Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief reports growth

International

The Domain Name Industry Brief recently published by VeriSign shows that, at the end of the fourth quarter of 2013, there were a total of 271 million domains registered across the top-level domains (TLDs). This represents an increase of 5 million domain names or 1.9% over the third quarter of 2013 and an increase of 18.5 million or 7.3% year over year.

There were 123.5 million country-code top-level domains registered at the end of the fourth quarter 2013, representing an increase of 3.3% over the third quarter 2013 and an increase of 12.1% year on year.

The rankings of the top 10 TLDs have not changed when compared to the third quarter and ‘.com’ remains top of the list with ‘.tk’ (Tokelau) a long way behind in second place. The order of the top 10 TLDs at the end of 2013 was:

  1. ‘.com’;
  2. ‘.tk’ (Tokelau);
  3. ‘.de’ (Germany);
  4. ‘.net’;
  5. ‘.uk’ (United Kingdom);
  6. ‘.org’;
  7. ‘.cn’ (China);
  8. ‘.info’;
  9. ‘.ru’ (Russian Federation); and
  10. ‘.nl’ (Netherlands). 

Of these TLDs, only ‘.cn’ and ‘.tk’ exceeded 4% growth, and indeed this marks four straight quarters where China (21.1%) and Tokelau (71%) have exceeded 4% growth. However, both these countries are very popular amongst cybersquatters, so it comes as no surprise that these two jurisdictions have seen impressive growth.

With the launch of hundreds of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) in the coming years, it will be interesting to see how these upset the current hierarchy of the current top 10 TLDs. It is likely that it will take some time before new gTLDs make any significant impact, but the potential for a substantial change in the domain name landscape is certainly there.

David Taylor and Sean Kelly, Hogan Lovells LLP, Paris

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