Crash In New gTLD Registrations Sees Global Domain Registrations Drop 4.4M In Q4: Verisign DNIB

Total new gTLD registrations have been on a downhill slide since late September 2020 according to nTLDstats.com and the decline is continuing. Verisign’s authorative Domain Name Industry Brief released this week reports that in the final quarter of 2020, new gTLD domain name registrations dropped 4.2 million to 26.0 million which equates to a drop of 13.8% compared to the third quarter of 2020. Over the year new gTLDs decreased by 3.3 million or 11.2%.

The drop in new gTLDs accounted for the vast majority of the decline in total domain name registrations in the fourth quarter. On 31 December Verisign reports there were 366.3 million domain name registrations across all top-level domains (TLDs), a decrease of 4.4 million, or 1.2%, compared to the third quarter of 2020. It’s possibly the first time ever there has been a quarterly drop in total registrations. Year-on-year domain name registrations grew by 4.0 million, or 1.1%.

For ccTLDs there was also a decline, although nothing like for new gTLDs. Total country-code top-level domain (ccTLD) registrations were 158.9 million at the end of the fourth quarter, a decrease of 1.7 million, or 1.0%, compared to the third quarter of 2020. ccTLDs increased by 1.3 million registrations, or 0.8%, year over year.

For Verisign’s .com and .net, they had a combined total of 165.2 million domain name registrations on 31 December, an increase of 1.5 million domain name registrations, or 0.9%, compared to the third quarter. As of 31 December, there were 151.8 million .com domain name registrations, up from 150.3 million at the end of the third quarter and 145.4 million at the end of 2019 while there was no change in .net domain name registrations at 13.4 million at the end of the third and fourth quarters of 2020 and also at the end of 2019.

New .com and .net domain name registrations totalled 10.5 million at the end of the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to 10.3 million domain name registrations at the end of the fourth quarter of 2019.

The top 10 top-level domains at the end of the fourth quarter after .com with 151.8 million domain name registrations, compared to 145.4 million at the end of 2019, were .cn (24.7m, 23.0m Q4 2019), .tk (24.7m, 25.1m), .de (16.7m, 16.3m), .net (13.4m, 13.4m), .uk (10.9m, 13.0m).org (10.3m, 10.0), .nl (6.1m, 5.9m), .ru (5.7m, 5.7m) and .br (4.5m, 4.1m). At the end of 2019 .icu was in the top 10 with 4.7m domain name registrations but at the end of 2020 had fallen out of the top 10. The top 10 ccTLDs were rounded out by .fr (3.7m, 3.4m), .eu (3.6m, 3.6m) and .it (3.4m, 3.2m).

As of 31 December, there were 307 global ccTLD extensions delegated in the root zone, including IDNs, with the top 10 ccTLDs comprising 65.4% of all ccTLD domain name registrations.

As of the end of 2020, there were 47 new gTLDs delegated that had a geographical focus and had more than 1,000 domain name registrations since entering general availability (GA). The chart on the left summarises the domain name registrations as of Dec. 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.

To download the latest Domain Name Industry Brief from Verisign, or access the archive of quarterly reports going back to 2010, go to: https://www.verisign.com/en_US/domain-names/dnib/domain-name-industry-brief-reports/index.xhtml

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