European ccTLD Growth Slowing But Still Higher Than gTLDs

CENTR logoIt may have a reputation for being one of the TLDs with the most phishing domains, but the number of .tk (Tokelau) domain names under management continues to soar. Registrations grew by 13.9 percent in the quarter ending August, according to the latest Centr DomainWire StatReport, with total registrations reaching 19.1 million for the ccTLD whose domain names are given away for free.

The report notes .de (Germany) continues to progressively grow and maintain its second place with 15.5m DUM while .uk (United Kingdom) comes in third with 10.6m. But .cn (China) continues to rapidly grow, again, and is now back to 7.8m.

Within Europe, at the end of August 2013 there were just over 65.1m DUM while over the past 12 months, overall net growth is 5.9 percent – an increase of around 3.6m. The largest contribution to the increase came from .ru with 780,000.

The ccTLDs with the largest growth rate within Europe were .me (Montenegro) where registrations grew by 5.2 percent in the quarter ending August, followed by .ru (Russian Federation – 4.1%), Cyprus (.cy – 3.8%), .pt (Portugal – 3.4%) and then .is (Iceland – 2.9%).

The report also shows the number of domain names per person. This statistic is skewed by how the ccTLD is marketed, with .me ranking highly due to it being marketed more as a gTLD. The Centr report shows that .li (Liechtenstein) has the highest penetration with 181 domains per 100 people for the 37,000 people in the country, followed by .me with 116. Then follows .nl (Netherlands – 32), .ch (Switzerland – 23), .dk (Denmark – 22), .de (19) and then .uk (17).

The report also notes that growth rates in European ccTLDs have slowed over the past 12 months. The growth rate for the year to August 2013 was 5.9 percent (compared to the 12 months to April 2012 whose growth rate was 6.6 percent) but this was on average 2.5 percent higher than for gTLDs globally. The average monthly growth of all European ccTLDs is 0.47 percent. Globally the number of ccTLD registrations grew by one percentage point in the 12 months to August 2013, while gTLDs share dropped by the corresponding percentage point.

Marketing is also looked at in the report, with how ccTLDs are marketed. Registries use traditional as well as new marketing tools, as shows the below graph which is based on a June 2013 survey amongst CENTR members. The same survey shows that a large majority of the registries have, or are developing, a formal marketing plan. The traditional ‘offline’ channels such as printed media, TV and radio are used by several registries while others cooperate with registrars with sponsorship arrangements and co-marketing initiatives and programmes.

The report is available for download from centr.org/system/files/share/domainwire_stat_report_2013_2.pdf.