Status: Delegated
country: International
Manager: Google
Date Implemented: 29 August 2014
Type: Brand TLD
Priority #: 498 - Google (Charleston Road Registry Inc.)

More information: NTLDStatsLogo.png

.youtube is a new Brand TLD that was proposed to ICANN's new gTLD expansion program by the search engine giant Google. The application for the gTLD was confirmed in the official Google blog posted by Vinton Cerf, chief internet evangelist. The .youtube TLD is categorized by Google as a TLD intended to improve user experience. [1]

Application Details

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

"The sole purpose of the proposed gTLD, .youtube, 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 .youtube domain (e.g., brand.youtube 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.


Charleston Road Registry intends to apply for an exemption to ICANN’s Registry Operator Code of Conduct and operate the proposed gTLD with Google as the sole registrar and registrant. The proposed gTLD will specifically align with YouTube, an existing Google brand, and will provide select registrants with improved capabilities that meet their diverse needs.

The specialization goal of the proposed gTLD is to extend the YouTube brand and reputation to each .youtube second-level domain and to provide select YouTube channels with a dedicated domain space for their registration and management. This specialization introduces a new domain name hierarchy that will generate new YouTube namespace and provide for registrantsʹ direct control of the introduction and phase out of their new or retiring content and offerings on a unqiue second-level domain within the .youtube gTLD. This specialization makes it clear to Internet users that this is the authoritative and designated space where they can find select YouTube channel content offered in association with the Google and YouTube brands and accessible via differentiated and streamlined web addresses. This specialization will enhance Internet users’ current and future experience with YouTube."[2]

Contract Signed

On 1st May 2014, Google received a Registry Agreement signed by ICANN for .youtube after passing the Initial Evaluation.[3]


.youtube was delegated to the Root Zone of the DNS on the 29th August, 2014, completing the successful application for the string.[4]