Verisign Report: 233 Million Domains Registered; 7.5 Million Added; 116.7 .Com/.Net Registrations

Verisign Published its State of the Domain Report for the quarter ending March 31, 2012. (pdf)

The first quarter of 2012 closed with a base of more than 233 million domain name registrations across all Top-Level Domains (TLDs), an increase of 7.5 million domain names, or 3.3 percent, over the fourth quarter of 2011.

Registrations have grown by 23 million, or 11 percent, since the first quarter of 2011.

The base of Country Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs) was 94.9 million domain names, a 4.8 percent increase quarter over quarter, and a 16.2 percent increase year over year in the base.

The .com and .net ended the quarter with approximately 116.7 million domain names, a 2.5% increase over the fourth quarter of 2011 and an 8.1 percent increase over the first quarter of 2011.

The .com registry also grew to more than 100 million domain names during the quarter.

new .com and .net registrations totaled 8.9 million during the first quarter of 2012, a 7.7 percent year- over-year increase in new registrations, and a 13.2 percent increase in new registrations from the fourth quarter.

The order of the top TLDs in terms of zone size did

The largest TLDs in terms of base size were, in order, .com, .de (Germany), .net, .uk (united Kingdom), .org, .info, .tk (Tokelau), .nl (netherlands), .ru (russian federation) and .eu (european union).

Total ccTLD registrations were approximately 94.9 million in the first quarter of 2012, an addition of 4.3 million domain names, or a 4.8 percent increase compared to the fourth quarter.

This is an increase of approximately 13.2 million domain names, or 16.2 percent from a year ago.

Top ccTLD Registries by Domain Name Base, First Quarter 2012












  1. Jp says

    Can you imagine if verisign was still on the old paper system (I know stupid, but just for fun) and they had to mail out 117M renewal notifices?

  2. Aggro says

    It’s good to be those registries

    How many of those domains are actually used for “real” sites?
    Not that many

    So, say, over 100+ million are held by domainers/hobbyists/pending sale or development

    Most will only ever drop (to be taken up by other domainers) or change hands with other domainers
    There is not enough REAL demand from end users to make even a dent in the numbers

    Even if say 20,000 domains were sold to end users per year (on average)…
    You can total up the domains that Sedo/Afternic sells each month for over $1000 or whatever…it ain’t that many
    Now do the math how many years it would take to sell even 1 million if 20,000 domains are sold per year…

    Odds are not looking good for those large portfolio owners (who are mainly in their 40’s, 50’s) – who all have a lot of fluff & crap in the portfolios – selling piecemeal to end users

  3. says

    “Most will only ever drop (to be taken up by other domainers) or change hands with other domainers”


    passin your piece of sh*it to another domainer

  4. What a racket !!! says

    Don’t forget, domains are not a manufactured product like a car, house, chair.
    There are no raw materials needed to produce the product.
    A domain is nothing more than a couple binary numbers in a computer.

    (My gut says) Domains cost 20% to maintain technological integrity, 20% cost to maintain the Icann contract, 10% indirect fees for Washington influence and 50% pure profit.

  5. Kevin says

    It’s funny when you think back to when we were kids (pre the internet era) if someone told us one day you’re going to make a living buying and selling names. We would have all just said uhhh?? LOL

  6. Anon says

    I agree with most of what Aggro wrote.

    The idea that there are (X),000,000,000 people on earth- therefore that figure is somehow relevant to the number of people who will be rushing to buy domain names- is a mindless boosters chant. Disregarding the demographic facts, it’s no different than the lame excuses people made in Florida in 2004, as they wrapped up construction on a brand new tract development with a 3% owner-occupancy rate, only to break ground on another one, right next door, 2 days later.

    “Oh, but the baby-boomer retirees are coming! They’ll be here shortly to buy all this up!”

    Truly salable .com’s are what they are, potentially salable but very speculative .com’s are what they are too, but once you get outside that 5,000,000-10,000,000 heartland of relevant keyword combos in .com, the view is mighty bleak regardless of whatever random, freak sales might happen in an extension like .me.

    That’s where most ‘domainers’ now play.
    The problem is, ‘domaining’ has a heavy selection bias for dreamers and the deluded. They don’t do this from a business perspective. They’re like gamblers with naturally low IQs. For these same people, it’s nearly impossible to arrive at an objective realization that the names they own are worthless and should be let go. They just hold on, renewal cycle after renewal cycle, keeping Godaddy and Verisign shareholders in jet skis and Benzes while flushing their own limited personal wealth down the crapper.

  7. Michael H. Berkens says

    What a Racket

    Your idea is correct but percentage and costs are off

    Profit margins for large extensions should be higher than 50%

    See the RBC report we posted about a few weeks ago

  8. RK says

    @ MHB

    No offense, but the stats cited in RBC report were laughable at best.

    It appears that the RBC analyst wrote the report while drunk lol

  9. Michael H. Berkens says


    Doesn’t offend me, I didn’t write it or pay for it.

    Don’t necessarily agree with your assessment though

  10. says

    Does anyone know about this headline grabber ?

    Rick Schwartz Closes An Octuplet of Premium .CO; Catches BEST .ME In The World
    15 July 2012, 10:17:00 AM from Frager Factor

    Congratualtions to Rick Schwartz on a significant .CO sales:,,, Shop,,, And on catching the best .ME drop ever- (.com is registered o National A-1 and Blow.ME is yet to be release by Brand and Jingles), but National A-1 really MUST have it to inflate their package (no pun intended)

  11. Back in the real world says

    80% of the worlds population lives on less than 10 dollars a day. The argument that new tlds are needed to service demand based on world population is absolute rubbish.

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