VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN) just published it quarterly Domain Name Industry Brief. announcing that more than 6 million domain names were added to the Internet in the fourth quarter of 2012, bringing the total number of registered domain names to more than 252 million worldwide across all top-level domains (TLDs) as of Dec. 31, 2012
The increase of 6.1 million domain names globally equates to a growth rate of 2.5% over the third quarter of 2012, and marks the eighth straight quarter with greater than 2%.
Worldwide registrations grew by 26.6 million, or 11.8%, year over year in 2012.
The .com and .net TLDs experienced aggregate growth in the fourth quarter of 2012, reaching a combined total of approximately 121.1 million domain names a 6.4% increase year over year
As of Dec. 31, 2012, the base of registered names in .com equaled 106.2 million names, while .net equaled 14.9 million names.
New .com and .net registrations totaled 8.0 million during the fourth quarter of 2012.In the fourth quarter of 2011, new .com and .net registrations totaled 7.9 million.
The .com and .net renewal rate for the fourth quarter of 2012 was 72.9 percent, up slightly from 72.5 percent for the third quarter of 2012.
The base of Country Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs) was 110.2 million domain names, a 5 percent increase quarter over quarter, and a 21.6 percent increase year over year.
Top ccTLD Registries by Domain Name Base, Fourth Quarter 2012: