Domain Names

The Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief

Q1 2018

As a global leader in domain names and internet security, Verisign reviews the state of the domain name industry through a variety of statistical and analytical research. Verisign provides this briefing to highlight important trends in domain name registrations, including key performance indicators and growth opportunities, to industry analysts, media and businesses.

Executive Summary

The first quarter of 2018 closed with approximately 333.8 million domain name registrations across all top-level domains (TLDs), an increase of approximately 1.4 million domain name registrations, or 0.4 percent, compared to the fourth quarter of 2017.1,2 Domain name registrations have grown by approximately 3.2 million, or 1.0 percent, year over year.1,2

Total country-code TLD (ccTLD) domain name registrations were approximately 146.3 million at the end of the first quarter of 2018, with an increase of approximately 0.2 million domain name registrations, or 0.1 percent, compared to the fourth quarter of 2017.1,2 ccTLDs increased by approximately 3.2 million domain name registrations, or 2.2 percent, year over year.1,2

The .com and .net TLDs had a combined total of approximately 148.3 million domain name registrations in the domain name base3 at the end of the first quarter of 2018, with an increase of approximately 1.9 million domain name registrations, or 1.3 percent, compared to the fourth quarter of 2017. The .com and .net TLDs had a combined increase of approximately 4.6 million domain name registrations, or 3.2 percent, year over year. As of Mar. 31, 2018, the .com domain name base totaled approximately 133.9 million domain name registrations, while the .net domain name base totaled approximately 14.4 million domain name registrations.

New .com and .net domain name registrations totaled approximately 9.6 million at the end of the first quarter of 2018, compared to 9.5 million domain name registrations for the first quarter of 2017.

Total new gTLD (ngTLD) domain name registrations were approximately 20.2 million at the end of the first quarter of 2018, with a decrease of 0.4 million domain name registrations, or 2.0 percent, compared to the fourth quarter of 2017. ngTLDs decreased by approximately 5.3 million domain name registrations, or 20.7 percent, year over year.

1. The figure(s) includes domain names in the .tk ccTLD. .tk is a free ccTLD that provides free domain names to individuals and businesses. Revenue is generated by monetizing expired domain names. Domain names no longer in use by the registrant or expired are taken back by the registry and the residual traffic is sold to advertising networks. As such, there are no deleted .tk domain names. (https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20131216006048/en/Freenom-Closes-3M-Series-Funding#.UxeUGNJDv9s).

2. The generic top-level domain (gTLD) and ccTLD data cited in this brief: (i) includes ccTLD Internationalized Domain Names, (ii) is an estimate as of the time this brief was developed and (iii) is subject to change as more complete data is received.

3. The domain name base is the active zone plus the number of domain names that are registered but not configured for use in the respective Top-Level Domain zone file plus the number of domain names that are in a client or server hold status.

Top 10 Largest TLDs by Number of Reported Domain Names

Source: Zooknic, Q1 2018; Verisign, Q1 2018; Centralized Zone Data Service, Q1 2018

As of Mar. 31, 2018, the largest TLDs were .com, .cn, .tk, .de, .net, .uk, .org, .info, .ru and .nl.1

Largest ccTLDs by Number of Reported Domain Names

Source: Zooknic, Q1 2018

For further information on the Domain Name Industry Brief methodology, please click here.

Total ccTLD domain name registrations were approximately 146.3 million at the end of the first quarter of 2018, with an increase of approximately 0.2 million domain name registrations, or 0.1 percent, compared to the fourth quarter of 2017.1,2 ccTLDs increased by approximately 3.2 million domain name registrations, or 2.2 percent, year over year.1,2 Without including .tk, ccTLD domain name registrations increased approximately 0.2 million in the first quarter of 2018, or 0.2 percent, compared to the fourth quarter of 2017. ccTLDs increased by approximately 1.9 million domain name registrations, or 1.5 percent, year over year.

The top 10 ccTLDs, as of Mar. 31, 2018, were .cn (China), .tk (Tokelau), .de (Germany), .uk (United Kingdom), .ru (Russian Federation), .nl (Netherlands), .br (Brazil), .eu (European Union), .fr (France) and .au (Australia).1,2

As of Mar. 31, 2018, there were 302 global ccTLD extensions delegated in the root zone, including Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs), with the top 10 ccTLDs composing 65.3 percent of all ccTLD domain name registrations.1,2

New gTLDs As Percentage of Total TLDs

Source: Centralized Zone Data Service, Q1 2018 and Zooknic, Q1 2018

Total ngTLD domain name registrations were approximately 20.2 million at the end of the first quarter of 2018, with a decrease of approximately 0.4 million domain name registrations, or 2.0 percent, compared to the fourth quarter of 2017. ngTLDs decreased by approximately 5.3 million domain name registrations, or 20.7 percent, year over year. The top 10 ngTLDs represented 51.1 percent of all ngTLD domain name registrations. The following chart shows ngTLD domain name registations as a percentage of overall TLD domain name registrations, of which they represent 6.0 percent, and also the top 10 ngTLDs as a percentage of all ngTLD domain name registrations for the first quarter of 2018.

Geographical New gTLDs As Percentage of Total Corresponding Geographical TLDs

Source: Centralized Zone Data Service, Q1 2018 and Zooknic, Q1 2018

As of Mar. 31, 2018, there were 39 ngTLDs delegated that meet the following criteria: 1) has a geographical focus and 2) has more than 1,000 domain name registrations since entering general availability (GA). The chart on the left summarizes the domain name registrations as of Mar. 31, 2018 for the listed ccTLDs and the corresponding geographical ngTLDs within the same geographic region. In addition, the chart on the right highlights the top 10 geographical ngTLDs as a percentage of the total geographical TLDs.

Top 10 Trending Keywords in .com and .net in Q1 2018

This chart represents the top 10 trending keywords registered in English in .com and .net domain name registrations for the first quarter of 2018.

Verisign publishes a monthly blog post highlighting domain name registration keyword trends that reflects trends from the previous month. Using the same methodology, this list reflects the keywords with the highest percentage of registration growth relative to the preceding quarter.

This method is intended to highlight the new and changing keywords seen in .com and .net domain name registrations. By evaluating the keywords with the largest percentage shift, the top 10 that have seen a significant shift in end-user interest quarter over quarter can be identified.

The average sale price for the top 10 .com domain names reported by DN Journal as sold in the aftermarket in Q1 2018.4

4. Source: DN Journal (accessed Apr. 17, 2018) http://www.dnjournal.com/ytd-sales-charts.htm.

Growth of .com and .net domain names redirecting to popular global social media and e-commerce sites compared to Q1 2017. 5

5. Source: VeriSign, Inc. data and Q1 2017 DNIB.

Learn More

To view the average daily number of queries Verisign processes, please go to the "What We Do" section at Verisign.com.6 To access the archives for the Domain Name Industry Brief, please go to Verisign.com/DNIBArchives. Email your comments or questions to domainbrief@verisign.com.

6. Source: The "What We Do" section is located on Verisign.com under the "About Verisign" tab and under the sub-tab "Overview."