Developments in the domain name market in Q2 2016
The .nl domain enjoyed a relatively positive quarter. Net growth in the second quarter was 25,448, bringing the total number of registered .nl domain names up to 5,643,201. Underlying the net growth figure were 204,048 new registrations and 182,405 cancellations. The number of DNSSEC-secured domain names rose to 2,502,619.
Growth was higher than expected because the number of cancellations was not as high as anticipated. The cancellation rate appears to be slackening throughout the registrar community. For some time now, the registration and cancellation numbers have followed near-parallel courses. That is in contrast to the pattern in the period up to the middle of 2014, during which registrations were falling while cancellations were rising, as can be seen in the following graph.
Figure 1 Numbers of creates and deletes and net growth of .nl per quarter
Number of registrars
The number of .nl registrars continues its linear decline. We now have a total of 1,398 registrars: about the number we had at the end of 2002.
Figure 2 Number of registrars
Growth in the number of DNSSEC-secured domain names has levelled off. Just under three thousand more domain names were secured with DNSSEC at the end of the quarter than at the start. The total number at the close was 2,502,619, or 44.3 per cent of the .nl zone.
In order to maintain a good overview of the global market for domain names, we keep statistics on about 1,200 cc, g and nTLDs. Unfortunately, registries vary a lot in the frequency and consistency with which they publish data. We are currently without up-to-date figures for .cn (China), making it impossible to say much about how the market as a whole developed last quarter. This summary of developments therefore considers the new gTLDs more closely instead.Over the last four quarters, the new gTLDs have been growing rapidly. The following graph shows the net quarterly growth of all new gTLDs collectively, since the first ones came on line in early 2014.
Figure 3 Number of nTLD domain names
In the last quarter, the lead was taken by .xyz, which grew by 3.7 million names, .top (900,000) and .vip (400.000). The growth was driven almost entirely by demand from China, where there has been a whirlwind of registration activity. Huge numbers have been registered, partly because of the (extremely) low prices. A .top domain name costs the equivalent of about € 0.55 and, during a promotional period, .xyz domain names were available for € 0.02 or less. It remains to be seen how long the growth will continue and what will happen after a year, when domain names registered at bargain process come up for renewal (probably at higher prices). When other domains, such as .berlin and .info, adopted similar marketing strategies, a high proportion of the domain names registered at introductory prices were not subsequently renewed.