David Goldstein - European ccTLD Registrations Showing Little Growth, While New gTLDs Continue To Grow


    Registrations in the 55 European ccTLDs are largely stagnant, with 69.6 million domain name registrations at the end of 2016, according to the latest DomainWire report from Centr. During the fourth quarter, growth across all the European ccTLDs was 167,000 registrations (0.2%).

    But there are some ccTLDs within Europe that are growing strongly. The largest growth was .se (Sweden) which grew by 4.2% in the quarter, .cy (Cyprus – 4.1%), .pt (Portugal – 2.8%), .am (Armenia – 2.5%) and .fi (Finland – 2.4%).

    Europeans obviously have a love for their ccTLDs and the proportion of registrations for each country’s ccTLD is growing. In a sample of 50 European countries, the report found that each country’s ccTLD accounted for just over half (51.3%) of all registrations within that country, other country’s ccTLDs accounted for 9.2%, legacy gTLDs such as .com accounted for 36.1% and new gTLDs 3.3%.

    Globally, there were 309.4 million domain names registered. Net growth for the quarter was around 1.03 million (0.3%) - a significant decrease in growth compared to previous quarters, mostly due to negative growth in a number of legacy gTLDs, including .com. For the legacy gTLDs total registrations dropped 1.9%, which also meant a small decline in market share. Among the 266 ccTLDs, their share of registrations remained relatively unchanged at 40% of the global market.

    Legacy gTLDs have shown mixed results. The largest of them all, .com, saw a slight decline in registrations following a boom in registrations largely from Chinese domainers in late 2015. Many of these domain names have not been renewed. Others such as .net, .info, .biz and .org have all seen declines over the last couple of years when looking at, largely coinciding with the release of new gTLDs.

    Among the new gTLDs however things are different and registrations are still, overall, growing strongly. However there have been some noticeable declines among some of the larger new gTLDs. There were over 1,200 that had been delegated by ICANN and at the end of December with 27.6 million registrations, making up around 8% of all registrations. During the quarter registrations in the new gTLDs grew by 11% while their market share increased by 0.8%.

    The largest of the new gTLDs continues to be .xyz, with 6.5 million registrations at the end of December, which is down from its peak of 6.7 million 3 weeks earlier according to The second largest was .top with 4.8 million registrations, but there has been a drop of close to 300,000 since. The third largest was .win, which 1.26 million registrations.