New gTLDs hit 5 million


The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) launched the application process for new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) in January 2012. The new gTLD programme will result in an unprecedented expansion of the Domain Name System from the existing 22 TLDs, such as ‘.com’ and ‘.org’, to over 1,400 TLDs.

While a handful of new gTLDs appear to be showing reasonable growth of domain name registrations, the volume of domain name registrations across the new gTLD name space overall has been less than impressive. In June 2014 the number of registered domain names under the new gTLDs was 1,280,000. At that point there were 315 delegated new gTLDs, which gave an average of 4,063 domain names per gTLD registry.

Now, almost one year later, there are circa 5,200,000 registered domain names under the new gTLDs spread across 597 delegated new gTLDs, which works out at an average of 8,710 domain names per gTLD registry.

While this is not a phenomenal level of growth across the new gTLD name space, it is clearly an upward trend in domain name registrations. In fact, the headline figures paint a slightly negative picture and growth is even stronger. There are a number of ‘.brand’ registries among the 597 delegated new gTLDs. As the levels of domain name registrations in the ‘.brand’ registries are always going to be very low, the mean number of registrations per gTLD will be higher than the figures quoted above.

Clearly, the new gTLD registries have a long way to go before they start to even get close to the levels of more established TLDs. However, the new gTLD registries are in their infancy and these are relatively early days. Only time will tell how many of the new gTLD registries will continue to grow and survive and which will fail.

David Taylor and Daniel Madden, Hogan Lovells LLP, Paris

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