.RU Increases Registration Fee in 2018 and Domainers Bolt

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Registrations in Russia’s ccTLD dropped by 351,130 in 2018, or 6.5%, primarily due to an increase in the registration fee on 1 July which led to domain investors, described as those registrants with portfolios of more than 100 domain names, according to the Russian Domain Space 2018: Outcomes and Development Prospects report released in July.

Within the Russian Federation’s 2 largest TLDs at the end of 2018 the report notes there were 5,017,822 .ru domain names making it the fifth largest ccTLD and ninth largest TLD. For .РФ, it retained its position as the largest Cyrillic national top-level domain and was 19th among all European national domains with 791,902 domain names. This was a drop of 9.0% for the year.There were also 1.4 million new .ru domain names registered and 200,000 in РФ. It was the second year in a row where there were declines in both .ru and .РФ, although the declines were larger for both TLDs than in 2017. In total there were 6.2 million domain names registered to Russians.

There are also a number of Russian new generic top-level domains that combined had 78,700 registrations among the 5 at the end of 2018 with each one declining during the year, down a total of 82,000, or 51% year-on-year, largely due to a significant number of registrations terminated in .РУС where registrations dropped from 120,302 to 40,438. But .РУС still maintains its position as the largest Russian new gTLD with twice as many registrations as the second largest: .moscow (20,199).

For .ru, almost 4 in 5 (79%) are registered to individuals and the remaining to organisations with each registrant having on average 2.7 domain names. Almost 83% of .ru domain names are registered by Russian citizens, the remaining abroad in over 200 countries. Slightly less than 1% of .ru registrations are in Ukraine, and 0.5% in Belarus. The distribution by Russian regions shows that registrations are concentrated in Moscow and the Moscow Region (31.5%), followed by St. Petersburg (7.2%). The Krasnodar Territory, the Sverdlovsk Region (2.3% each) and the Chelyabinsk Region (1.8%) also have high registration activity in .ru.

For .РФ, the share of non-residents is almost 7% or 55,083 domain names. Since open registration began in .РФ eight and a half years ago, this share has increased from 2.7% to 7% and continues to grow steadily. The report explains this through abolishing the restriction that existed in .РФ until November 2011, which allowed only citizens of Russia to register second-level domains in the first year of open registration. The growing share of non-residents in .РФ also shows that users around the world are gradually getting used to internationalised domains and more and more often find them useful for their own needs.

To download the Russian Domain Space 2018: Outcomes and Development Prospects report in full, go to: https://cctld.ru/files/stats/report_ru-2019_eng.pdf