European ccTLDs See Continued Growth While Dominating Home Markets: CENTR

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New registrations among European ccTLDs slowed during 2021, but so did deletions and registrar transfers, which meant growth was positive, according to the latest CENTRstats Global TLD Report released this week.

The median growth in European ccTLDs to January 2022 was 3.8%, up from the six-month average, while renewal rates were stable at a median of 85%, according to the report prepared by Patrick Myles.

Domain growth from January 2016 to January 2022 from CENTRstats Global TLD Report: Q1 2022 – Edition 37.

Members of CENTR, the association of European country code top-level domain (ccTLD) registries, covers 52 full and 9 associate members, accounting for over 80% of all registered country code domain names worldwide.

European and Regional Market Shares

According to the report, the combined market share of ccTLDs across EU countries is estimated at 61%, which compares favourably to the estimated 36% of all domains globally that are registered in ccTLDs. For most CENTR member ccTLDs, their local (country-based) market share has not changed over the past few years.

Throughout Europe though there were variations in market share. In the 12 months to January 2022, .com made gains in Montenegro, United Kingdom, Serbia, Sweden and Georgia while in Portugal .eu, and surprisingly, .de, both saw strong growth.

Regionally there were significant variations in growth. As of October 2021, the median one-year growth rate of the top 300 largest top-level domains (TLDs) (Global300) was 6.9% – up on the six-month average. In other regions, there were growth rates of 4.9% for ccTLDs in the Asia Pacific region, 4.1% for ccTLDs in Europe and 9.5% in the top 300 generic TLDs (gTLDs). Geographic gTLDs however saw a slowdown in growth with a median decline of 0.2%.

While gTLDs accounted for almost two-thirds (64%) of all domain names registered globally as of October 2021, growth was highest among ccTLDs. ccTLDs driving the growth were .de (Germany), .br (Brazil), .fr (France), .ca (Canada) and .me (Montenegro). Highest growth gTLDs were .com, .xyz, .bar, .online and .shop.

.COM Dominance

The report also looked at the dominance of .com. While the largest generic top-level domain represents 47% of all domains globally, its share among gTLDs is much higher at 73%. To get a sense of the continued dominance of .com, Myles notes that in the 12 months to October 2021, the combined growth of 500 of the largest gTLDs was barely half that of the growth in .com (8 million).

European ccTLD Prices Decline Over 12 Months

The registrar prices of European ccTLDs averages €10.20 which is up slightly from the previous quarter. This compares favourably to €12.10 for .com domain names via the same registrars. But year-on-year prices have decreased slightly with the median registrar price, based on the largest registrars that sell ccTLDs in the region, has trended down slightly. In January 2021 median registrar price was €10.9.

During 2021 price promotions advertised for European ccTLDs remained stable with around 30% of all recorded prices discounted at any given time. However they were generally offered by the same few registrars (i.e. Ionos, GoDaddy and OVH) due partly to the fact they offered domains across more markets than most.

Error Rates

Another highlight in the report were in the fourth quarter of 2021, error rates in European ccTLDs came down slightly, while parking rates remained similar. 46% of domains under European ccTLDs have functional web content, which was double the 23% among gTLDs, of which 65% have a valid SSL certificate.

To download the CENTRstats Global TLD Report: Q1 2022 – Edition 37 in full, go to: centr.org/component/flexicontent/download/10335/7308/41.html

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