New gTLDs were responsible for the large majority of domain name industry volume growth in the second quarter, but you’d never know it reading Verisign’s latest Domain Name Industry Brief.
The domain universe increased to 334.6 million names at the end of June, according to the latest DNIB, which was published (pdf) last week.
That’s a 8.2 million increase on the 326.4 million it reported in its Q1 DNIB report (pdf).
Verisign reports the increase as 7.9 million, possibly due to new data that emerged after the Q1 report was published.
Whether it was 7.9 million or 8.2 million, most of the growth was due to new gTLDs.
In the DNIB, data on new gTLDs is always presented on page three of the three-page report in such a way to make apples-to-apples comparisons with .com and ccTLDs not straightforward.
While the reports highlight the growth of ccTLDs and Verisign’s own .com and .net registries in absolute and percentage terms, they do not do so for new gTLDs.
(They’ve also been calling ccTLDs “geographic gTLDs” for years and nobody seems to have noticed.)
But comparing Q1 and Q2 DNIB reports shows that new gTLDs contributed 5.9 million of the 8.2/7.9 million quarterly increase, in other words just shy of 72% of the industry’s total volume growth.
That’s the biggest contribution new gTLDs have made to growth in any quarter to date.
The growth can be attributed to .xyz’s penny deals in June, which saw domainers acquire millions of names for essentially nothing.
Meanwhile, .com and .net combined contributed just 700,000 domains to growth and .net actually shrunk by 100,000 names, its first dip since Q1 2015.
The ccTLD market data presented in the DNIBs is probably not entirely reliable. Verisign is still using the December 2014 number for free ccTLD .tk, which I think is about six million names lower than its current level.