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Status: Delegated
Manager: Google
Registry Provider: Google
Type: Generic
Category: Technology
Priority #: 542 - Google (Charleston Road Registry Inc.)

More information: NTLDStatsLogo.png

.channel is a GTLD that was proposed in ICANN's New gTLD Program. The successful applicant is Google (Charleston Road Registry Inc.).[1] .channel was delegated to the Root Zone of the DNS on the 15th September, 2014, completing the successful application for the string.[2]

Application Details

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

"In line with Google’s general mission, Charleston Road Registry’s mission is to help make information universally accessible and useful by extending the utility of the DNS while enhancing the performance, security and stability of the Internet for users worldwide. Charleston Road Registry aspires to create unique web spaces where users can learn about Google products, services and information in a targeted manner and in ways never before seen on the Internet. Its business objective is to manage Google’s gTLD portfolio and Google’s registry operator business. As discussed further in the responses to questions 23 and 31, Charleston Road Registry intends to outsource all critical registry functions to Google Registry Services.

The sole purpose of the proposed gTLD, .channel, is to host select YouTube channels’ digital content. The proposed gTLD will introduce a dedicated Internet space in which select YouTube channel providers can link to the content hosted on their respective YouTube page. All registered domains would automatically be delegated to YouTubeʹs DNS servers, which would in turn provide authoritative DNS responses pointing the userʹs web browsers to the YouTube service. The mission of the proposed gTLD is to strengthen the brand relationship between YouTube and its content partners and to simplify the YouTube user experience. Select YouTube content distributors will be able to register a branded .channel domain (e.g., brand.channel) which will be used to host short and simple URLs that point to the distributor’s YouTube page or specific offering. This mission will enhance consumer choice by providing new availability in the second-level domain space for distributors on YouTube, creating new layers of organization on the Internet, improving the YouTube user experience, and signaling that only select YouTube content is available in the domain. Charleston Road Registry believes that registrants will find value in associating with this gTLD, which will be limited to premium members that meet YouTubeʹs selection criteria. In late 2011, YouTube issued a press statement emphasizing its strategic focus on channels and the site underwent a redesign to provide more prominence to channels and channel-managed content


Because the sole purpose of the proposed gTLD is to associate domain names with the YouTube product, Charleston Road Registry intends to apply for an exemption to the ICANN Registry Operator Code of Conduct and operate the gTLD with Google as the sole registrar and registrant. As the sole registrant, Google will have the opportunity to differentiate and innovate upon its YouTube products and services through its use of the gTLD.

Given the proposed limited scope and use of the gTLD, Charleston Road Registry believes that there is a reasonable case for such an exemption. Should ICANN not condone this proposed exemption, Charleston Road Registry will make access to Registry Services, including the shared registration system, available to all ICANN-accredited registrars."[3]

Contract signed

On the 8th May 2014, Google (Charleston Road Registry Inc.)received a Registry Agreement signed by ICANN for .channel after passing the Initial Evaluation.[4]


.channel was delegated to the Root Zone of the DNS on the 15th September, 2014, completing the successful application for the string.[5]


In April 2022, Google announced the registration launch for .channel.[6] The registration rules specified that registrants must use .channel domains for ecommerce, content monetization, or product marketing: ".channel domain names are intended solely for use by creators and publishers to host or redirect to storefronts featuring digital and physical products, and audience-building mechanisms for the purpose of monetization."[7]

The launch will proceed in three phases:

  • Sunrise Period: May 3 - June 7, 2022; Trademark holders with marks registered through the Trademark Clearinghouse
  • Limited Registration Period: June 8, 2022 - May 31, 2023; "[A]pplicants will be able to apply for .CHANNEL domain names via approved content creation platforms, which will evaluate applications based on compliance with the Registration Policy."
  • General Availability: TBD, planned for mid-2023[6]