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Domain Name Registrations Lift Strongly in FY - Centr
Source: www.telecompaper.com
Source Date: Friday, February 23, 2018
Focus: Knowledge Management in Government, Institution and HR Management
Created: Mar 05, 2018

Stimulated by the thriving online economy, almost all domains showed higher growth than expected in the past year, according to data from industry group CENTR, which represents domain name registrars such as SIDN. Growth was noted for both country domains (ccTLDs) and generic domains (gTLDs).

Growth in the fourth quarter was particularly strong, according to CENTR. Less domain names were canceled and more registered throughout Europe. The .eu domain, which had shrunk in 2016, again started growing last year, and this despite the approaching Brexit, and the potential loss of a large market from the European Union. The .nl domain grew by almost 2 percent.

European land domains are growing stronger
The growth noted for European ccTLDs (land domains) left Asian and North American peers behind. In those regions, market penetration is much lower and therefore growth has always been relatively high over the past five years. But where European ccTLDs grew by 3.8 percent on average in 2017, Asia remained at 1.2 percent.

The Dutch .nl grew by 1.8 percent. It seems relatively low, but it is higher than ccTLDs of a comparable size, according to SDIN. The absolute top growers were .se (Sweden) and .uk (UK. The latter domain grew mainly because a large number of .uk domains were released. People could previously only register .co.uk domain names..com continues to grow unhindered.

Although not all figures are known, the growth of new gTLDs stagnated and some existing gTLDs (such as .org, .net) shrank on the back of increased competition in the market, though this did not much bother .com. The number of .com domain names now amount to 144 million worldwide. The domain also grew in the Netherlands, in line with the market.

Brand domains coming up
A new trend and, according to SIDN, possible game changer, were the brand domains. Registered in 2013, SIDN saw the first multinationals promote their brand as a domain in 2017. Websites such as thepredator.fox, home.barclays, mabanque.bnpparibas and fizzy.axa are examples beyond the usual .com. The question is how this will develop if ICANN, probably from 2020, enters more brands as a domain.

The outlook for 2018 looks positive, but the year up to now has started off less well than in 2017. The uncertain situation at the stock exchanges may be the reason, according to SIDN.
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