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NBC LA discusses the impact of the new .LA TLD


In this clip NBC LA talks about the impact of the new .LA TLD live on air, discussing its potential and what this means for local businesses and internet users.

Over 7,000 .LA domains registered at GoDaddy since June



16 October 2013 GoDaddy registers over 7,000 .LA domain names since promoting the domain for Los Angeles.

A reader who invested in .la domain names asked me this week if I knew how the domain name was doing since GoDaddy put some of its marketing weight behind the domain.

Here’s your answer:

GoDaddy customers have registered over 7,000 domain names since the company got involved in June. The registrar started promoting the domains in July.

At about $40 a year, that’s around $280,000 in registration fees not including premiums for the best domains.

About half of the registrations have come from people in California.

Is 7,000 good or bad? What does it say about the potential of city top level domains coming to market? Here are some relevant points to consider:

  • GoDaddy tells me the 7,000 registrations are more than the number of registrations for .ES, .DE, .EU, and many other domains at GoDaddy during the same time period.
  • To market the domain, GoDaddy rented a few billboards around Los Angeles when it started promoting the domain, and also invested in some online marketing.
  • Many of the best domains were already registered, as .la has been marketed (albeit weakly) as a domain for Los Angeles for more than a decade.
  • This means there was also no sunrise or landrush period.
  • The city of Los Angeles has no involvement.

I believe most of the new city TLDs, e.g. .NYC and .London, will see much higher numbers. The key reason is that the cities themselves are involved, which will lead to a lot of press. They’ll also be backed with lots of marketing, and perhaps even door-to-door sales. The sunrise and landrush periods will help, too.

GoDaddy to sell .la Web addresses to Los Angeles firms


6 July 2013 GoDaddy, the world's largest domain registrar, will kick off a marketing campaign Monday to rebrand .la as the Web suffix for Los Angeles.

The Scottsdale, Ariz., company believes geographical-based Web addresses are the next big thing for its sales of Internet domain names, and .la will be the first Web suffix, or top-level domain, GoDaddy markets in this way.

Web addresses using the .la suffix have been available for purchase since the late 1990s, but GoDaddy, which sells more than 50% of new domain-name registrations, didn't add it to its catalog until June 20, after partnering with CentralNic, the company that handles the database for .la Web addresses.

Once GoDaddy begins marketing the suffix on Monday, it expects .la sales to explode.

"When we carry a TLD [top-level domain], it moves the needle," said GoDaddy's Rich Merdinger, vice president of domains.

Later this year, more Web addresses using city-based suffixes may become available after they are approved by the organization that governs domain addresses. Already, New York City has announced that .nyc Web addresses will become available to its residents later this year, and other cities are vying to receive their own suffixes.

But GoDaddy is able to sell .la addresses now because the suffix is actually the one assigned to the country of Laos. Each country has its own Web suffix -- the U.S., for example, has .us -- and these top-level domains have been around for decades.

In recent years, however, Web addresses using some countries' suffixes have begun to receive more registrations as companies like GoDaddy market them for certain uses. For example, .co for Colombia is marketed toward companies, while .tv, for the country of Tuvalu, is often registered by websites that focus on video. Another, .me for Montenegro, is commonly registered by users for their personal websites.

Now, .la is set to join those ranks.

GoDaddy said it plans to market the suffix using billboards and online ads targeting users in Los Angeles.

"We are going to really be pushing and presenting out to the citizens of Los Angeles that they have a new domain extension that is really ripe for use in promoting their businesses in southern California," Merdinger said.

GoDaddy is selling .la addresses at $39.99 each per year. But some addresses that may be highly in demand will be auctioned off for much more. Users will be able to bid on premium names like, as well as and starting at $100 on Monday.

"We think the opportunities for geographic TLDs will be phenomenal," Merdinger said.

Because GoDaddy began selling .la addresses a few weeks ago to make sure there were no glitches with its new domain names, the company said there have already been some purchases.

"There are some names that are already taken, but there's an awful lot of good names that are still available, such as,, etc.," Merdinger said.

