Johnny Cash sang in the song Five Feet High and Rising, “how high’s the water mama?” The reply finished with “five feet high and rising.” If he were alive today he could sing “how many domain names papa?” The answer would be “240 million and rising.”
The latest Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief for the second quarter 2012 shows there is a base of 240 million domain names globally, with just over 58 percent (229.7 million) of these from generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) and almost 42 percent (100.3m) of these for country code Top Level Domains.
Overall growth in domain names continues at a strong clip with 7.3 million domain names added to the base in the second quarter, a growth of 3.1 percent, while in the 12 months to the end of June registrations grew by 11.9 percent or 25.5 million.
Registrations of ccTLD domains grew at a faster rate than those of gTLDs, with registrations growing 5.7 percent (5.4 million) in the second quarter, and 18.5 percent (15.7m) in the year to the end of June.
Growth in the .COM and .NET zones was at a slower rate – 1.6 percent in the second quarter and 7.8 percent in the year to the end of June. And for the first time Verisign has separated out .COM and .NET registrations with there being 103.7m and 14.8m registrations respectively.
New .COM and .NET registrations totalled 8.4m during the second quarter of 2012, reflecting a 4.2 percent increase in new registrations in the year to the end of June.
The big mover on the TLD charts was .TK, moving from the seventh largest TLD in the first quarter of 2012 to being ranked the fourth largest TLD in the second quarter, due to registrations being free. This means that following .COM (now with 104.9 million registrations) comes .DE (Germany – 15.2m registrations), then .NET (14.8m), TK, .UK (United Kingdom – 10.1m), .ORG (10.1m), .INFO (7.5m), .NL (Netherlands – 5.0m), .RU (Russian Federation – 4.0m plus another 608,000 .РФ registrations) and then .CN (China – 4.5m).*
Among the 20 largest ccTLDs, three exceeded four percent growth for the quarter: .TK, .CN and .BR (Brazil). Last quarter, five of the top 20 exceeded the same threshold.
As of the end of June, there were 280 ccTLD extensions globally that are delegated in the root (including Internationalised Domain Names), with the top 10 ccTLDs comprising 60 percent of all registrations. The top ten ccTLDs in order were .DE, .TK, .UK, .NL, .RU, .CN, .EU, .BR, .AU and .AR.
The report also gives the .COM/.NET renewal rate for the quarter which was 72.9 percent, down from 73.9 percent for the first quarter of 2012. Renewal rates vary quarter over quarter based on the composition of the expiring name base and the contribution of specific registrars while Verisign estimated that 87 percent of .COM and .NET domain names resolve to a website.
To download the complete Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief for the second quarter 2012, along with earlier reports, go to:
* Where possible these figures have been updated using current registry statistics or figures from registrarstats.com.