As Global Pandemic Takes Hold, Domain Registrations Continue Rise To 370 Million At End Q2: Verisign

The second quarter of 2020 saw global domain name registrations continue to rise, with an increase of 3.3 million, or 0.9%. This took total registrations around the world to 370.1 million as the global COVID-19 pandemic continued to wreak havoc.

The rise wasn’t as big though as the 4.5 million, or 1.2%, increase in the first quarter. But it compares favourably to the 2.4 million, or 0.7%, increase in 2019’s fourth quarter and 2.9 million, or 0.8%, in the second quarter of 2019.

For Verisign’s .com and .net, they continue on two different trajectories. For .com, it grew to 148.7 million domain name registrations, up from 147.3 million at the end of the first quarter and 142.5 million at the end of the second quarter of 2019. However for .net, total registrations totalled 13.4 million, just as they did at the end of the first quarter, but down from 13.6 million 12 months ago.

Country code top-level domain (ccTLD) registrations totalled 160.0 million at the end of the second quarter of 2020, an increase of 2.6 million domain name registrations, or 1.7%, compared to the first quarter of 2020. Year-over-year ccTLDs increased by 1.4 million registrations, or 0.9%.

.tk, Tokelau’s ccTLD, as the DNIB explains, is a free ccTLD that provides free domain names to individuals and businesses. Revenue is generated by monetising expired domain names. Domain names no longer in use by the registrant or expired are taken back by the registry and the residual traffic is sold to advertising networks. As such, there are no deleted .tk domain names. Which is why it remains easily the largest of the ccTLDs, and second largest TLD overall, with 27.5 million registrations. This was up from 25.1 million at the end of the first quarter.

Following .com and .tk in the largest TLDs were .cn (China) with 24.1 million registrations at the end of the second quarter, up from 23.6 million, followed by .de (Germany) with 16.5 million, up from 16.4 million, .net (13.4m), .uk (United Kingdom) with 11.8 million (down from 11.9m) and .org with 10.1 million (up from 10.0m), being the only TLDs with more than 10 million registrations.

For new gTLDs, total registrations were 31.6 million at the end of the second quarter, a decrease of 0.6 million, or 2.0%, from 32.3 million at the end of the first quarter of 2020. Year-over-year new gTLDs increased by 8.6 million registrations, or 37.3%.

Verisign’s statistics differ though from nTLDstats, which listed 33.249 million new gTLD domain name registrations as of the end of the first quarter and 33.172 million at the end of the second quarter. However nTLDstats do show a trend that end of quarter registrations don’t. That registrations among the more than 1,100 new gTLDs peaked in early May, losing around 600,000 registrations by the end of June and have now lost around one million registrations in total in the 3.5 months since early May.

An archive of Verisign Domain Name Industry Briefs is available here.

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