Domain Registrations Continue To Outgrow Chinese Economy As Total Registrations Grow To 233m

Verisign logoThe registration of domain names continue to be one of the few industries globally that outperform the Chinese economy, with a growth rate of 11 per cent year-on-year, or 23 million, to the end of quarter one, 2012, making the total number of domain names registered over 233 million.

By way of contrast, China’s gross domestic product (GDP) is growing at around eight per cent year-on-year, by far the fastest of the world’s larger economies.

In quarter one, Verisign’s Domain Name Industry Brief showed there were an extra 7.5 million domain names registered, or an increase of 3.3 per cent, marking the fifth straight quarter with greater than two per cent growth.

Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief Total Domain Name RegistrationsThe .COM and .NET Top Level Domains (TLDs) experienced aggregate growth in the first quarter, reaching a combined total of approximately 116.7 million active domain names in the adjusted zone. Verisign do not separate out .COM and .NET registrations, but using information from registrarstats.com, there would have been around 103 million .COM registrations and 14 million .NET registrations. This represents a 2.5 per cent increase in the base over the fourth quarter of 2011 and an 8.1 per cent increase over the first quarter of 2011. Additionally, the .COM registry grew to more than 100 million domain names during the quarter.

New .COM and .NET registrations totalled 8.9 million during the quarter. This is a 7.7 per cent increase year-over-year in new registrations. The .com/.net renewal rate for the first quarter of 2012 was 73.9 per cent, up from 73.5 per cent for the fourth quarter of 2011.

Country code top level domains grew faster than those for the combined .COM/.NET registrations, with there being a total of 94.9 million ccTLD names registered, a 4.8 per cent increase quarter over quarter, and a 16.2 per cent increase, or 13.2 million, year-over-year.

Among the 20 largest ccTLDs, .TK (Tokelau), .FR (France), .IN (India), .KR (the Republic of Korea) and the .RU (Russian Federation) each exceeded four per cent quarter-over-quarter growth. Last quarter, four of the top 20 exceeded the same threshold.

There are more than 290 ccTLD extensions globally (including Internationalized Domain Names), with the top 10 ccTLDs comprising 60 per cent of all registrations.

According to Zooknic figures used in the report, the top ten ccTLDs at the end of the quarter, which were also the same as of the previous quarter, were .DE (Germany), .UK (United Kingdom), TK (Tokelau), .NL (Netherlands), .RU (Russian Federation), .EU (European Union), .CN (China), .BR (Brazil), .AR (Argentina) and .AU (Australia).

The latest report also had a one-off jump in registrations. In the first quarter of 2012, Verisign began tracking the ccTLDs launched by ICANN through the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process, which enabled countries and territories that use languages based on scripts other than Latin to offer users domain names in non-Latin characters. This additional tracking resulted in an additional 808,967 ccTLD names being reported in the first quarter that were not previously reported in prior periods.

Verisign’s average daily Domain Name System (DNS) query load during the first quarter of 2012 was 66 billion, with a peak of 74 billion. Compared to the previous quarter, the daily average increased 4 per cent and the peak decreased 37 per cent.

The Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief is available for download from www.verisigninc.com/en_US/why-verisign/research-trends/domain-name-industry-brief/index.xhtml.