I’m certain all the recent hype surrounding .ASIA has hit you too. The question that first popped in my head, and probably yours too is – Is there actually as much potential in this new sponsored TLD? I’ll let the stats that I dug up do all the talking.
The Asian continent has an estimate of over half a billion Internet users, compared to 350 million in Europe and only 240 million in all of North America. Internet traffic from Asia has also outpaced all other markets. The stats suggest that, more visitors originate from Asia (38%) than from Europe (26%) or North America (18%). *
With over 60% of the world’s population and an Internet usage growth of over 350%, Asia is a region that is experiencing tremendous economic and technical growth. The .ASIA top-level domain provides value that complements local country-code domains and other generic domains. Drawing up an excellent analogy from the media industry, some of the most powerful global media channels, like CNN and BBC to name a few, have created regional channels focused exclusively towards catering only to the Asian audience. Each has its space and value. “.ASIA” endeavors to serve this niche regional audience and market. Niche market would however be an understatement considering the statistics mentioned above. Now calculate the colossal number of global and regional enterprises targeting the Asian market, it is clear that the .ASIA value will grow at an exponential pace.
The goal behind introducing .ASIA was to provide an alternative to the ‘.com’ extension for the millions of individuals and businesses in Asia. More than 130 economies and countries around the world participated in the .Asia Sunrise. Seeing the results of the .ASIA Sunrise phase, which concluded with a success rate of over 90% (which is 40% higher than previous Domain Registry launches), I could say they have more than achieved their intended goal. Also, based on registry information, the volume of registrations received during the Sunrise applications was more than double the level for all other gTLD Sunrises except for .INFO.
Now that the Landrush is about to begin (20th Feb), all our Reseller’s can start accepting applications for the available .Asia Domain Names. During the Landrush, anyone around the world can apply for any available .ASIA Domain. The Domains receiving more than one application during the Landrush will be auctioned between the applicants in an equitable process post the Landrush. Popular “keyword” domains, such as names consisting of common terms are expected to generate the most intense bidding.
Targeting an entire region like Asia often tends to be not only difficult, but also expensive due to stringent local presence requirements. So, A unified Asian TLD could potentially be an extremely valuable and cost effective tool for businesses that are looking at reaching the entire region via a single domain registration instead of registering domains in each individual Asian country.
*Source for Internet stats from internetworldstats.com (11th Feb. ‘08).
*Source on .ASIA domain registry stats from dotasia.org.