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Domain Names

The Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief

Q1 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 first quarter of 2017 closed with approximately 330.6 million domain name registrations across all top-level domains (TLDs), an increase of approximately 1.3 million domain name registrations, or 0.4 percent over the fourth quarter of 2016.1,2 Domain name registrations have grown by 11.8 million, or 3.7 percent, year over year.1,2

Total country-code TLD (ccTLD) domain name registrations were approximately 143.1 million, a 0.3 percent increase over the fourth quarter of 2016, and a 1.7 percent increase year over year.1,2

The .com and .net TLDs had a combined total of approximately 143.6 million domain name registrations in the domain name base3 in the first quarter of 2017. This represents a 0.8 percent increase year over year. As of March 31, 2017, the .com domain name base totaled 128.4 million domain name registrations, while the .net domain name base totaled 15.2 million domain name registrations.

New .com and .net domain name registrations totaled 9.5 million during the first quarter of 2017. In the first quarter of 2016, new .com and .net domain name registrations totaled 10 million.

1. .tk is a ccTLD that is provided for free to individuals and businesses worldwide (http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20131216006048/en/Freenom-Closes-3M-Series-Funding#.UxeUGNJDv9s). The zone size for .tk was last estimated by Zooknic in Q4 2014 and this zone size was subsequently used in the Q4 2014 through Q2 2016 DNIBs. In Q3 2016, Zooknic reported a significant decline in the .tk zone and restated the estimated zone size of .tk for each quarter from Q4 2014 through Q3 2016 using a proprietary methodology. As a result, for comparative purposes of this DNIB to the Q1 2016 DNIB, Verisign has applied an updated estimate of the total zone size across all TLDs for Q1 2016 of 318.8 million and an updated estimate of the total ccTLD zone size for Q1 2016 of 140.6 million.

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, Q1 2017; Verisign, Q1 2017; Centralized Zone Data Service, Q1 2017

As of March 31, 2017, the largest TLDs were .com, .cn, .tk, .de, .net, .uk, .org, .ru, .nl and .xyz.1

Largest ccTLDs by Number of Reported Domain Names

Source: Zooknic, Q1 2017

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

Total ccTLD domain name registrations were approximately 143.1 million in the first quarter of 2017, with an increase of 408,242 domain name registrations, or a 0.3 percent increase compared to the fourth quarter of 2016.1,2 ccTLDs increased by approximately 2.4 million domain name registrations, or 1.7 percent, year over year.1,2 Without including .tk, ccTLD domain name registrations increased approximately 568,242 in the first quarter of 2017, a 0.5 percent increase compared to the fourth quarter of 2016 and ccTLDs increased by approximately 4.6 million domain name registrations, or 3.9 percent, year over year.

The top 10 ccTLDs, as of March 31, 2017, were .cn (China), .tk (Tokelau), .de (Germany), .uk (United Kingdom), .ru (Russian Federation), .nl (Netherlands), .br (Brazil), .eu (European Union), .au (Australia) and .it (Italy).1,2

As of March 31, 2017, there were 294 global ccTLD extensions delegated in the root, including Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs), with the top 10 ccTLDs composing 64.7 percent of all ccTLD domain name registrations.1,2

New gTLDs As Percentage of Total TLDs

Source: Centralized Zone Data Service, Q1 2017 and Zooknic, Q1 2017

As of March 31, 2017, new gTLDs (ngTLD) totaled 25.4 million domain name registrations, which represents 7.7 percent of total domain name registrations. The top 10 ngTLDs represented 64.1 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 first quarter of 2017.

Geographical New gTLDs As Percentage of Total Corresponding Geographical gTLDs

Source: Centralized Zone Data Service, Q1 2017 and Zooknic, Q1 2017

As of March 31, 2017, there were 37 ngTLDs delegated that meet the following criteria: has 1) a geographical focus and 2) more than 1,000 domain name registrations since entering general availability (GA). The chart above summarizes the domain name registrations as of March 31, 2017 for the listed geographical ngTLDs and the corresponding ccTLDs within the same geographic region. In addition, the chart highlights the top 10 geographical ngTLDs as a percentage of the total geographical ngTLDs.

Top 10 Trending Keywords in .com and .net in Q1 2017

This chart represents the top 10 trending keywords registered in English in .com and .net domain name registrations for the first quarter of 2017 and reflects the keywords in .com and .net domain name registrations with the highest percentage of registration growth relative to the preceding quarter.

Verisign publishes a monthly blog post highlighting domain name registration keyword trends.

The average sale price for the 10 .com domain names reported by DN Journal as sold in the aftermarket in Q1 2017. 4

4. Source: DN Journal (accessed April 24, 2017) 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 2016. 5

5. Source: VeriSign, Inc. data.

Domain Name Industry Brief Enhancements

For more than 10 years, the Domain Name Industry Brief has presented statistical and analytical research on the state of the domain name industry. The Domain Name Industry Brief is currently undergoing enhancements, including moving to a digital format. Some elements of the Domain Name Industry Brief are currently under evaluation, like the DNS Query Load data. Readers will continue to see updates to the Domain Name Industry Brief in future issues.

Learn More

To read the methodology or access the archives for the Domain Name Industry Brief, please go to Verisign.com/DNIBArchives. Email your comments or questions to domainbrief@verisign.com.