Back at the end of the second quarter of 2009, the combined number of .com and .net domain names was 93.5 million out of a total of 184 million registered around the world, which was 50.82% of all domain names registered. The rest of the market was made up of country code top level domains (ccTLDs), which made up 40.43% of the market while other generic top level domains (gTLDs) made up the remaining 8.75%.
Fast forward 8 years from the earliest to the latest Verisign Domain Name Industry Briefs available on Verisign’s website, and there were 331.9 million domain names registered around the world at the end of June 2017, an increase of marginally over 80.3%. The number of .com and .net domain names has increased to 144.3 million, an increase of around 55%, to account for 43.48% of the total domain names registered.
In recent years .com has continued to increase its total number of domain name registrations while .net has plateaued, and even declined. At the end of the second quarter 2014 there were 15.2 million .net domain names while 3 years later there were 15.1 million. For .com on the other hand registrations stood at 118.5 at the end of June compared to 113.7 million 3 years before.
But the total number of ccTLD domain names have almost doubled in 8 years, increasing to 144.2 million from 74.4 million. And of course, the new gTLDs have been introduced and at the end of the second quarter 2017 accounted for 7.3% of total domain name registrations, or 24.3 million domain names.
The increase of ccTLDs has come about due to a number of factors, such as being more cost competitive particularly with .com and .net, more awareness, greater use of the internet around the world, and hence domain names, the internet becoming less U.S.-centric and more of a global industry.
But even among ccTLDs growth has slowed dramatically as many of the larger ccTLDs have seen growth rates decline, and even become almost non-existent. Back in June 2009 Verisign reported a 14% increase in total ccTLD registrations to 74.4 million. Fast forward to the end of the second quarter of 2017 and Verisign reported an increase of approximately 3.7 ccTLD million domain name registrations, or 2.6%, for the year to end of June to take registrations 144.2 million. Without .tk, the Tokelauan ccTLD that gives away its 19.1 million domain names for free, ccTLDs increased by approximately 3.8 million, or 3.1%, year over year.
And in recent years, since April 2014 when new gTLDs, they have grown from zero registrations to 24.3 million at the end of June, or 7.3% of total domain name registrations. The top 10 new gTLDs accounted for 61.5% of all new gTLD registrations with the largest being .xyz and .top.
An archive of Verisign Domain Name Industry Briefs from 2009 to the present is available here.