Google Registry is launching .channel with a different business plan.
Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is launching the .channel top-level domain into the sunrise tomorrow, May 3, with a different business plan than it originally envisioned.
.Channel was originally designed as a vanity URL for YouTube creators to showcase their content. But it’s been a decade since Google applied for the domain, and it had doubts about the domain restriction.
The company recently released its domain registration policies for .channel. (The full policy submitted to ICANN is here.) The policy now states that “.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 monetization purposes. In other words, it extended it beyond YouTube and beyond content channels.
According to the policy document, during the all year “Limited registration phase”, content creators can apply for a .channel domain “through approved content creation platforms, which will evaluate applications based on their compliance with the registration policy”. It will then go into general availability.
It’s safe to assume that YouTube will participate and may be the only “approved” platform at first. Will Google reach across the aisle Twitch owned by Amazon and other streaming services? This would provide a larger base of potential subscribers, but services often compete for viewership and creators. And for Google, domain registration revenue may be secondary to other values they derive from domain registrations.