DomainWire Global TLD Stat Report published its CENTR’s quarterly publication covering status and trends in global top-level domains with a focus on European ccTLDs (country code top-level domains).
At the end of Q4 2016 there were 309.4 million domain names across all top-level domains (TLDs) globally.
Net growth over the quarter was around 1.03 million (0.3%) – a large decrease compared to previous quarters, mostly due to negative growth in legacy gTLDs but balanced by an overall increase in new gTLDs.
TLD Market Share – The 1,200+ recorded new gTLDs make up around 8% of the market, an increase of 0.8% over the previous quarter.
Legacy gTLDs (17 TLDs) have seen a small reduction in market share due to the decreased domain volume.
The 266 recorded ccTLDs represent a relatively unchanged 40% of the global market.
Over Q4 2016, ccTLDs increased 1.4%.
New gTLDs increased 11% and legacy gTLDs saw a decline of 1.9%, most likely due to first year renewals after the Chinese boom period in late 2015 and early 2016.
Over the quarter, 7 out of the 10 largest TLDs globally experienced negative growth and .ru (Russian Federation) moved up one position, overtaking .info.
The European ccTLD market is estimated at around 69.6 million domains (55 TLDs) and had combined growth of 167K domains (0.2%) over Q4 2016.
Although the long-term trend is downward, the pace of decline in median growth has slowed over the past 12 months and is averaging 0.3% monthly.
European ccTLDs had limited impact from Chinese investment when compared to legacy gTLDs.
High percentage growth ccTLDs were .se (Sweden), .cy (Cyprus) and .pt (Portugal).
Since the beginning of 2016, average market share of new gTLDs in European countries (as a proportion of all TLDs registered locally) increased from 1.3% to 3.3% at the beginning of Q4 2016.
New gTLD growth in Europe remains relatively slow however had highest percentage gains in Russia, Armenia and Serbia.
Total new gTLDs now represent around 8% of the global TLD market in terms of volume (sample: 600+ TLDs exc .brands).
.xyz remains the largest new gTLD with around 6 million domains; however, it experienced negative growth (-1.8%) over Q4 2016.
.kiwi jumped significantly, although growth was largely artificial as a local hoster with the TLD operator reserved over 200K equivalent names of existing customers.
Other high growth TLDs were .top (18%), which is known to use heavy discounts, and .loan (250%), which jumped to over 800K.
Across all new gTLDs, the median renewal rate is 65%.