New TLDs Not Seen As A Threat To .DE: eco Survey

DENIC logoDENIC have commented on the release of the latest Registrar Atlas report from eco, the German internet industry association. The annual report has this year expanded to cover 300 registrars in eight countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, France, United Kingdom, Bulgaria and Russia).

One of the main findings from the survey was that “more than 80 percent of the participating German registrars do not expect the new Top Level Domains (TLDs) to cause a drop in domain registrations under the national country code .de.”

Other findings include that:

  • registrars do not expect existing TLDs to become less relevant with many striving to obtain additional accreditations for existing TLDs rather than for new ones
  • eight percent of registrars do not intend to offer any new TLDs while around the same number intend to offer the full range of new TLDs
  • registrars see an increasing use of apps and search machines on mobile devices as a threat to their business.

The DENIC news release is republished in full below:

DENIC supports largest international survey of domain industry [news release]
Registrar Atlas 2013 underpins continued success of the German Top Level Domain .de

This week, the Association of the German Internet Industry, eco, officially published the results of the largest international study of the domain industry, the eco Registrar Atlas 2013, which is traditionally sponsored by DENIC. About 300 companies providing domain names in 8 countries participated in the third edition of the study. Alongside the German-speaking countries Germany, Austria and Switzerland, the so-called D-A-CH region), and the Netherlands, for the first time France, Great Britain, Bulgaria and Russia were included. In view of the imminent launch of new address endings (Top Level Domains) on the Internet, the survey gives interesting insight in the major differences and similarities of the regional markets and highlights general trends and assessments of the industry.

According to the study, more than 80 percent of the participating German registrars do not expect the new Top Level Domains (TLDs) to cause a drop in domain registrations under the national country code .de. Anyway remains the expansion .de the most successful country-code TLD in the world, so shows the study. Not only does it belong to the 10 Top Level Domains sold most frequently by German registrars, scoring 90 percent it also is among the first of the top league. Additionally, the study proves Germany to be the only of the investigated markets that is attractive not only to national but also to users from outside of the country.

Thus, the majority of the providers interviewed in the course of the study currently do not expect the existing Top Level Domains to become less relevant; many of them rather strive to obtain additional accreditations for existing TLDs than for new ones anyway. Furthermore, the registrars rather assess the chances of new address expansions on the basis of a specific Top Level Domain than linking it to the fact that it is a geographic or generic ending. This is important to know, since the registrars in their role as gate keepers decisively contribute to the success or failure of the new TLDs.

Among the 188 respondents from Germany, which account for about 63 percent of the study participants in general, a surprisingly high share of 8 percent does not intend to offer any new Top Level Domains. The same small percentage is achieved on the other end of the spectrum, i.e. companies who plan to offer the full range of new TLDs, which mirrors certain reluctance in the industry. The large majority will expand its own portfolio by cooperating with resellers. Most of the companies do not plan extensive marketing measures for the new Top Level Domains.

Accordingly, three thirds of the interviewed German registrars assume the share of new TLDs in the overall inventory of domains administered by them in five years’ time to be less than 10 percent, a rather conservative approach. DENIC-CEO Sabine Dolderer does not expect strong competition for the German TLD .de either: “Whether the price-performance ratio of the new address endings will be competitive with the established TLDs remains to be seen. But in the long run, this will be the decisive factor for such endings to be accepted by the customers.”

A larger threat to the industry see the domain providers in the increasing use of apps and search machines on mobile devices. Amounting to 40 percent, the share of German registrars who consider it a critical development for the domain business that domain names are increasingly replaced by search machines for finding information, has not changed compared to the preceding year. The share of those, who fear that their customers might prefer vanity URLs of social media providers to the domain names they are offering, in contrast, has dropped considerately from 37 percent in 2012 to 21 percent in this year’s study.

The data on which the study is based were compiled from the start of November 2012 until the end of February 2013 from about 300 respondents by means of an online questionnaire. You can download the Registrar Atlas free of charge at numbers.eco.de.

Background Information:

eco (www.eco.de) is the Association of the German Internet economy. For more than 15 years it has been representing the interests of the German Internet economy in political arenas and in international bodies. With its more than 650 member companies, eco is shaping the Internet. The association develops markets, promotes technologies and forms frameworks. In its competency network, eco deals with infrastructure issues, legal and regulatory questions, innovative applications and the use of contents.

DENIC eG (www.denic.de) is responsible for managing .de, Germany’s Top Level Domain and the world’s third largest Internet registry with more than 15.4 million domains. It runs a worldwide name server network comprising 17 sites operated by the Cooperative itself and more than 30 complementary sites run by an external name service provider to enhance resilience of the network. Furthermore, DENIC provides all domain database and registration system resources for .de and also operates the German ENUM domain (.9.4.e164.arpa), along with all .de and ENUM related whois lookup services.

Since its inception in 1996, as a private, not-for-profit cooperative, DENIC’s mission is to fulfil a public purpose by supporting a fast, secure and reliable access to German Internet pages and e-mail addresses, through the excellence of its extensive name server infrastructure and services, on a 24/7 basis. Today, nearly 300 companies from the IT and telecommunications industry in Germany and abroad offer .de registration services and support the independent, self-regulatory approach of the Cooperative as active members.

DENIC is also committed to be a leading force in shaping the continued development of the open, decentralized and secure Internet, in a close collaborative effort with international Internet bodies including ICANN, RIPE, IETF, and CENTR.

Based in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, DENIC employs 120 staff and has an annual turnover of about €15m.