New top-level domains (TLDs) set to be introduced in Singapore are expected to rake in profits for the early adopters - the savvy Singapore entrepreneurs.
According to a study which tried to identify business potentials from the new TLDs, a "high percentage" of respondents are looking to register their business using the new TLDs.
The new TLDs are to be made available next year, following the go-ahead last June by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The global body governing Internet addresses has approved Singapore's plans to use the new TLDs by January 2012. New TLDs such as .shop, .law, .restaurant, to name a few, are expected to be of interest to the business-minded.
To determine the business potentials of these new TLDs, ARI Registry Services (formerly AusRegistry International) commissioned a study by Empirica Research. The study surveyed 200 small and medium businesses (SMBs) across industries in Singapore. ARI Registry Services is helping helping companies and entrepreneurs in Singapore apply for new TLDs.
Dr. David Neal, director, Empirica Research, noted the enthusiasm of respondents in exploring business potentials coming from the new TLDs, even at a premium.
"Surprisingly, nobody had stopped to ask if restaurant owners would actually buy a domain within .restaurant, or whether lawyers will buy one within .law," said Neal. "The survey findings suggest that a high percentage of them will, even if this means paying a premium over their current Web address."
The business potential stems from reselling second-level domains to relevant business in Singapore who can append their company name to the new TLDs. Thus, retailname.shop or lawyername.law.
The study results show that 57 percent of Singapore SMBs said they are likely to register a new Web address using a new TLD related to their business. They are even willing to pay a premium of as much as 39 percent to own this new Web address, and had the opportunity existed earlier when they were starting out their business, 59 percent said they would have grabbed that opportunity.
But the study also noted that only 18 percent of businesses are aware of the programme.
"These results are encouraging considering it's a new concept and awareness is still low among businesses. The findings demonstrate a strong demand in the market for new top-level domains," said Adrian Kinderis, CEO, ARI Registry Services.
The study cited a business model for .shop where annual revenues could run up to S$310,000 (US$239,335) per annum if the 2,873 retail stores in Singapore would each register a .shop domain for S$108 (U$83) per annum.
Adding Hong Kong and Australia's retail stores to the business model, potential annual revenues can run in the order of U$7 million, the study noted.
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