Wednesday, September 20, 2017

.radio TLD

The top-level domain (TLD) name “.radio” is now available. However, these are only being dolled out to "individuals and companies with active interest in the radio sector." These will be managed by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) with support from other world broadcasting unions. The initial qualifying categories are as follows:
  • Radio broadcasting stations
  • Unions of Broadcasters (Such as the EBU)
  • Internet radio stations
  • Radio Amateurs
  • Radio professionals (journalists, DJs, etc…)
  • Companies selling radio-related goods and services
So all U.S. broadcasters licensed by the FCC and licensed Hams enthusiasts, and even myself, should be eligible to submit their call signs or brand names to EBU for a .RADIO domain name. But a new TLD is not a panacea. For example, they're going to cost your station $237 per year. A simple .com domain will run you about $30. More here. It costs $185,000 to register a new TLD so those "investors" are going to need to ding you to recoup.

As of July 2016, there are 326.4 million domain names globally. If you are a broadcaster with a web presence (website, or webapp) you are effectively competing with that for attention. (Yes, not all of them are radio stations) It is estimated that less than 30% of the "visible" web is in English. [SOURCE]  But despite those language limitations websites are heavily concentrated across just a handful of domains. Most internet users are only aware of half a dozen. Most SEO bros will advise you to avoid anything except the most common of Top Level Domains (TLD). You can see a break down below. [SOURCE] I just broke out the top 10 TLDs... there are more than 1,000 others available... 

TLD TOTAL ORIGIN
.COM 130.1 Million USA
.TK 18.8 Million New Zealand
.NET 15 Million USA
.DE 14.3 Million UK
.CN 10.4 Million China
.UK   10.2 Million USA
.INFO   6.1 Million USA
.RU   5.2 Million USA
.NL   4.9 Million USA
.EU   3.6 Million USA

You will note .radio isn't in the top 10 and you can check my source here. If you scroll all the way down you will see that .radio has just 22 registered domains. In other words, most users are not aware that it's a possible TLD.  So despite the hearty defense you can read at the ARRL and RadioTLD, the TLD is not likely to gain you any clicks... quite the opposite. And if you think it will effect your search results... remember that TLDs have no impact on SEO performance and Google is 100% clear about this.”  But if you want that TLD because it's cool... well yes it's cool.