New Top Level Domains (nTLDs) accounted for 21% of the net growth of the domain name market in 2014
The recent publication of the ICANN reports for the month of December 2014 enables us to finally take stock of 2014, marked by the launch of the “new TLDs” (or “top-level domains”) expected since their announcement by ICANN in Paris in June 2008.
We now have all the figures for 2014, so we can provide an overview of market trends and outline an assessment of the impact of the nTLDs on the 18 “traditional” generic top-level
domains (known as “legacy gTLDs”, i.e. .com, .net, .org, .biz, .info, etc.) and the countrycode TLDs (or “ccTLDs”).
According to the ICANN reports compiled by the Afnic Market Research team, as at 31/12/2014 there were approximately 158.6 million domain names registered under
gTLDs, of which 3.8 million were nTLDs.
These gTLDs, added to the 134 million ccTLDs counted by Verisign / Zooknic, result in a total of 292.6 million domain names at the end of 2014, of which 54% were gTLDs,
compared with 55% at year-end 2013.
The emergence of nTLDs, therefore, has not been sufficient to allow gTLDs to regain a growth rate higher than that of ccTLDs.
Global growth in the domain name market reached 6.5% in 2014 (Fig. 1), against 7.3% in 2013. However, this average masks contrasting dynamics.
The country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs) continued to grow at a rate of 8.5%, that being a marked slowdown, however, compared with the two previous years.
The .com dropped below 5%, while all in all gTLDs, boosted by the nTLDs introduced in 2014, experienced a slight upswing in growth. The major losers appear to be the legacy gTLDs (except for the .com), which lost 3% in stock after having already lost 1.3% in 2013.