CENTR released their latest CENTRstats Global TLD Report this week, reporting the global TLD market grew 2.0% in the 12 months to the end of June to around 337 million domain names, which compared to Verisign’s latest Domain Name Industry Brief which found that there were around 339.8 million domain names, an increase of 2.4% in the same 12 months. The CENTR report found over half (54%) of all domain names registered in Europe were for the local ccTLD.
While the CENTR and Verisign reports cover many of the same things, like total domain name registrations, they have different emphases. One of these is looking at regional growth rates. Across the regions, CENTR found average ccTLD growth has continued positively with the highest growth rates found in Africa, where ccTLDs such as .ng (Nigeria), .ke (Kenya) and .za (South Africa) have seen strengthening growth in registrations. Other ccTLDs around the world that are growing strongly include .ai (Anguilla, often promoted as a TLD for artificial intelligence), .uz (Uzbekistan), .nu (Niue), .az (Azerbaijan) and .mx (Mexico).
CENTR also found that of the 15 largest top level domains, 10 had positive growth rates and 5 declined over the 12 months to the end of June. Those increasing where .com, .de, .uk, .nl, .br, .eu, .fr, .au, .it and .ca, while those declining were .net, .org, .info, .ru and .top. Of Verisign’s 2 main TLDs, .com grew 5.2% while .net declined 6.0%.
Another area of difference for CENTR over Verisign was an emphasis on Europe, which is a given as CENTR is the Council of European National Top-Level Domain Registries. European ccTLDs grew a combined 2.9% in the 12 months to the end of June to 72 million domain names.
Of domain names registered within the European region, ccTLDs make up an estimated 62% of the market with the rest split between gTLDs – .com (28%), .net (4%), .org (2%) and other generic top level domains (4%).
CENTR have noted that over the past 2 years, ccTLDs in Europe have seen a significant stabilisation of the long-term average growth rates. Most are growing in the range of 2% to 4% annually. This stability is also reflected in annualised add and renewal rates, which average 18.6% and 80.4% respectively. However, the average deletion rate of the top 25 largest ccTLDs has been increasing marginally over the course of 2018.
In many European countries, the local ccTLD is the dominant TLD in terms of local registrations, with an average market share of 54% (including non-local ccTLDs such as .eu). However, analysis of the top 500 web pages shows that .com holds higher visibility in page views, although it’s worth noting that many of .com sites in the top 500 are some of the most visited sites globally.
For gTLDs, they grew 1.6% for the 12 months, taking their total to 189 million. With the exception of legacy gTLDs such as .com, .org, etc., many new gTLDs are still in growth phase with add ratios averaging 40% and renewals still relatively low. Average add and park ratios are both stable and deletion rates have been declining over the past 12 months.