On 29 May 2020, Verisign released their latest Domain Name Industry Brief detailing the number of reported domain names registered across all the Top Level Domains (TLDs).
The report indicated that the first quarter of 2020 closed with a total of 366.8 million domain name registrations across all TLDs, which represented an increase of 4.5 million domain name registrations, or 1.2 percent, compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. Year over year growth saw an increase of 14.9 million or 4.2 percent.
As of 31 March 2020, the largest TLDs by number of reported domain names were the following:
.COM (Generic) 147.3 million .TK (Tokelau) 25.1 million .CN (China) 23.6 million .DE (Germany) 16.4 million .NET (Generic) 13.4 million .UK (United Kingdom) 11.9 million .ORG (Generic) 10 million .ICU (Generic) 6.3 million .NL (Netherlands) 5.9 million .RU (Russia) 5.7 million
The list of the top ten TLDs by number of reported domain names remains practically unchanged, when compared to the same report for the fourth quarter 2019, with just the entry of the TLD .ICU into the top ten. This TLD is said to correspond to “I see you” and became available to the general public on 29 May 2018. Five months after it was made available .ICU had already reached 100,000 registrations, with this figure increasing to 500,000 by March 2019. By the end of July 2019 .ICU registrations had passed the one million mark and, as can be seen from the domain name count above, the number of registrations has rocketed to over six million in 2020, which is quite an achievement given that the TLD has only been available since 2018.
Between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020 the total number of country code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs) decreased by 0.2 million, or 0.1 percent, to around 157.4 million.
.TK (Tokelau) 25.1 million .CN (China) 23.6 million .DE (Germany) 16.4 million .UK (United Kingdom) 11.9 million .NL (Netherlands) 5.9 million .RU (Russia) 5.7 million .BR (Brazil) 4.1 million .EU (European Union) 3.6 million .FR (France) 3.4 million .IT (Italy) 3.3 million
The only changes that can be observed when comparing the results with those for the fourth quarter of 2019 are increases to the number of domain name registrations under the TLDs .CN, .DE and .IT and a substantial decrease of domain name registrations under the TLD .UK. All the others remained unchanged.
The decrease in the total number of domain name registrations under .UK between the fourth quarter 2019 and the first quarter 2020 could be partly due to the introduction of .UK domain names by Nominet and the rules relating to this. Holders of .CO.UK domain names could claim the same string directly under .UK for a period of two years free of charge, and so some registrars decided to automatically register the corresponding .UK domain names for customers holding an eligible .CO.UK domain name. As a result, the number of registrations increased and then, two years later when the renewals were due, many domain name holders simply decided not to renew, which obviously decreased the number of .UK domain names registered.
As far as new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) are concerned, between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020 the total number increased by around three million, or 10.3 percent, to around 32.3 million. Year over year growth for new gTLDs saw an increase of 9.3 million domain name registrations, or 40.7 percent. Predicting when the growth of new gTLDs will slow or come to a halt is impossible while new gTLDs continue to be introduced into the market.