A new top level domain (TLD) service has launched, promising to be a technical, legal and commercial proxy between registrars and registries that have applied to run new TLDs such as .cloud and .music.
When the new TLDs go live in the first quarter of 2013, their owners - the registries - will only be able to sell these names through ICANN accredited registrars. Existing registrars include the likes of VeriSign, NeuStar, GoDaddy.com and ICM Registry, which runs the .xxx adult domain.
Connecting a registrar with a registry requires a great deal of work, including technical integration and testing, a complex contractual structure and a commercial setup that will involve establishing a payment deposit account between the parties.
The registrars therefore have to carefully choose which new top level domains to offer to get the best ROI, and many new registries will find it difficult to attract the necessary amount of registrars to sell their domains.
The Registry Hub aims to ease this process by providing a cloud-based platform where registrars and the registries can enter a single contract, requiring only one technical integration and only one deposit account for payments.
This platform can then be used to process all domain registrations and renewals, and will also help to reduce the complexity of the billing relationships, according to Rolf Larsen, chairman of the Registry Hub.
"After signing up with the Registry Hub, the registrars can pick and choose which available top level domains in the Registry Hub to offer to their customers," he said.
The Registry Hub is currently wholly owned by CloudNames. However, the company plans to offer around 70% of the shares to the first companies that sign up, in order to ensure that it remains independent.
"After we launch this, we are going to try and quickly recruit as many companies as possible, because we know there will be other initiatives, and it's important for us to gain some ground for this first one," said Larsen.
"It needs to be embraced by everyone - by the sales channel, the registries and the registrars."
Earlier this month, ICANN unveiled a list of 1,930 applied-for top-level domain names. Symantec, Amazon, and Google will all be battling for the rights to .cloud, while Google and Microsoft both want .docs.
Blog was also quite popular, with nine separate applications, including one from Google.