Each quarter CENTR, a council of European country code top-level domain registries, releases a report on the domain landscape. In this post I have a look at their most recent report that was released Nov. 17, 2018.
Here are some highlights that stood out for me.
- Because of the fragmented markets, country code TLDs often don’t get the attention they deserve. They account for 44% of all domain registrations globally.
- The European country codes dominate the overall global country code universe.
- The growth of country code domains was strongest in Africa (6.2%) and weakest in the Americas (particularly Latin America, although still 1.3% growth overall).
- The new global top level domain (ngTLD) numbers vary with price promotions. They are up 11% on a year over year basis, and therefore overall were strong in this reporting period.
- In the legacy extensions .com has continued strong growth (5.1% year over year), driven by both good renewal rates and additional new registrations.
- However, the legacy extensions .info, .net and .org all suffered declines. Although for .org the decrease was very slight.
- The .net decline was significant, with 6.1% fall in the last year.
- The situation for .info was even more bleak, with a drop of more than 17% within the preceding year.
- In terms of specific major country codes, .ru suffered a 7.4% fall while .uk increased 9.8%, .fr by 4.7% and .ca by 5.2% on a year over year basis. Probably some of the .uk growth was driven by Brexit implications for holding .eu domain names. For some time .ca has grown strongly despite being a TLD only open to those with a Canadian presence.
- The European country code domains seem solid overall, with a renewal ratio of about 84%.
- Among the high registration ngTLDs .top, .online, .club and .vip all showed strong growth, while .xyz, .win and .wang saw significant drops (the .win due to new owners abandoning all promotional pricing).
You can see the press release on the report here, which also has links for the full report (available as free download). The CENTR reports and other resources provide accessible and valuable insights on the global domain name markets.
The ngTLD registrations grew 11% on a year over year basis. Among the legacy extensions .com grew 5.1% while .net dropped 6.1% and .org was almost unchanged.
While registration numbers, use in actual websites, and healthy sales in the domain aftermarket do not necessarily highly correlate, the information suggests that the legacy extensions are becoming even more .com dominated. The report does note, however that the changes in pricing may somewhat weaken this growth.
“A wholesale price increase in .com may have the potential to impact the massive secondary market of domain speculation and warehousing.”
The relative importance of country code versus generic extensions varies in different regions. It is important for domain investors not to over generalize on the situation in their own country.