The Hunger Games franchise ditches dot-com domain

Jennifer Lawrence in "Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1"
Source: Lionsgate
Jennifer Lawrence in "Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1"

Add the Hunger Games to the growing list of entertainment industry franchises that are leaving the dot-com domain name behind.

The popular movie series became the first to utilize the dot-movie domain on June 9 when it released its new website, TheHungerGames.movie.

It's not the only entertainment franchise making use of a non-dot-com domain name, though. Focus Features is using Outlive.life as the website to promote its movie "Selfless," and Lady Gaga registered a non-dot-com domain for her foundation's website: BornThisWay.foundation.

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The release of the first dot-movie domain registration comes after Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which oversees the domain name system, expanded access to suffixes.

Donuts, a major buyer of new top-level domains, started releasing hundreds of new non-dot-com domain names, like dot-pizza or dot-coffee, to the public in February 2014. And now it's looking to lure the entertainment industry into the non-dot-com arena.

Donuts has about 165 suffixes available for domain registration, and the company is in the process of rolling out almost 20 more this year.

Jeff Davidoff, Donuts chief marketing officer, said the company reached out directly to a number of movie studios to see if one would introduce the dot-movie domain name to the world.

"We're on this mission to make these new not-com choices the new normal," he said. "It's the moments when they're used in the most pop culture way that are really going to make this a reality."

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According to Donuts, 60 percent of all domain names in the world are non-dot-com domain names, and a new non-dot-com domain name is registered every 10 seconds.

"Those are great numbers, particularly given not much awareness," Davidoff said. "It's our belief that pop culture usage like this is really going to accelerate the movement."

Davidoff said that the company has pulled over 6 million domain names since February 2014.

"Nothing beats the power of pop culture to drive a movement," he said.