Two reports in recent weeks, from Verisign and CENTR, show the number of domain names registered around the world crawled past the 330 million mark in the last quarter of 2017, to 332.4 million according to Verisign and 331 million according to CENTR, as of 31 December.
Of these, using Verisign’s figures, 2 in 5 (39.68%), or 131.9 million, of all domain names registered were .com and another 14.5 million were .net. This represented a 2.9% increase for the year. Registrations across all top level domains (TLDs) increased by approximately 1.7 million, or 0.5%, from the third quarter of 2017. In 12 months registrations grew by 3.1 million, or 0.9%.Total country code TLD (ccTLD) registrations were approximately 146.1 million, or 43.95% of all registrations at the end of the year, a 1.0% increase over the previous quarter, and a 2.4% (3.4 million) increase year over year.
As of 31 December, the largest TLDs were .com, .cn (China), .tk (Tokelau with their domain names given away), .de (Germany), .net, .uk (United Kingdom), .org, .info, .ru (Russian Federation) and .nl (Netherlands). In addition, rounding out the top 10 ccTLDs were br (Brazil), .eu (European Union), .fr (France) and .au (Australia).
There was a collapse in registrations among the new generic TLDs (gTLDs), primarily among 2 of the top 3 - .xyz, and .top – which lost 4.1 and 2.6 million respectively. At the end of 2017, according to nTLDstats.com, there were approximately 23.9 million registrations across all new gTLDs, which was 7.2% of all new gTLD registrations, down from 27.8 million at the beginning of the year, a decline of close to 3.9 million.
The CENTR report has a focus on ccTLD growth and breaks down this growth by region. Within Europe, registrations grew 4.0% for the 12 months to the end of 2017 taking ccTLD registrations for the region’s 58 ccTLDs to 72.1 million. This was the highest growth among ccTLDs of any region, and also the region with the most domain names registered. The Asian region had the second highest growth with 3.7% taking registrations among the 98 ccTLDs to 57.5 million followed by Africa which grew by 2.9% to 3.2 million for the continent’s 58 ccTLDs while the Americas grew by 2.3% to 13.7 million for its 53 ccTLDs.
Within Europe, ccTLD registrations made up around 3 in 5 (59%) of all domain names registered according to the CENTR report, and growth was highest among the 12 largest ccTLDs where registrations grew by 4.2% to 59.7 million. For the 13 medium-sized ccTLDs, registrations grew 3.3% to 10.9 million and among the 20 smallest ccTLDs, registrations grew 2.7% to 1.7 million.
CENTR also found new gTLD market share remains low with 3.6% of all registrations across Europe. Over the year, registrations among the new gTLDs grew by an estimated 235,000 which contrasts with legacy gTLDs which grew by 858,000, most of which was in .com to take its market share in Europe to around 70% of the gTLD market.