Domain Names

The Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief

Q1 2020

As a global provider of domain name registry services and internet infrastructure, 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 2020 closed with 366.8 million domain name registrations across all top-level domains (TLDs), an increase of 4.5 million domain name registrations, or 1.2 percent, compared to the fourth quarter of 2019.1,2 Domain name registrations have grown by 14.9 million, or 4.2 percent, year over year.1,2

Total country-code TLD (ccTLD) domain name registrations were 157.4 million at the end of the first quarter of 2020, a decrease of 0.2 million domain name registrations, or 0.1 percent, compared to the fourth quarter of 2019.1,2 ccTLDs increased by 0.6 million domain name registrations, or 0.4 percent, year over year.1,2

The .com and .net TLDs had a combined total of 160.7 million domain name registrations in the domain name base3 at the end of the first quarter of 2020, an increase of 1.8 million domain name registrations, or 1.1 percent, compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. The .com and .net TLDs had a combined increase of 5.9 million domain name registrations, or 3.8 percent, year over year. As of March 31, 2020, the .com domain name base totaled 147.3 million domain name registrations, and the .net domain name base totaled 13.4 million domain name registrations.

New .com and .net domain name registrations totaled 10.0 million at the end of the first quarter of 2020, compared to 9.8 million domain name registrations at the end of the first quarter of 2019.

Total new gTLD (ngTLD) domain name registrations were approximately 32.3 million at the end of the first quarter of 2020, an increase of 3.0 million domain name registrations, or 10.3 percent, compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. ngTLDs increased by 9.3 million domain name registrations, or 40.7 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 (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.

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Top 10 Largest TLDs by Number of Reported Domain Names

Source: ZookNIC, Q1 2020; Verisign, Q1 2020; Centralized Zone Data Service, Q1 2020

As of March 31, 2020, the largest TLDs by number of reported domain names were .com, .tk, .cn, .de, .net, .uk, .org, .icu, .nl and .ru.1,2,4

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

Largest ccTLDs by Number of Reported Domain Names

Source: ZookNIC, Q1 2020

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

Total ccTLD domain name registrations were 157.4 million at the end of the first quarter of 2020, a decrease of 0.2 million domain name registrations, or 0.1 percent, compared to the fourth quarter of 2019.1,2 ccTLDs increased by 0.6 million domain name registrations, or 0.4 percent, year over year.1,2 Excluding .tk, ccTLD domain name registrations decreased by 0.2 million in the first quarter of 2020, or 0.1 percent, compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. ccTLDs, excluding .tk, decreased by 2.0 million domain name registrations, or 1.5 percent, year over year.

The top 10 ccTLDs, as of March 31, 2020, were .tk, .cn, .de, .uk, .nl, .ru, .br, .eu, .fr and .it.1,2 As of March 31, 2020, there were 307 global ccTLD extensions delegated in the root zone, including IDNs, with the top 10 ccTLDs comprising 65.4 percent of all ccTLD domain name registrations.1,2

New gTLDs As Percentage of Total TLDs

Source: ZookNIC, Q1 2020; Verisign, Q1 2020; and Centralized Zone Data Service, Q1 2020

Total ngTLD domain name registrations were 32.3 million at the end of the first quarter of 2020, an increase of 3.0 million domain name registrations, or 10.3 percent, compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. ngTLDs increased by 9.3 million domain name registrations, or 40.7 percent, year over year. The top 10 ngTLDs represented 65.4 percent 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 8.8 percent, as well as the top 10 ngTLDs as a percentage of all ngTLD domain name registrations for the first quarter of 2020.

Geographical ngTLDs As Percentage of Total Corresponding Geographical TLDs

Source: ZookNIC, Q1 2020 and Centralized Zone Data Service, Q1 2020

As of March 31, 2020, there were 48 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 March 31, 2020, 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.

Learn More

To view the average daily number of queries Verisign processes, please go to the “What We Do” section at Verisign.com.5

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.

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