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A third of the top TLDs are shrinking

Kevin Murphy, September 5, 2019, 06:08:40 (UTC), Domain Registries

Roughly one hundred of the top 300 top-level domains shrank in the second quarter, according to the latest CENTRstats Global TLD Report.

Median growth in domain registrations “hit a new recorded low” of 3.1%, the second new low in a row, CENTR said. It was 5.6% a year ago.

At the high end of the range, African ccTLDs — which have a relatively low base reg count, making impressive percentage growth easier — had median growth of 8.5%.

At the low end, European ccTLDs had median growth of 2%, CENTR said. These ccTLDs have more regs than all the other regions combined, making high-percentage growth trickier.

Europe was of course helped out by the UK, which spiked in July due to the end of the five-year second-level domain claims period, an effect I reported on last week.

Judging by CENTR’s numbers, Europe would have been virtually flat had .uk not grown by 1.1 million names in the quarter.

CENTR does not seem to count Taiwan’s .tw, the other ccTLD known to have driven growth internationally in Q2.

Verisign’s Domain Name Industry Brief, and DI’s own database, has Taiwan as the eighth-largest TLD, but it does not even make it to the CENTRstats’s top 10. (UPDATE September 9: .tw has since been added to the list.)

The gTLDs fared little better in percentage terms — up 2.4% year-over-year at the end of July. Verisign’s .com grew at 5% over the same period. For 2012-round new gTLDs, the number is 2.8%.

The CENTRstats report, which contains a whole lot more data, can be viewed or downloaded here.

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Comments (9)

  1. Patrick Myles says:

    Hi Kevin. Your statement that Europe was ‘helped’ by .uk is not correct. The growth figures reported for European ccTLDs as well as all other groups and regions are medians (not combined growth). Medians reflect a better representation of average growth and are not impacted by single outlier TLDs. You might want to update your article 🙂

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      It probably isn’t totally clear, but when I talk about the UK impact I’m switching gears and referring to the absolute number of registrations in Europe, not the median.

  2. Patrick Myles says:

    .tw is within the data now. this was an error in the view.

  3. Snoopy says:

    Only .com is seeing real growth. Cctlds have stalled and the new tld situation will continue to deteriorate with most and more tlds competing for the same small market.

  4. Many ccTLDs have not stalled and the reality is that where ccTLDs are growing in their home markets, it is the .COM that has stalled in those markets.

    As for Centr’s reliance on the extremely iffy NTLDstats “parking” Numerology, the real usage figures in some new gTLDs are quite terrifying.

    • Snoopy says:

      Which ones John, Lagos and Nigeria? Shall we cherry pick some and pretend that cctlds are doing well?

      • Rubens Kuhl says:

        Growing ccTLDs: .uk, .tw, .nl, .br, .fr, .it, .au.
        Decreasing ccTLDs: .de, .ru, .eu.
        Both growing and decreasing ccTLDs have between 3 and 16 million registrations each.

        • Kevin Murphy says:

          UK and TW are bullshit growth, though, right?

          • Rubens Kuhl says:

            These are likely one-time events indeed, but only time will tell about sustainability of those DUMs.

            What I can tell for sure is that .br growth is not linked to any promotions, launches or policy changes. Looks like consumer confidence in the economy is the driver.

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