Domain Names

The Domain Name Industry Brief

Q3 2021 Data and Analysis

As a global provider of domain name registry services and internet infrastructure, Verisign reviews the state of the domain name industry each quarter through a variety of statistical and analytical research, as well as relevant industry insight. Verisign provides this brief to highlight important trends in domain name registrations, including key performance indicators and growth opportunities, to industry analysts, media and businesses.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The third quarter of 2021 closed with 364.6 million domain name registrations across all top-level domains, a decrease of 2.7 million domain name registrations, or 0.7%, compared to the second quarter of 2021.1,2 Domain name registrations have decreased by 6.1 million, or 1.6%, year over year.1,2

The .com and .net TLDs had a combined total of 172.1 million domain name registrations in the domain name base3 at the end of the third quarter of 2021, an increase of 1.5 million domain name registrations, or 0.9%, compared to the second quarter of 2021. The .com and .net TLDs had a combined increase of 8.3 million domain name registrations, or 5.1%, year over year. As of Sept. 30, 2021, the .com domain name base totaled 158.6 million domain name registrations, and the .net domain name base totaled 13.5 million domain name registrations.

New .com and .net domain name registrations totaled 10.7 million at the end of the third quarter of 2021, compared to 10.9 million domain name registrations at the end of the third quarter of 2020.

Total country-code TLD domain name registrations were 152.9 million at the end of the third quarter of 2021, a decrease of 4.8 million domain name registrations, or 3.0%, compared to the second quarter of 2021.1,2 ccTLDs decreased by 7.7 million domain name registrations, or 4.8%, year over year.1,2

Total new gTLD domain name registrations were 23.5 million at the end of the third quarter of 2021, an increase of 0.6 million domain name registrations, or 2.7%, compared to the second quarter of 2021. ngTLDs decreased by 6.7 million domain name registrations, or 22.2%, year over year.

1. The figure(s) includes domain names in the .tk ccTLD. .tk is a 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. The .tk zone reflected here is based on data from Q4 2020, which is the most recent data available. https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20131216006048/en/Freenom-Closes-3M-Series-Funding#.UxeUGNJDv9s

2. The generic TLD, ngTLD and ccTLD data cited in this brief: (i) includes ccTLD Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs), (ii) is an estimate as of the time this brief was developed and (iii) is subject to change as more complete data is received. Some numbers in this brief may reflect standard rounding.

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 TLD zone file plus the number of domain names that are in a client or server hold status. The .com and .net domain name registration figures are as reported in Verisign’s most recent SEC filings.

TOP 10 LARGEST TLDS BY NUMBER OF REPORTED DOMAIN NAMES

Source: ZookNIC, Q3 2021; Verisign, Q3 2021; Centralized Zone Data Service, Q3 2021

As of Sept. 30, 2021, the largest TLDs by number of reported domain names were .com, .tk, .de, .cn, .net, .uk, .org, .nl, .ru and .br.1,2,4

4. Line break indicates that the .com line has been shortened for display considerations.

TOP 10 LARGEST CCTLDs BY NUMBER OF REPORTED DOMAIN NAMES

Source: ZookNIC, Q3 2021

For further information on The Domain Name Industry Brief methodology, please refer to the last page of this brief.

Total ccTLD domain name registrations were 152.9 million at the end of the third quarter of 2021, a decrease of 4.8 million domain name registrations, or 3.0%, compared to the second quarter of 2021.1,2 ccTLDs decreased by 7.7 million domain name registrations, or 4.8%, year over year.1,2 Excluding .tk, ccTLD domain name registrations decreased by 4.8 million in the third quarter of 2021, or 3.6%, compared to the second quarter of 2021. ccTLDs, excluding .tk, decreased by 4.9 million domain name registrations, or 3.7%, year over year.

The top 10 ccTLDs, as of Sept. 30, 2021, were .tk, .de, .cn, .uk, .nl, .ru, .br, .fr, .eu and .it.1,2 As of Sept. 30, 2021, there were 308 global ccTLD extensions delegated in the root zone, including IDNs, with the top 10 ccTLDs comprising 62.7% of all ccTLD domain name registrations.1,2

ngTLDS AS PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL TLDS

Source: ZookNIC, Q3 2021; Verisign, Q3 2021; and Centralized Zone Data Service, Q3 2021

The top 10 ngTLDs represented 51.5% of all ngTLD domain name registrations. The following chart shows ngTLD domain name registrations as a percentage of overall TLD domain name registrations, of which they represent 6.4%. In addition, the chart on the right highlights the top 10 ngTLDs as a percentage of all ngTLD domain name registrations for the third quarter of 2021.

GEOGRAPHICAL ngTLDs AS PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL CORRESPONDING GEOGRAPHICAL TLDs

Source: ZookNIC, Q3 2021 and Centralized Zone Data Service, Q3 2021

As of Sept. 30, 2021, there were 47 ngTLDs delegated that met the following criteria: 1) had a geographical focus and 2) had more than 1,000 domain name registrations since entering general availability. The chart on the left summarizes the domain name registrations as of Sept. 30, 2021, 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.

ABOUT VERISIGN

Verisign, a global provider of domain name registry services and internet infrastructure, enables internet navigation for many of the world’s most recognized domain names. Verisign enables the security, stability and resiliency of key internet infrastructure and services, including providing root zone maintainer services, operating two of the 13 global internet root servers and providing registration services and authoritative resolution for the .com and .net top-level domains, which support the majority of global e-commerce. To learn more about what it means to be Powered by Verisign, please visit verisign.com.

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METHODOLOGY

The data presented in this brief, including quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year metrics, reflects information available to Verisign at the time of this brief and may incorporate changes and adjustments to previously reported periods based on additional information received since the date of such prior reports, so as to more accurately reflect the growth rate of domain name registrations. In addition, the data available for this brief may not include data for all of the 308 ccTLD extensions that are delegated to the root zone, and includes only the data available at the time of the preparation of this brief.

For gTLD and ccTLD data cited with ZookNIC as a source, the ZookNIC analysis uses a comparison of domain name root zone file changes supplemented with other authoritative data sources. For more information, see ZookNIC.com.