Global Domain Registration Growth Slows With .NET In Decline: Verisign DNIB

The number of domain names under management around the world is creeping closer towards the 300 million mark, with four million added, an increase of 1.6 percent, across all top level domains in the third quarter of 2014 taking the total to 284 million according to the latest Domain Name Industry Brief published by Verisign.

For the 12 months to the end of September 2014, registrations, or domains under management, increased by 18.1 million or 6.8 percent. This compares to the 12 months to the end of September 2012 when registrations grew by 26.4 million, or 12 percent.

For .com and .net, while they experienced aggregate growth in the third quarter of 2014, .net is in decline in total registration numbers. The combined total for the two gTLDs was 130.0 million in the adjusted zone for .com and .net, up 10.1 million in two years. This represents a 3.3 percent increase year over year compared to a 7.1 percent increase for the equivalent 12 month period two years ago. As of 30 September 2014, the base of registered names in .com equalled 114.9 million names, while .net equalled 15.1 million names compared to 105 million and 14.9 million respectively two years ago.

Looking back at previous DNIBs, .net registrations peaked at around 15.2 million at the end of 2013 and early 2014. But since then the gTLD has shed around 300,000 domains coinciding with the introduction of new gTLDs.

New .com and .net registrations totalled 8.7 million during the third quarter of 2014, compared to 7.8 million in 2012 and 8.3 million in 2013.

The top 10 largest gTLDs and ccTLDs marketed as gTLDs by zone size were .com, .tk, .net, .org, .info, .biz, .co, .mobi, .me and .tv, as of 30 September, accounting for for 179.2 million domain name registrations, or 63.1 percent of the total global domain name registrations.

Total ccTLD registrations were approximately 132.1 million in the third quarter, with the addition of 3.2 million domain names, or a 2.5 percent increase compared to the second quarter of 2014. This is an increase of approximately 12.8 million domain names, or 10.7 percent, from a year ago.

The combined ccTLDs have also been experiencing a slowing of growth. In the year to the end of September 2012, there were 18 million domain names added, or an increase of 20.7 percent.

Among the 10 largest ccTLDs, .tk grew the fastest, at 9.1 percent overall quarter over quarter growth. There were 285 global ccTLD extensions delegated in the root (including Internationalised Domain Names), with the top 10 ccTLDs comprising 67.1 percent of all ccTLD registrations.

For the new gTLDs, there were 413 new gTLDs delegated into the root at the end of the quarter, with 91 new gTLDs delegated during the third quarter of 2014. New gTLD registrations totalled 2.0 million, or 1.3 percent of total gTLD registrations.

During the third quarter of 2014, Verisign’s average daily Domain Name System (DNS) query load was 114 billion (67 billion in 2012) across all TLDs operated by Verisign, with a peak of 318 billion (102 billion in 2012), the highest average and peak query loads in a single quarter to date. Compared to the previous quarter, the daily average increased 20.1 percent and the peak increased 55.6 percent. Year over year, the daily average query load increased 40 percent and the peak query load increased 202.1 percent.

For those interested, this quarter’s DNIB featured article is “Cryptocurrency and the Domain Name System” offering a primer on cryptocurrency and the DNS.

Copies of the 2014 third quarter Domain Name Industry Brief, as well as previous reports, can be obtained at VerisignInc.com/DNIB.