New and African TLDs Growing Strongest, TLDs in Americas Weakest: CENTR

Globally domain name registrations have grown 5.7% in the year to the end of October to 344 million, with growth highest among new gTLDs (7.1%) and African ccTLDs (6.2%), while growth is lowest in the Americas (1.4%), Europe (2.6%) and Asia (2.9%), according to the latest CENTRstats Global TLD Report.

While growth is highest among new gTLDs, with many still launching, as well as African ccTLDs, both have the lowest average number of domain names registered per top level domain.

According to the report, ccTLDs made up 44% of the global domain market, most of which comes from the European market. And while ccTLD growth was highest in Africa in the 12 months to the end of October, it has been from a relatively small base. Growth among ccTLDs in Asia and the Americas have slowed down, particularly among Latin American and Caribbean ccTLDs where median growth was 1.4% YOY at October 2018.

For many European ccTLDs, the report notes 2018 has been focused around GDPR. This has no doubt left some with less marketing resources, but despite this, registrations have continued with relative stability. Although the long term growth average continues to decline, it is doing so at a much reduced rate. At the end of the third quarter however, the median growth hit a new low of 2.7% (1.5% for the top 10 largest ccTLDs). Driving this decline was a sharp slow down in rates of new adds between March and August 2018, particularly among some of the larger ccTLDs. This was aggravated by deletes which did not reduce at the same level. Despite this, the average renewal rate remained strong at a median of 84% (slightly lower at 81% among the top 10 largest ccTLDs).

Across Europe, the average local market share to ccTLDs is estimated at 58% for registrations and 37% for local web traffic. In both cases, the figures are higher when filtered to central and eastern European countries.

Among the new generic top level domains, registrations totalled some 22.5 million – up 11% from 1 year prior. While many new gTLDs are growing well, roughly one third of the top 300 have contracted over the year. Larger legacy gTLDs such as .net, .org and .info have also seen declines, while .com has been increasing its growth rates. The new .app exploded into the market in the middle of year and has around 320K domains so far.

Of the new gTLDs, 539 are for .brands according to the Dot Brand Observatory, 170 of which are active, for a total of 12,115 domain names, which makes for an average of just over 22 domain names per .brand gTLD. Which leaves 694 new gTLDs open to public registrations with an average of 276,495 registrations per gTLD. A note of caution, the numbers from different sources may not align in terms of dates, but they will be close.

For country code top level domains, the average number of domain names among the African ccTLDs is around 58,600, in the Americas 262,300, Asia 645,900 and in Europe 1,257,900.

Of the top 15 TLDs, at the end of October, there were 3 that recorded growth rates of more than 5.0% for the year – .com (5.1%), .uk (9.8%) and .ca (5.2%) while .fr had growth of 4.7%. There were also 3 that declined by more than 5.0% – .net (6.1%), .info (17.6%) and .ru (7.4%).

The full CENTRstats Global TLD Report is available to download with interactive charts and tables from: