Nominet releases first Domain name industry report

Nominet has released their first ‘Domain name industry report’. The key themes examined in the report are: an analysis of global domain name statistics; registrant statistics and trends within the UK and a close look at the UK registrar market.

The findings of the report show that the domain name industry both globally and in the UK is healthy. The report demonstrates the extent of the uptake of the Internet in the UK. It reveals areas of potential future growth and gives pointers as to current trends in domain name registration and the changing nature of the UK registrar market.

Some interesting points in the report, many of which are republished elsewhere, are:

* most popular and successful of the gTLDs which enjoys a 48% share of the whole market
* sTLD market share is currently negligible at less than 0.5% of the market, or 650k domain names, with 568,000 of these registrations for .mobi
* domain tasting – Nominet has introduced a policy to prevent domain tasting that has led to a reduction in registrations attributed to domain tasting dropping from around 2% of new registrations cancelled prior to invoice payment in August 2006 when the policy was introduced to just 0.38% now
* ccTLDs account for 36% of global domain name registrations
* top 20 ccTLDs account for 83% of all ccTLDs and 30% of global registrations
* top 5 ccTLDs (Germany, China, United Kingdom, Netherlands and European Union) account for 55% of all ccTLDs and 20% of global registrations
* movement within the top 20 ccTLDs is dominated by domain name growth in emerging economies such as China, Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation
* the introduction of .eu in December 2005 saw almost 2.5 million domain names registered in the first year, however, this growth has not been sustained with 2007 growth currently only at 1.25% suggesting registration was a ‘virtual landgrab’ motivated by defensive registrations to protect existing brands within this new TLD space
* ccTLD registrations correlate closely to GDP, however, a number of countries significantly ‘punch above their weight’ e.g. Netherlands ranking 4th in domain name volume yet 16th in GDP and Argentina 7th in domain name volume and 31st in GDP while Japan, Canada and France underperform in registrations versus GDP
* the countries of Northern Europe dominate in terms of market penetration by population, with five countries achieving more than 100 domain name registrations per 1,000 inhabitants
* there are 23 domain names per 1,000 inhabitants of the entire planet
* British Internet users are six times more likely to choose a .uk rather than .com address when looking for information via an Internet search engine
* a higher proportion of the domain names registered for personal use were used for email only than those used for commercial web sites and email
* renewal drivers – 60% of renewals were triggered by a reminder from the registrar, 22% of renewals are automatic and the fewer domains someone is managing, the more they rely on their registrar
* Registrant location – the vast majority (92.4%) of .uk domain name registrants are based at a UK address, with the largest proportion of registrants based outside the UK being in North America
* Re-registration of domain names – currently over 25% of cancelled domain names are re-registered within a day of cancellation, and 7% are re-registered within 10 seconds of cancellation
* Secondary Market – around 50 registrants hold more than 3,000 domain names accounting for just under 5% of the total .uk domain name space
* the median length of a domain name is 11 characters while domain names over 30 characters account for less than 0.5% of registrations
* the most popular letter to start a .uk name is S, followed by C and T
* a number of key words have been analysed, the most popular being net and then home – the only two featuring in over 1% of names
* top 20 registrars manage 67.9% of .uk domain names (4.3 million) with this figure likely to increase as a result of mergers and acquisitions, and through 79% of new registrations being made through the top 20 registrars compared to 74% two years ago
* the number of very large registrars (with a portfolio of over 100,000 names) has grown by 71% over the past two years.

The full report is available from Nominet’s website at

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