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Domain Names

The Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief

Q4 2017

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 fourth quarter of 2017 closed with approximately 332.4 million domain name registrations across all top-level domains (TLDs), an increase of approximately 1.7 million domain name registrations, or 0.5 percent from the third quarter of 2017.1,2 Domain name registrations have grown by 3.1 million, or 0.9 percent, year over year.1,2

Total country-code TLD (ccTLD) domain name registrations were approximately 146.1 million, a 1.0 percent increase over the third quarter of 2017, and a 2.4 percent increase year over year.1,2

The .com and .net TLDs had a combined total of approximately 146.4 million domain name registrations in the domain name base3 at the end of the fourth quarter of 2017. This represents a 2.9 percent increase year over year. As of Dec. 31, 2017, the .com domain name base totaled 131.9 million domain name registrations, while the .net domain name base totaled 14.5 million domain name registrations.

New .com and .net domain name registrations totaled 9.0 million during the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to 8.8 million for the fourth quarter in 2016.

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). The .tk zone reflected here is based on data from Q3 2016, which is the most recent data available.

2. The generic top-level (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, Q4 2017; Verisign, Q4 2017; Centralized Zone Data Service, Q4 2017

As of Dec. 31, 2017, 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, Q4 2017

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

Total ccTLD domain name registrations were approximately 146.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, with an increase of 1.4 million domain name registrations, or a 1.0 percent increase compared to the third quarter of 2017.1,2 ccTLDs increased by approximately 3.4 million domain name registrations, or 2.4 percent, year over year.1,2 Without including .tk, ccTLD domain name registrations increased approximately 0.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, a 0.5 percent increase compared to the third quarter of 2017 and ccTLDs increased by approximately 2.3 million domain name registrations, or 1.8 percent, year over year.

The top 10 ccTLDs, as of Dec. 31, 2017, 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 Dec. 31, 2017, there were 302 global ccTLD extensions delegated in the root, including Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs), with the top 10 ccTLDs composing 65.5 percent of all ccTLD domain name registrations.1,2

New gTLDs As Percentage of Total TLDs

Source: Centralized Zone Data Service, Q4 2017 and Zooknic, Q4 2017

As of Dec. 31, 2017, total new gTLD (ngTLD) domain name registrations were approximately 20.6 million or 6.2 percent of total domain name registrations across all TLDs. This is a decrease of approximately 0.5 million domain name registrations, or 2.4 percent, compared to the third quarter of 2017. ngTLDs decreased by approximately 5.0 million domain name registrations, or 19.5 percent, year over year. The top 10 ngTLDs represented 48.9 percent of all ngTLD domain name registrations. The following charts show ngTLD domain name registrations as a percentage of overall TLD domain name registrations, and also the top 10 ngTLDs as a percentage of all ngTLD domain name registrations for the fourth quarter of 2017.

Geographical New gTLDs As Percentage of Total Corresponding Geographical gTLDs

Source: Centralized Zone Data Service, Q4 2017 and Zooknic, Q4 2017

As of Dec. 31, 2017, 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 Dec. 31, 2017 for the listed geographical ngTLDs and the corresponding ccTLDs 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 ngTLDs.

Top 10 Trending Keywords in .com and .net in Q4 2017

This chart represents the top 10 trending keywords registered in English in .com and .net domain name registrations for the fourth quarter of 2017.

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 Q4 2017. 4

4. Source: DN Journal (accessed Jan. 12, 2018) http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/domainsales/2017/2017-top-100-sales-charts.htm.

Growth of .com and .net domain names redirecting to popular global social media and e-commerce sites compared to Q4 2016. 5

5. Source: VeriSign, Inc. data and Q4 2016 DNIB.

Learn More

To view the average daily number of queries Verisign processes, please go to the "What We Do" section at Verisign.com6. 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."