Alex C sends link: http://apcmag.com/6039/how_firefox_earns_us55million_a_year
Why would a browser make money at all? If people type an address they are expecting to get to a destination. But if you fat finger the .xom, .cpm, .con or other misspellings of GTLDs, your browser often steals that traffic away and points it to a Google page or Yahoo page where Google/Yahoo split the advertising revenue with browser manufacturer.
So if Firefox makes 55 million a year with 8% share, that means IE's 85% share should bring in over 600 million a year, much of it ill-gotten traffic .. Nice!
Okay ICANN: the enterprise value of adding new Shadow TLD extensions (est traffic revenue from all error search) is over 1.4 billion dollars a year. Browser manufacturers get about 700million worth of traffic and Google/Yahoo get the other half (another 700mm .. give or take). Type in PPC revenue does not represent the value that site-owners are willing to pay at registration price for these shadows (on/off switch domains).
I think ICANN seriously needs to open it's eyes, wake-up and consider adding a basket of on/off switch shadow TLDs that resolve to the correct .com, .net etc.. (ie. enter domainname.xom and it refreshes to the corresponding .com [if you pay], or it doesn't resolve [if you don't elect to buy the shadow]). That's where the money is, because "that's where the traffic is" and that's where the consumer demand is going to be . We need these strings to be authoritative so domain extensions are the way to go. They can be metered and sold. Open your eyes to the Internet ICANN. No other GTLD (except for .com) could ever deliver 1.4 billion dollars in annual enterprise value.
While ICANN fiddles around with the politics of adding completely useless, under-subscribed GTLD's such as .aero, .coop and .museum, the browser manufacturers and search engines are getting fabulously rich monetizing traffic - a significant clip intended for domain registrants like you and I.. Don't believe me?.. type your domain name with .xom, .cpm or another misspelling into your browser's address bar and watch what happens.
NB to well meaning techie folks.. please don't tell me how you can "change the settings in your browser to draw another error page" because the vast majority of all Internet users don't understand this and they are the ones placing 55mm a year in the pockets of Firefox (and and 600mm to Microsoft) a nice clip of that at your expense.
Its time for shadow TLD's folks. Puerto Rico ICANN meetings anyone?