Domain once reserved for Laos being shopped to Los Angeles


8 July 2013 The first city-based domain extension for websites, .la, was released Monday with the aim of attracting Los Angeles and the entertainment industry.

GoDaddy, the world's largest domain registrar, will launch .la — the domain address for the country of Laos — with several entertainment-based URLs offered, including,, and

GoDaddy added .la to its catalog June 20, and expects the domain extension, which is distributed by CentralNic Group, to blow up upon its Monday reveal, as many of the desired entertainment URLs are already taken with top-level domains such as .com, .net and .org.

Many URLs already have vague location association with country-specific top-level domains such as .us and .uk, but the company hopes to set the stage for other city-specific URLs, with .nyc .paris and .miami set to be released in 2014. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced plans for the .nyc top-level domain two years ago with the 2011 "Roadmap for a Digital City," and the Internet Cooperation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) recently approved the request.

Dot-LA domain name up for grabs, thanks to Go Daddy, Laos


9 July 2013  We've got dot-com, dot-gov, dot-net and dot-tv, so are we ready for dot-LA? The Lao People's Democratic Republic thinks so.

The small Southeast Asia country uses dot-LA as its country code but has been trying to market it as a brand for more than a decade.

Now the country is part of a partnership that includes Go Daddy, the Scottsdale, Ariz., Internet-domain registrar and Web-hosting company that has launched the first big marketing campaign for dot-LA focused on businesses of all types in the Los Angeles area. And for the privilege of this envied regional identifier, you will pay a tidy $39.99 per year.

In a separate marketing push on Monday, Go Daddy began an online auction of more than 300 dot-LA names -- the bulk of which are specific to the entertainment industry. Bidding started at $100 for names such as Inside.LA. MovieStars.LA, Scripts.LA, Sets.LA and Acting.LA. The auction will run through July 18, and, by Tuesday afternoon, the highest bid was $115 for the name MovieStars.LA.

"Go Daddy is a very strong brand in the domain-name industry, and we just saw an opportunity to take a top-level name and position it properly. There is a lot of context behind the letters LA, and we saw this as the best opportunity to put it before the people and let them make use of it," said Richard Merdinger, Go Daddy vice president of domain name registrations.

The company made the name available on its website late last month without any fanfare -- a soft launch of sorts to gauge interest.

"We're very pleased," Merdinger said of dot-LA's reception. "Since the start of the auction, we've seen a threefold increase in the number of LA domain-name registrations."

Giving a business a Los Angeles-specific cyberspace identity doesn't take long, either. "You can register the name in a matter of minutes, and if you use a website builder, you can be up and running in a couple of hours," said Go Daddy spokesman Nick Fuller.

In addition to media outreach, the marketing campaign includes billboards sprinkled around the Los Angeles area.

Partnering in the campaign are Dot LA Marketing LLC and the registry company CentralNic Group, both located in Woodland Hills.

Ben Crawford, director of Dot LA Marketing, said the companies have been working on the rollout of both campaigns for the past few months.

"We wanted to give dot-LA the launch it really deserves, and it's particularly timely because last week dot-NYC was approved," he said. "Go Daddy is the best-known name in the business."

He added that the Los Angeles market is rife with potential, and there are likely lots of companies that want a particular domain name but discovered the dot-com version had already been registered and priced out of reach.

"Ninety-eight percent of the names not available on dot-com are still available on dot-LA, and that means businesses can get the name they want at the normal retail price," Crawford said. "We've got high hopes for dot-LA. It's the first domain to be launched as a name for a city, so we're really breaking ground. People who live and work in Los Angeles are very proud of their city, and we think they will jump at the opportunity to get a domain name that tells visitors they are a local business."

Andrew Allemann, editor of the website Domain Name Wire, which tracks the industry, said the timing was probably right for Laos to step up what had been an under-the-radar marketing effort.

A few years ago, Tuvalu, a Polynesian island of 10,000 people between Hawaii and Australia, made the dot-TV domain available.

