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Status: Delegated
Registry Provider: Verisign
Date Implemented: 10 February 2015
Type: Brand TLD
Priority #: 533 - DWANGO Co., Ltd.

More information: NTLDStatsLogo.png

.nico is a Brand TLD delegated in ICANN's New gTLD Program. DWANGO Co., Ltd. manages the TLD and is its Registry. The proposed application succeeded and was delegated to the Root Zone on 15 February, 2015.[1][2]

Application Details

The following was excerpted from the applicant's response to question #18:

"The .nico gTLD will create a new generation gTLD serving the interests of end users by providing an authoritative Internet space where information, communication services and resources of ʺNicoʺ portal services will be closely controlled by DWANGO Co., Ltd.(Dwango). The majority of the anticipated domain name registrations in the .nico gTLD will be used in the promotion and communication of the Nico brand and various Internet services that are offered via the ʺNicoʺ brand. A subset of domain names has the potential to be created and used to build a greater communication society, a network culture and for marketing purposes, with Internet users assured of brand authenticity.

Dwango was established in 1997 as a technology services company, with its headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. Dwango is principally involved in delivering an array of online entertainment services such as games, electronic books, video on demand services, ʺNico Nico Liveʺ and ʺNico Nico Dougaʺ. Also Dwango is engaged in providing planning, developing, managing and consulting services in relation to developing network entertainment contents as a portal business operator. Dwango operates through various subsidiaries such as(but not limited to) T&E Soft Inc.(game business), Dwango Mobile(production of contents for mobile phones) and Niwango Inc.(manages Nico Nico Douga, a popular video sharing website in Japan, where users can upload, view and share video clips). Unique to Nico Nico Douga is that comments are overlaid directly onto the video, synced to a specific playback time. This allows comments to respond directly to events occurring in the video, in sync with the viewer, creating a sense of a shared watching experience. The .nico gTLD is intended to represent the Nico Nico Douga and the other Nico Nico services offered by Dwango. ʺNico Nicoʺ is the Japanese ideophone, a sound symbolizing smiley face. Nico Nico Douga has over 25 million registered users, including 1.49 million premium users and 7.11 million mobile members. Nico Nico Douga has an average of 7.63 million users per month with an average viewing time of 101.4 minutes per day for each user. Nico Nico Douga is the thirteenth most visited website in Japan, won the Japanese Good Design Award in 2007 and an Honorary Mention of the Digital Communities category at Prix Ars Electronica 2008. Dwango has over 900 employees with an annual turnover of 10.6 billion Yen, net sales of 9,131 million Yen and a net income of 335 million Yen(at the end of December 2011). Dwango is also listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Dwango strives to create a network culture by providing new means to access its entertainment services through engaging new technologies unique to Dwango thus enhancing originality and increased interaction amongst users. In this regard, consumer trust and continuous innovation are paramount considerations in all its activities.

Business activities are increasingly conducted over the Internet, allowing for greater levels of interaction between businesses and customers. As a result, both businesses and end users benefit from ease of interaction and a wider range of choices with lower transaction costs. However, the development in this arena in the current domain name system has exposed both businesses and consumers to increased criminal activities over the Internet, including data breach, hacking and phishing. These sophisticated criminal activities cause reputational damage to businesses as Internet users lose consumer confidence and trust with the businesses targeted by such criminal activities. The .nico gTLD will facilitate greater trust and assurance from Internet users connecting with Dwango online, free from false impersonation of third parties, whilst still allowing convenient and efficient interaction.

Dwangoʹs mission and purpose of the proposed new gTLD share ICANNʹs initiatives to promote public interest. Dwango is committed to contribute towards achieving such initiatives in line with ICANNʹs Affirmation of Commitments, which includes: -consumer trust: the .nico gTLD registry will be operated in a centralized manner with a restrictive registration policy. Registration of domain names will only be available to Dwango, at this stage, which will provide added consumer trust that .nico domain names are trustworthy, safe and credible. As .nico domain names are subject to registration standards, policies and procedures under Dwangoʹs control, this eliminates the possibility of malicious conduct within the .nico domain space;"[3]