.eu and it’s stablemates ею and .ευ continued to shed domain name registrations as Brexit approached, with total registrations across all 3 TLDs decreasing from 3,617,536 (3,581,478 for .eu) at the end of the third quarter of 2019 to 3,606,311 (3,579,689 for .eu) at the end of the fourth quarter, EURid has announced in its Q4 2019 Progress Report. This EURid attributed to continuous uncertainties surrounding Brexit and the .eu extension.
The drop in registrations for the quarter for EURid’s 3 top-level domains was 11,225, 1,789 for .eu, while in the United Kingdom alone, registrations dropped 4,709 for the quarter from 154,733 to 150,024. By the end of 2020 it’s likely all 150,024 will either have been deleted, with a handful transferred to, for example, another part of the company with an address in an EU country. The decrease for the quarter in percentage terms was 37.7% and 3.0% for the calendar year.
As per previous Brexit advice, and with the United Kingdom entering a so-called “transition period” as of 31 January when it officially left the European Union, current UK registrants will continue to be able to hold and register a .eu domain name. For now. But it’s most likely that on 31 December 2020 they will lose their .eu domains.
During the quarter registrations of .eu, .ею and .ευ domains jumped by a half (48.5%) in Norway, while there were also significant growth in Estonia (11.4%) and Greece (5.7%) with the latter’s increase likely to be largely due to the recent launch of .ею. In the 2019 calendar year, registrations grew by 10.9% in Norway, 6.4% in Estonia and 5.1% in Greece.
The largest country by total registrants of .eu, .ею and .ευ domains continues to be Germany with 979,797 registrations followed by the Netherlands (466,741) and France (326,998).
There were 161,690 new registrations for .eu in the fourth quarter, 34,676 internationalised domain names under .eu, 1,675 IDNs under .eu in Cyrillic and 2,738 IDNs under .eu in Greek. There were also 13,055 new multi-year registrations in the fourth quarter.
There’s an average renewal rate of 80% for the 3 TLDs which compares favourably to, for example, .com and .net, whose renewal rate for the third quarter of 2019 was 73.7%, according to the most recent Verisign financial results.
Other developments throughout the quarter highlighted by EURid included:
- participation in the Codeweek initiative for the fourth year running, with ten free workshops and interactive sessions for children and teachers;
- winning Registry of the Year at the 2019 CENTR Awards;
- launching the new eligibility criteria, extending the registration of .eu domain names to all EU citizens living around the world;
- adding a third extension to the portfolio – .ευ, the .eu in Greek;
- launching the Abuse Prevention and Early Warning System (APEWS) in order to detect malicious registrations.
In addition, other high points of the quarter included the 2019 .eu Web Awards Gala on 20 November in Brussels where the winners were announced, winning the Eco (Association of the Internet Industry) Award for our APEWS platform under the Domain Category on 21 November, and the presentation of the 2019 IDN World Report at the IGF meeting in Berlin on 27 November.