"Dot-TV is kind of catchy, and basically that's what's happening here," Allemann said. "They are trying to rebrand this as a domain name for Los Angeles, and they [Laos] have been trying to sell it for a while, but they didn't have the marketing muscle. With Go Daddy, they have that. Go Daddy is probably the world's largest domain-name registry. Whenever they promote a name, it can make a big difference."

The Laotian Consulate in Los Angeles could not be reached for comment. To view the auction proceedings, go to here.

LA Gets Its Own Domain Name Extension: .LA


9 July 2013 Are you looking for a domain name which communicates uniquely that you're in Los Angeles? A new domain name extension, .LA, debuted this week from a company, which is hoping to attract local businesses and residents to its domain. According to domain registrar GoDaddy, it has begun offering Los Angeles specific web names both via auction and by registration, including domains like MovieStars.LA, Scripts.LA, Studios.LA, and Producer.LA. The new domain extension is an alternative to the more popular .com domain name extension. According to GoDaddy, the .LA extension comes thanks to Dot LA Marketing LLC, which has partnered with GoDaddy to offer up those names. GoDaddy is offering up the .LA names at a somewhat pricey $39.99 a year.

Will New .LA Internet Addresses Boost Los Angeles Entertainment Companies?


8 July 2013 Maybe. The country of Laos and the companies working for it sure hope so. Today, on Laos' behalf, URL registry GoDaddy began auctioning dozens of prime entertainment-themed Internet addresses ending in the newly available .LA suffix. The auction ends July 18. Among the names getting the auction treatment:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and, perhaps inevitably,

.LA is the "country code" designated for Laos by ICANN, the agency that runs the Internet's global name directory and ensures every online address is unique. Many countries only allow a company or person to use their country code if they have some sort of direct connection with that country, said GoDaddy VP Domains Richard Merdinger. "They have to have some sort of nexus" with the parent country, he said. But Laos, a small and poor Southeast Asian country that hasn't been in the news much since the Vietnam War ended next door, has opened up access to its country code in a bid to generate revenue. The hope is to entice lots of Los Angeles- area companies and people — and possibly some in Louisiana — to sign up for a URL that's more location specific than one ending in .com, Merdinger said. To further raise money, about 300 of the prime URLs have been set aside for an auction with several verticals, including the one for entertainment names, that GoDaddy is running.

"These are names we believe compliment the L.A. context and the (.LA) extension," Merdinger said. For less distinctive .LA URLs not on the auction list, the registration price is GoDaddy's usual $39.99 annual fee (other registries charge different prices for a basic URL signup).

GoDaddy quietly made the .LA suffix a URL registration option in late June before announcing its availability today, Merdinger said. Even without any hoopla, the company already has been registering "hundreds" of lesser .LA URLs.

Laos isn't the first company to try to cash in on its country code. Several years ago, the island nation of Tuvalu made .TV available, hoping television-related businesses would snap it up. The expected gold rush didn't quite materialize for the Polynesian country, which is preoccupied these days with its long-term survival amid rising ocean levels.

And the entire business of top-level domains is about to undergo an even bigger change, as ICANN inches toward its biggest expansion of its top-level domain system in nearly a decade.

The new system will allow companies who pay $185,000 to create their own URL suffix. Already, one company has begun the process of claiming more than 300 generic suffixes like .plumbing that it will in turn use to create and sell URLs like, say, ICANN is expected to have the new system in place before the end of the year.

.LA Extension Offers Los Angeles Businesses The Chance To Localize Their Domain Name


9 July 2013 Websites ending in .com could go the way of Geocities for small businesses located in Los Angeles, Calif.

That's because GoDaddy, the world's largest domain registrar, is now marketing .LA domain extensions to companies in the City of Angels as a way to formally denote their location in their URL.

If you ask us, it sounds like a good idea. There are already many small businesses in Los Angeles, particularly restaurants, that smash "LA" into their website addresses so they don't get confused with other spots (see:, and

For now, GoDaddy is forecasting that the entertainment industry will be an especially hot market for the .la extension. A press release about the extension launch included mention of an auction for domains like "MovieStars.LA," "Studios.LA," "Scripts.LA" and "Producer.LA."

