 10 businesses pre-registering names using the .XXX domain extension “are not part of the adult industry.”

“As we expected, the early indications are that non-adult industry businesses have realized the need to protect trademarks and brands in dot XXX,” Easyspace Managing Director Sarah Haran stated. “As an officially accredited registrar of the new domain we are encouraging businesses to pre-register with us so we can submit their claims to ICM Registry quickly and efficiently.”

The company claims that “out of the hundreds of businesses that have rushed to pre-register with Easyspace ahead of the opening of the Sunrise phase for .XXX domains on September 7, 2011, only 20 percent of them are from the adult industry.”

These figures raise questions over traffic flow and the ultimate composition of the .XXX community, but make it clear that many mainstream companies see registration as an effective form of brand protection.

While we have not been able to independently verify the percentages claimed in this report, ICM Registry chief Stuart Lawley told XBIZ that the company expects to have around 75 registrars offering .XXX domains when they become generally available — and that each of these registrars may have a different marketing plan.

“Some focus on the general domain buyer and some like EasySpace, MarkMonitor, ComLaude, CSC and Safenames focus on the larger corporate market with a ‘white glove’ brand protection approach, so one would expect for those types of registrars the blend to be more towards defensive registrations,” Lawley stated. “That said, out of the approximately 200 million domains registered worldwide, it is estimated that around 15 million are adult in nature, which represents around 7.5 percent.”

While Lawley did not deny the Easyspace claim, he noted that ICM’s own statistics show only a small percentage of defensive registrations from outside the adult industry — although he expects “a large take up of these from companies without registered trademarks who cannot apply during the Sunrise period.”

Lawley says that ICM plans a major marketing campaign, beginning in the first week of September and lasting throughout the year, including visits to all the trade and consumer shows during that period, as well as a major print and media campaign.

“All of our registrars are reporting back unprecedented demand from all types of their customers, adult industry and non adult industry,” Lawley told XBIZ. “Many of them are forecasting it to be their most successful TLD launch ever.”

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