Snooooooooze. "MovieStars.LA" sounds vaguely spammy, and we can't think of any studio that doesn't eventually have global brand aspirations. What's more fun is thinking about the .LA wordplay. Tortil.LA. Gorril.LA. Spatu.LA. Mozzerel.LA. But we digress.

If all goes according to plan, GoDaddy will launch city-based domain extensions like .NYC, .Miami and .Paris by 2014. That's right -- as usual, Los Angeles leads the way.

But perhaps it's because the .LA extension is already in use to denote websites associated with the Southeast Asian country of Laos, notes Variety. We'll keep you updated on whether Laos, or the state of Louisiana, for that matter, puts up a fight over .LA.

1st City-based Domain Name Extension Debuts on GoDaddy: .LA


GoDaddy Fuels Internet Expansion with Los Angeles Specific Web Names

8 July 2013 Los Angeles' businesses and residents are the first in the country to have access to a domain name extension designating their city, .LA. This means businesses and individuals can take advantage of location-specific Web addresses and a whole new inventory of domain names ending with .LA to represent Los Angeles.

Dot LA Marketing LLC, and GoDaddy, the Web's largest platform for small businesses, are offering the names to the public, starting today at

Instead of being limited by a .COM, .NET or .ORG domain name, people who want to be identified as being in Los Angeles have a whole new realm of naming possibilities. "Expanding to the 'right of the dot' opens up a huge range of naming options for people in Los Angeles looking to get their ideal Internet name and brand themselves from a location perspective," said GoDaddy Domains Vice President Rich Merdinger. "So, for example, if you're in L.A. and you can't get JimsPizza-dot-COM, JimsPizza-dot-LA is an even better option because it tells people what you do and where you are ... and there's a good chance the new name is available."

As an example, 98 percent of domain names that aren't available ending in .COM are now available with .LA. In addition to business names, thousands of valuable keyword and short domain names are available right now.

"We are thrilled to have GoDaddy as a partner, giving customers in Los Angeles unparalleled access to dot-LA domains," said Ben Crawford, Director of Dot LA Marketing. "GoDaddy has earned the reputation as the most user-friendly place on the Web to obtain domains. With GoDaddy's round-the-clock support and industry expertise, we know our customers will be with the best service in the business."

In addition to making .LA domains available on a first-come, first-served basis, GoDaddy is conducting a special entertainment industry auction where domains including "MovieStars.LA," "Scripts.LA," "Studios.LA", and "Producer.LA" are expected to be hotly contested. Full details are available at


.LA is the first Top-Level Domain to be used to designate websites relating to a city (with domain endings like .NYC, .MIAMI and .PARIS to be launched in 2014). The .LA launch is supported by billboards and online advertising in Los Angeles. .LA domains are distributed globally by CentralNic Group under license from Dot LA Marketing LLC.


GoDaddy - Nick Fuller, 480-505-8800 Ext. 4435,

Dot LA Marketing Company - Michele DiNardo, 310-447-2412,

.LA Domain Names Now Up for Sale


Sorry guys, we were fooled by some clever marketing on Go Daddy's part. .LA domains have been available for Laos for some time now.

Los Angeles became the first city to make domain name extensions available to the public this week. On Monday, Go Daddy opened .la domain extensions to public registration, priced at $39.99/year.

Not all domain names are available at that rate — Go Daddy is auctioning about 300 domains it expects to be in particular demand, including and, beginning at $100 per domain. Thus far, is fetching the highest price, at $110. Auctions end July 18.

Go Daddy is hoping the new domain offerings will appeal to local business owners — those in Los Angeles and possibly also Louisiana — who haven't been able to secure the name of their businesses using .com, .net or .org extensions. Since the domain names are new, Go Daddy is able to charge several times above the price it asks for other domain extensions, such as .co or .mobi.

Los Angeles is the first city to get its own domain extension, but it won't be the last: .nyc, .miami and .paris are scheduled to go on sale next year.